Posts Tagged ‘service opportunities’

By Melissa Paredes

“I want you in full-time ministry,” God told him.

This calling came out of the blue for Steve. After all, he was enjoying his life and work as a band and choir teacher near Spokane, Washington. He and his family had a great community of friends, and they even saw themselves staying in Spokane long-term. But it seemed God had other plans for them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen recalling the day he heard God’s voice, Steve admits he was hoping for more details from God. After all, he didn’t feel qualified spiritually, and his particular gifts didn’t seem to fit the mold of full-time ministry. Steve thought about possibly going to Bible college to further his education, but that wasn’t something he really wanted to do — he’d already received an education and loved what he did! He was confused by God’s call and didn’t know what it meant for him and his family.

A year later, Steve happened to meet a Wycliffe recruiter who told him about the remaining need for Bible translation in almost 2,000 languages. But Steve still didn’t see where he fit. “There’s no way I could be a Bible translator!” Steve shared. And isn’t that what he would have to do if he worked for Wycliffe Bible Translators?

But then Steve learned something exciting — something that seemed to answer that haunting question of where his gifts fit in ministry. The recruiter told him that Wycliffe needs teachers, particularly for missionary kids. Even music teachers!

This news struck a chord with Steve. He had a set of gifts and qualifications that could be used right away, and in full-time ministry!

So in 2006, Steve and his family moved to Papua New Guinea where he now teaches at Ukarumpa International School. And through teaching, Steve’s making a difference in the lives of his students, their families and even those who are still waiting for the Bible in their own language.

Steve Blake 1

“I’m helping God’s Word reach new places, new hearts,” Steve shared. “It’s cool to hear parents say, ‘We wouldn’t be missionaries here if it wasn’t for the school.’ These parents are able to focus on translation, literacy and other work because they know their children are being given a solid education.”

And it’s true. When people like Steve use the gifts God has given them for his glory, they’re contributing to the work of Bible translation. Every role is important in this work — even teaching music to missionary kids. It’s just a matter of faithfully answering God’s call when you hear his voice.

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By Hannah Weiand

Where in the World - Pair (Elyse Patten)

A key thing to note is that Wycliffe USA is just one of many organizations working in partnership around the world to make Bible translation happen. Many of these organization are part of the Wycliffe Global Alliance, which includes more than 45 Wycliffe member organizations and more than 60 partner organizations serving in more than 93 countries. For perspective, there are only 197 countries in the entire world, so together we’re working in nearly half of them! You can see the list of organizations within the Wycliffe Global Alliance here.

One interesting feature of the Alliance’s website is a tool that lists the languages of the world, by country, and whether or not they have any Scripture. Although it doesn’t specifically tell you where personnel are working, it can give you a broader scope of the work that is both being done and still needs to be done. So if you have a specific country in mind, and want to know if Bible translation is being done there, this tool can help.

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 Richard Gretsky

In college, Amy was passionate about art. But for a vocation, she realized how difficult it would be to make a profession out of. Because of that, and because she had so many things she wanted to do, she decided to try pursuing other professions. She tried camps and considered the Air Force, but while both of them held a special place in her heart, she felt an increasing pull to get involved in an old family business: missions.

She’d long believed that Bible translation was important but was never sure how her particular skills would translate into helping provide people with the Bible. She knew that it was finally her chance to find out.

“I’ll just go to TOTAL It Up! and see what happens,” she said.

The Art of Translation - TIU 2014

The translation and linguistics course met and surpassed all her expectations.

“I loved all the linguistics stuff, hearing about all the people waiting for the Bible, and the stories of what happens when people finally receive God’s Word in their language … (they) moved me,” she said. “’If nothing else,’ I said, ‘I’ve got to do something about this.’”

If that wasn’t enough to solidify her leap into Bible translation, while Amy was at TOTAL It Up!, she heard about a Race to 2025 event nearby and said, “That is so me, I have to do that.” Just over two months later, she participated in the race that marries outdoor adventure and translation challenges.

The Art of Translation - Helmets

“The race itself was so fun … especially after I let go of my competitive side and just enjoyed it,” she said. Between the different activities, the linguistics tasks and group time in the evenings — spent singing and hearing stories from the field — Amy was inspired.

“I’m not sure how it happened, it just kind of solidified that in me, the passion and calling to be part of Bible translation and be someone actually going to serve,” she said. “I wasn’t even sure at that point if it was going to be in a linguistic role, though that’s what I was leaning toward, but I knew that I needed to go.”

Amy signed up with Wycliffe and — after training and partnership development — she’ll be heading to Papua New Guinea in September of 2015 as a Language Program Intern.

And what caused her to lean towards translation?

The Art of Translation - Kayaking

Was it because she found translation work interesting, because she found in translation another outlet for her creativity, or because she took joy in discovering how God created languages and allowed them to be made?

Absolutely. But more than any of those, Amy wanted to be involved in translation because she knew that the results of that work matter tremendously.

“Maybe the most beautiful thing is that when people are receiving God’s word, they’re receiving life,” Amy said. “That has got to be the most beautiful thing about it. They’re receiving life when they get that.”

And for Amy, any profession that allows her to help people experience that reality is artistry enough for her.

The Art of Translation - Teaching

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By Hannah Weiand


Wycliffe has so many amazing events and opportunities coming this spring! Opportunities include events, trips and internships. View full list



Discover the field of linguistics and Bible translation at this five-day course. Build meaningful relationships, hear personal testimonies and learn how you can get involved!



Here’s a one-day session with long-term impact! Find out more about Bible translation, explore opportunities and meet Wycliffe missionaries who can answer all your questions.


RACE TO 2025

Raise your heart rate while raising support for Bible translation! This is the ultimate three-day team adventure, filled with the adrenaline rush of extreme sports and challenges in support of Bible translation.



Discover short-term service with long-term impact through these internships and international trips! Each offers an amazing opportunity to dive in and experience what it’s like to support Bible translation. Trips offer three tracks to match your interest level. Click for details about tracks and opportunities.

Track 1

  • Tanzania, Africa | June 2 – June 25| Focus: Information Technology Click for details
  • Papua New Guinea | July 20 – August 15 |Focus: Education, Medical Service, and more Click for details
  • Southeast Asia | July 20 – August 15 | Focus: Translation, Linguistics Click for details
  • Germany | August 6 – August 25 |Focus: Children’s Education, Linguistics, Translation Click for details

Track 2

  • Papua New Guinea | June 7 – August 3 | Focus: Translation and a variety of service roles Click for details
  • Southeast Asia | June 10 – August 7 | Focus: Linguistics and a variety of service roles Click for details
  • Benin, Africa | June 25 – August 5 | Focus: Linguistics, Bible Translation and a variety of support roles Click for details



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By Jon Hampshire with Richard Gretsky

During my years at Bible college, I committed to serve God “anytime, anywhere, and in any capacity.” Accordingly, the Lord led my wife, Cindi, and me on an incredible journey which took us, along with our two little girls, to language study in France, on to cultural orientation in Kenya, and into the rain forest of eastern Zaire (now called the Democratic Republic of the Congo or DRC). The needs were great and the work was intense. And after having been selected to direct the work in the Congo, I became more and more busy, taking on more responsibility and tasks. I saw the enormity of the needs and I knew that the challenges that our Congolese brothers and sisters faced were overwhelming. I just wanted to help in every way I was able, and I did so for many years.

Five years into the director’s role, strange physical symptoms began to affect me: accelerated heart rate, nausea, dizziness, and extreme fatigue. As the symptoms worsened, I got scared, seemingly taken over by an anxiety that I had never experienced before. Visits to the best heart doctor in Kenya, as well as to a neurologist and a general practitioner, only revealed that on paper, I was healthy.

I thought maybe I was going crazy—a fearful thought for a person who felt he always had things under control and whom others looked to for leadership in times of crisis.

The truth is, years of directing translation work in a country that was at war—bringing insecurities, dangers, and numerous unknowns—had taken its toll. I had become depleted in just about every way. (It came to the point where I literally couldn’t even walk up a flight of stairs without being completely and utterly exhausted.)

Burned Out - Bunyakiri Office

Then, while I was at a conference out of the country, some of my colleagues intervened. They said that I was burned out and in serious danger. I knew they were right.

Changes had to be made. With my family’s support, I began seeing a counselor to help guide me to the path of healing. I started delegating responsibilities that weren’t essential to my job, and even some that were. I rested. I spent time with the Lord.

And God met me in the pit—a fact that moves me deeply, even today. With comfort, encouragement, and love, He was there with me. I knew He was in control in spite of my pain, and I began to see a bright light at the end of the tunnel.

With time, I began to heal.

Now that I am stronger and most of my symptoms have gone (though I still deal with some), I am able to reflect on that difficult time with more clarity.

Because I witnessed God’s power and goodness in that time, I recognized that I could trust Him whether He healed me or not, and I realized that it is only by His grace that true healing comes.

Burned Out - Jon and Cindi at Easter

Yes, I burned out, but God, in His deep and never-ending love, was with me at every moment, just as He promised He would be. So I don’t regret having spent some time in the pit, because it was there that I grew to know God more deeply.

And having been there, I am now able to encourage others who find themselves in similar situations—to make wise decisions, to set good boundaries, and above all else, to seek and trust the Lord.

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By Tim Lithgow with Richard Gretsky

In the early 1980s, Barbara Hardin and Linda Weisenburger settled on the Papua New Guinean coast, a few hours’ drive north of Madang, where they planned to study the Maia—the local language—and translate the Bible into it. But they soon discovered that the local people weren’t very interested in their own language, content to converse in English and the trade language of Pigin. Discouraged, it wasn’t long before the two women seriously considering giving up.

Then one day some people from a neighboring village, who also spoke Maia, came and asked the women to help translate their language. Barbara and Linda were reserved because of their previous attempts with the language group, but encouraged enough that the people reached out to them, that they agreed to help, moving their work to the new village. However, despite the fervent support of a few Maia people, many others were not interested in the language program. Logistical challenges, like having to be helicoptered in during the wet season due to a deteriorating road, added to the emotional difficulty of pouring themselves into the project with many setbacks, struggles, and low interest from the community.

New Sounds in the Night—Dusk

Year in, year out, they worked for many years—facing the challenges inherent to rural Bible translation.

Finally, their work came to an end, and they were ready to hold a Scripture celebration to dedicate portions of the Bible in Maia. Genesis, Ruth, Matthew, Mark, Acts, and a few epistles (in print form and on Audibibles*) were to be presented. In the midst of preparations, Barbara and Linda were encouraged that the community worked together to prepare for the ceremony.

On the dedication day, the people’s excitement showed, as dancers escorted visitors into the village, actors presented dramas depicting the truth of God’s Word protecting people from evil, and public speakers reminded the community of the importance of having Scripture in their own language.

As the sun set over the jungle, the nightly noise of the cicadas and other tropical creatures was mixed with the sound of Maia Scriptures being played on the Audibibles*. Groups of people throughout the village were finally listening to the life-changing message of God’s Word in their mother tongue.

*Audibibles are pre-recorded mp3 players with portions of Scripture stored on them.

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By Melissa Paredes

Have you ever wondered if what you’re doing with your life is making an impact? If what you’ve chosen as a career will last longer than just a couple years, giving you the chance to make a mark on the world? We all have a desire to leave a legacy, to make a difference in this world. And sometimes we get a glimpse of that impact.

A Legacy 25 Years in the Making3That’s how it was for Dave Schutt, a teacher at Faith Academy in Manila, Philippines. On January 10, 2014, students, alumni and faculty put together a surprise event to commemorate the 25 years that Dave dedicated to countless students. And what a surprise it was!

In the months leading up to the event, Faith Academy faculty had created a hidden Facebook group, requesting that former colleagues, alumni and current students share something about Dave — a favorite memory, an old picture or a thank-you expressing how their life has been directly impacted by his commitment to teaching.

Dave’s legacy at Faith Academy goes all the way back to 1989, when he and his wife, Tammy, moved to the Philippines. That August he began teaching, and he has continued to do so ever since then. A Legacy 25 Years in the MakingHe’s taught multiple classes throughout the years, depending on what has been needed — Algebra I and II, pre-Calculus, AP Calculus, physical education and weights. He’s also coached wrestling, boys’ volleyball, track and field, boys’ soccer and girls’ basketball.

I myself was privileged to have Dave as a teacher for several classes throughout high school. In fact, he’s probably the only reason my algebra classes were bearable! Somehow he made math fun, and I could see that he genuinely cared for us — both as a class and as individuals.

That genuine care was clearly noted by many students and faculty throughout the years, as the overwhelming response to Dave’s 25 year celebration attested. The impact he’s had on so many people was evident by the countless comments and pictures that were shared.

A Legacy 25 Years in the Making2But what’s kept him teaching for so many years? “God has been faithful,” Dave shared. “And Faith [Academy] is such a great school for us and our kids!”

“I have no regrets!” Dave said about his tenure at the school. “It’s a great ministry and Wycliffe and SIL have also been a great support to me as I teach and support their children.”

Teaching is a wonderful way to touch many lives — perhaps countless more than we could ever even begin to imagine. And for Dave Schutt, it’s been a legacy 25 years in the making.

Learn more about how you can touch lives and make an impact by serving with Wycliffe through teaching.

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