I have been about to explode trying to keep this in for the last few months (I referenced it in this post), and I’m so excited that I get to share it with you now! My family is about to start a new chapter in our lives… One that we couldn’t be more thrilled about.
My husband and I found out Thursday that our application with Wycliffe Bible Translators has been approved! We’ve been in the application process for several months now. It has consumed a lot of my heart and mind, and it’s been so hard not sharing that here. I’ve also been trying to manage our blog Twitter account (@sistersncloth) along with a Twitter account we started to keep friends and family updated on the application process (@smithsonmission). I tweeted to the wrong account a few times, so a few of you did pick up on things!
I am overwhelmed with joy over our acceptance! I wrote a post on our family blog the day we found out, and you can read it here to better understand my heart right now.
Some of you may be familiar with Wycliffe, but there may be some of you who aren’t, and all of you may have some questions about what this means for our family (and the blog!). I’ve attempted to address some of your potential questions below.
What is Wycliffe?
Wycliffe Bible Translators was founded by missionary William Cameron Townsend. Townsend saw the need for Scripture in people’s heart language after men in the tribe he was working with expressed concern about the fact that Scripture was not available in the language they understood best. From that encounter, Townsend declared that every man, woman and child should have access to God’s Word in their own language.
Wycliffe is actively involved in Bible translation projects all over the globe, and has participated in over 700 completed translations. You can find out more about Wycliffe at their website.
Why Bible translation?
My husband and I have felt drawn to Bible translation since before we got married. We both love the vision of Revelation 5:9,
And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.
Did you know that there are 350 million people in the world today who don’t have access to God’s Word in the language they understand best? 350 million.
I know many of us learned a second language in school – but imagine if you could only read God’s Word in that language. You would undoubtedly miss a lot of the meaning. Or what if I told you that in order to read the Bible, you had to learn Hebrew and Greek?
Shortly after we started the application process, I walked into a popular Christian bookstore. I stood there looking at row after row after row of Bibles. Several different versions. Pink covers, purple covers, blue covers… With imprinted designs like crosses, crowns of thorns, butterflies, and flowers. We have the “Mom’s Bible”, the “Boy’s Bible”, the “Girl’s Bible”, the “Princess Bible.” We have study Bibles, pocket Bibles, slim Bibles… Not to mention commentaries, study guides, Bible dictionaries, and Bible atlases. I stood there in tears, thinking of the huge excess we have, while so many are dying without one verse of God’s Word in their language.
What will you be doing?
My husband is pretty much a computer whiz. He loves doing all kinds of geeky web development, programming, coding, tech support kind of stuff that I don’t understand at all! Current translation processes rely heavily on software programs and other technology, which has greatly sped up translation work. However, it means there is a big need for people with my husband’s skill set to support those working in translation.
I will be doing a lot of what I do here. Parenting my munchkins, homeschooling, cloth diapering, running a home, and supporting my husband. I look forward to the opportunity to find new Sisters from different countries and cultures! We also want to keep our friends and family up to date on what is going on in our lives, and what God is doing in the work there. Thankfully, that’s something I love doing! As part of Wycliffe, I will also be open to other specific tasks that can support translation as they present themselves.
Where will you be going?
We feel a large pull towards Papua New Guinea, but we haven’t received an official assignment yet. We’d love your prayers!
Will you still be blogging?
That is the plan! This blog is still a big passion of mine, and I am excited about the many things going on here, like the fact that we have just taken over the Breastfeeding Blog Hop. My family won’t be able to leave for our assignment right away, as we have training programs to complete, and will also be spending time building a support network of ministry partners. The average time frame to leave for an assignment after starting the application is about 14 months, but that can vary in either direction. I’ll be a lot busier than I have been, but I still look forward to sharing here! Once we go to our assignment, I may not be able to blog as frequently, but I am planning on continuing to post and share here. There are many Wycliffe missionaries who have blogs. At the same time, I am sensitive to the fact that I am one person, and sometimes saying yes to one thing means saying no to something else. So although I don’t foresee it, it is possible that God will ask me to let go of my commitment here. Either way, you may be meeting a few new faces over the next several months as friends of Jeniffer and I jump in here some to ease the load on both of us. You can’t ever have to many “Sisters”!
Although this is a huge part of my life, it won’t be the main focus of this blog, so if you would like to keep up with our family’s journey towards becoming full-time missionaries, or if you are interested in learning more about the work of Wycliffe and how you can help, you can find us at our blog, Facebook page, and Twitter.