Wycliffe Members

Today we found out that we are officially members of Wycliffe Bible Translators!  Some of you may know that we have been in the application process to become IT missionaries with Wycliffe.  Some of you might wonder what that means.  Many may wonder how this all started.

Missions for our family has been a gradual, persistent urging by God to see people brought to faith in Jesus Christ.  Our home church has been College Park Church for about 15 years.  Our church has always had a strong emphasis on missions, more so than any other church that we have been involved in.  There is a special emphasis once a year during our missions conference.  Each year I would feel the tug towards missions.

However, the picture I had towards missions was someone paddling a canoe in the jungle and evangelizing the native people of the country.  I could never picture our family in that setting.  There would always be excuses.  There was never a strong connection with a people group like I have heard from many other missionaries.  In my view, participation in missions was never optional.  You either go or you send!

So we followed God’s calling to missions by sending missionaries.  Each year as my salary increased, we would either increase our contributions to a missionary or add new missionaries that we would support.  It was one of the most gratifying seasons of the year!  I was so grateful that I could use the skills that God had given me to gain income and support the work of the Gospel!  Maybe some day some of our children would receive the call to missions and we could support them too, but I didn’t imagine us being called.

Then one afternoon, I was meeting with Joshua Harber who is a field representative for Wycliffe Bible Translators.  Both Michelle and I have always loved the work that Wycliffe does and looked to provide advertising for Wycliffe on Michelle’s website.  While we were talking at Taco Bell, I can vividly remember Joshua leaning over and saying, “You know, Wycliffe really needs IT people!”  It took me by surprise.  Could God really use my skills as a software engineer?  I took a look at the opportunities to serve and most of what I saw in IT was helpdesk, backend business systems, etc.  This was not the type of computer work that I was interested in.  I decided to stick to sending.

This past fall things really changed.  I attended a Last Languages Campaign dinner organized by Joshua.  He conveniently sat me next to a recruiter with Wycliffe.  During this dinner, they presented Wycliffe’s Vision 2025:

To see a Bible translation program in progress in every language still needing one by the year 2025. The ultimate goal—God’s Word accessible to all people, so that everyone has an opportunity to have an intimate and life changing relationship with Jesus Christ.

I also learned how software plays a vital role in seeing this vision reached.  I learned that Wycliffe actually needs software engineers.  The call was compelling.  We could have a direct impact in seeing unreached people groups receive the word of God in their own heart language and be set free from the bondage of sin and follow Jesus!

Comments

  1. Chris, thanks for sharing your story! We are excited to see how God uses you on His mission field, which is really all over the world, including serving in IT in the US. Thanks for your openness and willingness! 🙂

  2. This is so encouraging!

  3. Don Bartemus says:

    God is so good! A missionary from our own Next Generations Ministries staff!

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