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One thing that has really surprised me about my internship is how many people are willing to give up their time for the sake of the kingdom of God. I’ve met many students who are paying to go to school at Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics in order to become missionaries. I have also met many volunteers and interns who are choosing to go unpaid for the summer so they can invest their time as kingdom resources. Not only are there students and volunteers here, but many highly educated people who could have any job they want. These people are choosing to serve on staff or around the world as Bible translators, teachers and in many other roles.

They are not only willing to serve, but do it joyfully and heartily as for the Lord. The people here work harder and are much happier than the people in any other work environment that I’ve experienced. Many of them are stepping out in faith and trusting God to provide for not only themselves, but also their families as they serve the kingdom. What humility and sacrifice has been shown through these servants!

So often, I have taken the privilege of stability in working a nine to five job for granted. I’ve been humbled to see how God has provided for me during this internship and, because of his provisions, it has been easier to work without pay than I ever thought it would be. How rewarding and joyful it is to work for the Lord! I hope to join Wycliffe with my soon-to-be wife, Amy and pray that we might display the same faith in the Lord’s provisions as I saw in others throughout this internship.

RyanM

Ryan McCoppin

M.S. Computer Science

SIL Language Software Development

Wycliffe Intern

If you’re interested in pursuing an internship with Wycliffe click here to learn more.

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By Hannah Weiand

Hannah is a Wycliffe USA intern, attending Oral Roberts University. She will graduate with a degree in writing in May 2015.

a woman reads her Bible to her friend

Photo credit: Marc Ewell

Here at Wycliffe Bible Translators, we believe everyone needs the Bible in a language they can clearly understand. Well-meaning people sometimes ask, “Why not just teach people English?” Well, that would be like asking a native English speaker, “Why not just teach you Latin?”

It sounds funny put that way, but before the late 14th century, when John Wycliffe and others translated the Bible into English for the first time from Latin, that’s exactly what English speakers had to do if they wanted to read the Bible.

John Wycliffe believed the common person should be able to read and understand the Bible in their own language. But at that time in history, many people thought English was a vulgar language, unfit for God and his holy Word. So when Wycliffe and others translated the Bible, many church leaders were angry. Years after John Wycliffe died, they were still so angry that they dug up his bones to burn and destroy them. And they took one of his followers, John Huss, and burned him at the stake for telling people that everyone should be able to read the Bible in their own language.

Today, thanks to the sacrifices of John Wycliffe, John Huss and others, we can read the Bible in our own language. And we believe other language groups around the world should be able to have that opportunity too.

When Wycliffe Bible Translator’s founder, Cameron Townsend, went to Guatemala to sell Spanish Bibles in 1917 — before he ever started thinking about Bible translation — a number of people asked him why God didn’t speak their language. Cam was troubled to learn that they couldn’t clearly understand the Bible in Spanish. Their need inspired him translate the New Testament into Cakchiquel, and ultimately, to found Wycliffe Bible Translators.

Photo credit: Elyse Patten

Photo credit: Elyse Patten

That’s why we think Bible translation is so important — because we want people to fully understand what God is saying. When people learn a new language, they usually don’t understand it as well as their first language, so it’s difficult to fully grasp the power and the meaning of the Bible in that language.

Bible translation is important because of the way it transforms people’s lives when they can clearly understand God’s Word. It’s not just about being able to read the Bible – it’s about being able to connect with what it says. Having the Bible in their own language allows people from around the world to make that connection.

This post is part of our Wycliffe 101 series. Click here to read the previous post, or here to start at the beginning.

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By Melissa Chesnut

This summer marks the fifth year of Wycliffe’s Orlando Summer Internship. We’re honored that these students gave up their summers to serve Bible translation from our home offices.

The summer interns are finally here! Samantha Benson and Catherine Caple started working at the Orlando office on June 10, arriving after a week-long training in Waxhaw, North Carolina.

The week included learning about Wycliffe’s background, an overview of linguistics, options for graduate schools, and a daily testimony from a missionary. These stories were some of Samantha and Catherine’s favorite portions of the training as they were able to hear first-hand of amazing adventures and experiences had by Wycliffe missionaries.

For the next eight weeks, Samantha will be working for the staff relations department in human resources, where she hopes to be able to use and develop project management skills; Catherine will be working for the Staff Resource Center, where she is excited for her first office experience.

Both young women are hoping to gain a better understanding of Wycliffe and the work of Bible translation for personal reasons—Samantha is in the application process for membership with Wycliffe, and Catherine is looking at the possibility of changing her minor in linguistics to a major, with the potential of one day serving with Wycliffe.

The Orlando office is excited to host Samantha and Catherine during their internship, and would like to welcome them to the Wycliffe family. We’re glad you are here!

Orlando isn’t the only place Wycliffe has interns! This year we have two interns at the SIL office in Dallas, one at the JAARS center, and one working with the Choctaw translation team in Mississippi. Visit http://www.wycliffe.org/shortterm to learn more about participating in our US-based internships or our overseas Discovery Trips.

Meet the Interns

Left: Catherine Caple, Staff Resource Center intern, from Florida State University majoring in Spanish and Linguistics; Right: Samantha Benson, Staff Relations intern, from University of Texas and majored in Business Management

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One Intern’s Experience in Guatemala
By Stephanie Willis

I applied to Wycliffe USA’s internship program thinking I would just be spending the summer in Orlando doing studio photography. But when I was given the option of spending two of my ten weeks in Guatemala as a photojournalist with one of Wycliffe’s GET Global trips, I jumped on the opportunity.

When my team first arrived in Guatemala City, we spent a few days getting acclimated, learning about the translation process, and meeting current translators. Then we traveled to two other cities before getting to our three-day stop in the village of Chim Ban.

stephanie1We were split into groups of three or four and charged with learning as much of the language and culture as we could. The first day, my group set out to meet new people and learn new words in Acateco, the Mayan language that was spoken there. I got to practice my favorite phrase from this trip many times, “Cheeskay cheweel hapfoto?” or “Can I take your picture?”

A highlight was getting to meet the Gaspar family. They helped us get connected with the children in the village, allowing us to host an impromptu coloring night with silly games. The morning we left, three sweet boys who we’d gotten to know were waiting at our door to help us fold our blankets in exchange for some crackers and M&M’s.

After we left Chim Ban we went to San Miguel for a few days. On Sunday—market day—I had free time to wander around. So I walked up to all sorts of interesting people and asked if I could take their picture. Responses ranged from fear (there is still a stigma that having your picture taken means your soul will be stolen) to amusement. My favorite response was from several older people who looked somewhat surly, but broke out into these cute smiles when I asked to take their picture. One of my favorite portraits was of an older man with a lollipop who was so excited to have his picture taken that he tried to take off his hat and fix his hair, but I encouraged him to stay just as he was.

stephanie2

My time in Guatemala had a pretty big impact on the way I view relationships. Going into the trip I was tempted to not try very hard to build relationships with the other girls on my team because I didn’t think it would be worth the effort for such a short period of time. However as I got to know them and the many people I met in Guatemala, I learned that no matter how much or how little time you have with someone, it is worth it to get to know them as much as possible.

When I got back from my trip, I had the chance to re-design any company I wanted for a graphic design class last fall, I chose to do GET Global.* I want the work I do, even if it’s just for school, to have an impact.

stephanie3

*Click here to view Stephanie’s school project and Guatemala photos.

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