2012 Summer Fall Update

Americans are a major sender of personnel and finances to translation projects around the world and there are three factors influencing this. First, nationals want to play a more active role in Bible translation. Second, the local population encounters few cultural obstacles. Third, current events show that Americans are now unwelcome in many countries.

With the world in a state of uncertain change, Wycliffe recognizes the need to use resources and talents to enable nationals to carry out the Bible translation work on the local level.
A translation consultant checking the book of Acts with a team of national translators

A translation consultant checking the book of Acts with a team of national translators

But nationals have their own issues. They would be active in the work of Bible translation were it not for two major obstacles—good training and adequate finances. We hear many express an interest in becoming pilots, translators, mechanics, and so forth. They say the problem is they can’t get the training they need and they have little or no money.
To overcome this problem and still speed Bible translation, our organization is responding in a new way. Instead of sending people to fill a single role we send people who can train several to go and provide that service in multiple places. The trainers duplicate themselves and remain a resource to those doing the work.
And that is where I come in. After an auto accident a few years ago I realized the need to duplicate and pass on my skills. My contribution to Bible translation could have come to an abrupt end that day. But the Lord had different plans.
While I was recovering I started working more aggressively with our recruitment department. The Lord blessed and our previous updates show how He sent us qualified staff. Our current staff handles the more physical work and I am called upon when problems become complex.
I also began the arduous process of assessing needs world-wide. And it got much more detailed than I ever imagined. For example, I recently went through all the job assignments in SIL and found who  is “out there” working strictly as mechanics.
Once again we served at JAARS Day in June. We had over 700 guests that day. Kathy greeted guests at the Information Table. Josh Mills and I had many conversations with the public. One volunteer is selected to receive a free airplane ride each JAARS Day. This time it was awarded to Kathy.
Recently I went through over 8,195 names and discovered only eight people functioning exclusively as mechanics and some needed updated training. I am now in the midst of doing that. After the assessment I focused on trying to recruit and train men who could go to different parts of the world to work as trainer/mechanics. Mechanics from the U.S. who join Wycliffe come to the JAARS Center where I can test their skills. I confirm they are qualified or give them additional training.

Since I began this approach an additional seven men are in progress or recently reached their assignment. I am helping them gather the tools and diagnostic information they need to do their job. The man I sent to Papua New Guinea, Jonathan Smith, has electronic experience so I sent him to train others. I am in the process of locating some test equipment and repair manuals for Jonathan. All of it requires that I study to stay current on technology and then I maintain contact with those who rely on me for answers. We connect through email and Skype.
In conclusion, my defined role is trainer/advisor for the Auto Shop here at JAARS, which  maintains our fleet and missionaries cars on a local level. My role for global services falls under my partnership with the Land Transportation Department. We reach out globally to provide answers and training to our overseas colleagues. Since part of this process involves recruitment, the quarterly JAARS Day provides a connection to the public.There is a lot of conversation that takes place and needs follow-up.
On the personal front: this past summer my seventy-nine year-old father became seriously ill and tests finally revealed he had West Nile Virus. To complicate things, my mother had broken her should two weeks prior and my dad was her caregiver. In the hospital she would not leave his side. He nearly did not survive and after being hospitalized one full month, he is home recuperating.
In the days when he was the most critically ill, he completely lost his memory. We read the brain damage from West Nile is permanent so there was concern about his prognosis. We praise the Lord and are happy to report his memory completely returned! He continues to recover and recently was able to begin driving again.

To end with, we are sharing some photos of road conditions our colleagues face. The photos are courtesy of our colleague, Dan Hudson, of Land Transportation, from his recent visit to Papua New Guinea.

Serving together,
Mike and Kathy
Praying together
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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

     /  November 27, 2012

    Thank you for your update! The Lord is obviously leading you in His direction – both challenging you and assisting you daily, I'm sure.

    I just read a letter from a missionary in China. Naturally her activities are quite different from yours but God is obviously present with all those who serve Him.

    You may also pray for me as I befriend new persons coming to the U.S. via World Relief in DuPage County Chicago area.

    May God continue to bless your ministry and give you peace and joy as you serve Him.

    Ruth D. – in Chicago area.


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