Friday, December 16, 2016


Sometimes I forget that this is how the New Testament was written:

John Wycliffe thought that everyone should have access to God's Word, not just those who understood Hebrew or Greek, so he began to translate into English...

"For God louede so the world, that he yaf his `oon bigetun sone, that ech man that bileueth in him perische not, but haue euerlastynge lijf." John 3:16, Wycliffe Translation of 1384

Because of Wycliffe and the work of many others in the last 500 years, I have "always" had a Bible from which I could understand the Christmas story. Your partnership in prayer and with your gifts helps accelerate Bible translation for those millions do not yet have the Scriptures in a language and form they best understand. Thank you!

May you rest deeply in His Word, especially in this busy time of year. If you are looking for a through-the-Bible reading plan for the New Year, here's one you might not have seen yet: I have learned much from it this past year and am likely to use it again in 2017.

I am thankful to be in Indiana to share this season with many of you. Calendar changes from my last update: I anticipate being at Village Life Church this Sunday evening and will be with family on Christmas Eve.

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Manger

As the Mbe team in Nigeria was translating, they came to Luke 2:7: “She [Mary] gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.”

The translators took time to ponder how to translate some of the words, but not “manger.” They immediately used the word “ókpáng.”

“What’s an ókpáng?” asked their consultant, John Watters. “Tell me what it looks like.” It was essentially a cradle hung by ropes so that the newborn could be laid in it and swung.
At John’s prompting, the Mbe translators consulted the Translator’s Notes (non-technical commentaries) again. They saw that “manger” referred to an animal feeding trough! John encouraged them to consider the implications of the manger. “When Jesus came to live among us and bring salvation to us, he came in the lowliest way possible. He did not come and sleep in a nice ókpáng like every Mbe mother wants for her newborn. Instead, he showed us his unbelievable humility,” John told them. “So we need to find your best word for an animal feeding trough.”

One of the men replied, “We feed our animals out of an old worn-out basket that is not usable anymore except to feed the animals.”
“Then try that term,” said John. “Put it in your rough draft and test it with Mbe speakers.”

Later, during the testing, as the Mbe people listened, they were visibly moved. Picturing the newborn baby lying in the animals’ feeding basket, they recognized in a new way that Jesus was willing to do whatever it took to reach them.

This is the power of Bible translation — revealing the heart of God so that men might fully understand and come to know life through Jesus Christ.

Story Source:

What’s up in my world?
Our department’s long-range planning time went well in November. I am also thankful to report good progress toward the financial goals through new partnerships and increased giving from some who have been long-term partners. Thank you for your faithful prayers and gifts toward my Wycliffe ministry!

Visit my Google group for information about my Indianapolis schedule this December. See many of you soon!

Friday, November 4, 2016


​​​These past two weeks have been such a joy -- caring for, celebrating, and connecting with 43 other Wycliffe colleagues and 13 MKs from around the world. It was thrilling to hear their stories of the faithfulness of God in their lives. Some of them serve in very challenging situations and have experienced much difficulty, but their commitment to continue to be obedient to God's call on their lives is a testimony of His love and goodness. Thank you for the privilege of serving and working to encourage them. Your partnership goes with them as they return to their roles in the acceleration of Bible translation.

Thanks also for your prayers for what may seem like very "basic" items like health and strength. In the first week of Connections, I tripped and fell in what could have been a significant accident. I have a large bruise across the back of my hips that is still a little tender to the touch... but my ability to fully contribute was only compromised for a short period of time. Providentially, there were plenty of folks around to carry the load in my place. I am grateful for the Lord's mercy and protection... and for your faithful prayers on my behalf!

​What's next? November and December are long-range planning months, looking toward the programs for 2017, but also planning as far ahead as 2019. We would appreciate your prayers for wisdom, clarity, and the ability to foresee as much as possible to keep schedules working smoothly. Thank you!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Celebrating Scripture Access

Access to God’s Word in the heart language: what a thing to celebrate! On October 20th in Orlando, we celebrated 29 new translations from around the world that have been dedicated in the past year. These Scriptures are for people groups totaling more than two million speakers who now can learn more about God’s personal love for them in the mother tongue they best understand.

It was a joy to stand with a group who were part of the larger “team” in the translation of the Takwane Bible: those who have prayed and partnered in other ways with Jeff & Peg Shrum’s Wycliffe ministry. (Faith Church folks, you might recognize Tom Meiner, who serves in Orlando with the JESUS Film Project. We represented you, too, as many of you have been a faithful part of the Takwane team.)
Think of the many threads the Lord is weaving together to accomplish His will. He calls some to go. He calls others to provide for and resource the ministries of those who go. He calls us all to pray for His will to be done and for His Kingdom to come. It is our prayer that each of these 29 translations are a tool He will use to transform lives.

What’s up in my world?

September was a great month training new missionaries at Equip. In early October, we saw God’s mercy with Hurricane Matthew that moved mostly off-shore from central Florida. Mom’s visit to Florida overlapped that weekend, so we saw one more adventurous weather event together (after the August tornado together in Indiana!).

As this month comes to a close, we will host two groups of colleagues who have been serving all over the world in Bible translation. Please pray that they will be renewed and that we will serve them well: care for them, celebrate them, and connect them to resources that are available in Orlando. Thank you! I am so grateful for your prayers on our behalf.

For the rest of today's update, see my Google Group.

Friday, September 16, 2016

...Faith Doesn't Come

This week in Orlando, we heard a man from a distant land remind us of Romans 10, which tells us that faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. He then said to us, "When we don't receive the word of the Lord, faith doesn't come." He remembered the time, in the 1990s, when his people first received the Bible in the language his family speaks. Since then, one by one, some have believed the message of redemption. Those who speak the same minority language are spread throughout his country, so now he and others are working to share the Good News with them. Pray that the Word of God will continue to go out with great power!

Tomorrow, we will welcome 18 new colleagues and two missionary kids (MKs) for their two-week Equip orientation. Pray that we will prepare them well as they begin their journey with Wycliffe so they might quickly take their places around the world, accelerating the pace of Bible translation. As you partner with my Wycliffe ministry through your prayers and gifts, your impact will now stretch to all the places they will one day reach. Thank you for your faithfulness!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Unexpected Things

Today, I am especially grateful for those of you who pray regularly for me and my Wycliffe ministry. This was a week of unexpected things. I have had "a cold" developing over the course of the week... and there wasn't time to let you know to pray specifically. Our Connection program ends today... and the team here has rallied around me to pick up a number of tasks that I would normally complete. We also had to make a number of logistical changes along the way due to outside factors and all of the changes have gone smoothly. I know I say it often, but we are completely dependent on your prayers and God's strength... and both have been evident this week.

God granted some amazing conversations during this Connection. I heard some stories that I am only able to share with you face-to-face. One of the folks who was here works with a project that was recently funded by College Park Church of Indianapolis. It was a joy to hear of what God is doing among that people group and to know that some of you have had direct input into the ministry there. And, through your prayers on my behalf, you have again impacted that missionary and those people who are waiting for God's Word in their heart language!

I am thankful for the holiday weekend ahead and time to rest. Next week, we begin final preparations for the next new missionary orientation, Equip.

Friday, August 19, 2016


Today, I am grateful.

Monday evening, Mom and I weathered a tornado at her house. No one was injured and she sustained only minor property damage. God's power and His mercy were awesome to behold. We are grateful. (There's a brief video here.)

Today, Mom turns 83. I am grateful for the health and strength God has granted her. I am grateful for her faith to trust God daily with her life. Her encouragement and partnership with my Wycliffe ministry also make it possible for me to be serving in Orlando during a season of life when I did not expect to be 1,000 miles away from family. I am grateful.

I cannot express my gratitude for you, faithful prayer and financial partners. God has honored your prayers this week in ways we could not have anticipated. Your faithfulness to hold me and my family up before the Lord is such a blessing... and for you, I am grateful.

Friday, August 5, 2016

To Indy in August!

These past three weeks, we have celebrated more than 70 Wycliffe colleagues for their service in Bible translation. Thank you for your prayers for God's grace and strength as we all remained healthy and were able to connect well with our co-workers.

Saturday, I fly to Indianapolis for a visit with family and friends. I look forward to reconnecting with many of you. Lord willing, I will worship with Faith Church on August 7 and 21; with Solid Word Bible Church on August 14; and with Village Life Church in the evening on August 7. Then August 29, we have another Connection program in Orlando.

​​On another note, thanks also for your prayers about the budget gap. God has begun to provide some additional financial partners, praise His name!

Please let me know how I might be praying for you - it is an honor to partner with you in prayer.

Friday, July 15, 2016

The next three weeks

Mulindi, a speaker of the Lubwisi language in Uganda, attended church for 50 years before he heard a Bible verse read in his own language. “People used to say that no one would manage to write the Bible in Lubwisi because it is an unwritable language,” he said.

But then someone did write the language. Most importantly, they translated the Bible. At the end of July 2016, the Lubwisi people will celebrate the arrival of the New Testament in their language.

Mulindi says, “I am like the old man Simeon in the Bible whom the Holy Spirit promised would not die without seeing the Messiah. God has given me a time of grace in this world so that I can hear the Word of God in my own language, the language which I understand.”

​Story & Photo source:

Thank you for your prayers for GECO. Things went smoothly. Then this has been a planning and recovery week, getting ready for the next stretch.

The next three weeks, we will celebrate three groups of colleagues who have been serving overseas or stateside - more than 70 of them total, plus a host of MKs. Please pray for stamina and for us to serve them well, so they are encouraged to continue serving well. All of this is so that more like the Lubwisi may soon have access to the translated Scriptures. Thank you!

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Takwane New Testament!

July 1, 2016 is a monumental day for the Takwane-speaking people of Mozambique (tak-WAH-nee). By the time you read this, they will be well into their celebration for the dedication of the Takwane New Testament!

Wycliffe missionaries who have been primary workers on the Takwane Bible are Jeff & Peg Shrum. The Shrums were instrumental in development of the alphabet and written form of the language.

Some of my first awareness of Wycliffe Bible Translators came years ago as I got to know Jeff & Peg while they “furloughed” in Indianapolis. I had opportunity to partner with them by “snail” mailing newsletters on their behalf when they were overseas. I even got to dabble in a little Takwane by helping produce pocket calendars they distributed as gifts… some of the first items ever printed in that language.
I want to celebrate July 1 with great joy! Those Takwane who are believers now have a clear way to more understanding of who God is and how much He loves us; those who do not yet know Jesus have opportunity to hear the truth clearly in their mother tongue.

However, I also cannot imagine what it would be like to have lived my entire life without access to the Scriptures in the language spoken in my home as I grew up. I invite you to join me in asking God to meet the need of millions around the world… to speed Bible translation, so that no one will be without opportunity to fully comprehend God’s message of grace to them.

Friday, June 17, 2016


Why? In the aftermath of the tragic events in Orlando, many are asking that question. I found out this week that some of my neighbors lost sons or daughters, brothers or sisters on Sunday.

I think I am not alone in this, but there are mornings I ask "why" I do the things I do each day. Should I (or could I) be doing something else? For me, some of the "why" I am a part of Wycliffe Bible Translators goes back to knowing about and praying for the Havu... the Jakati... the Nkukoli... which are only three of the nearly 1,800 language groups around the world who do not have any access to God's Word in the language they best understand. A Bible translation program has not even begun for them yet.

For many questions in life, there are not clear answers. But through the Scriptures, there is hope, there is grace, there is peace, and there is knowledge of the Holy God who loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, Jesus. What a privilege to be a part of taking His message to others. That is the "why," above all.

Photo: Zeke du Plessis
Thank you for your prayers and gifts toward my Wycliffe ministry. Beginning Saturday, the impact of your partnership will reach the 22 new missionaries coming to Orlando for Equip orientation, June 18-30. We are grateful for your prayers for us all.

Please let me know how I might be praying for you - it is an honor to partner with you in prayer.

Friday, June 3, 2016


Meet some of my colleagues! Here are screenshots from a recent meeting.
Fellow Coaches
These co-workers are spread out from Oregon to Texas to New York to Florida and are Partnership Development (PD) Coaches. They help provide resources, encouragement, and accountability for other Wycliffe missionaries as they raise and sustain teams of prayer and financial partners, all so that Bible translation may be accelerated.

Our group gets together “virtually” each month. These seasoned coaches have taught me much about how to encourage others along their “PD” journey.

At the meeting, I had opportunity to share new information about tools we present at Equip (the two-week orientation program for new Wycliffe missionaries).
Coaching Seminar
Once again, your partnership with my Wycliffe ministry through your prayers and gifts has widespread impact, extending now to all who will be served by these coaches. Thank you!

As we enter the summer season, we look forward to an intensive and yet wonderful time with many coming through Orlando. Please pray for health, strength, wisdom and for the ability to serve well.

My prayer for us all is that God’s Word would be our true joy and delight.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Gela New Testament

It was a joy to connect with 36 missionary colleagues and 12 of their MKs as they came through Orlando this month. We were able to hear many stories of the Lord's faithfulness in their lives and celebrate their faithfulness in service in Bible translation. It is a privilege to be co-workers with them and to encourage them. Pray that God will continue to renew them and meet all their needs.

This week, we began our final preparations for some upcoming events (we will have six weeks of programs this summer!). We are gathering resources, planning logistics, and spending team-building time. It is also a time when I lean into coaching the new missionaries assigned to me. Pray that I have wisdom to truly help them and that God will build teams of prayer and financial partners for them so they may go on to their field assignments.

It is so exciting to see what God is doing as more and more people receive the translated Scripture. In early May, Wycliffe Australia shared stories of the Gela New Testament dedication in the Solomon Islands. During the dedication week, seminars were held to train many in foundational Christian beliefs and to encourage them to read their New Testaments for themselves. Praise God that the Gela people now have access to the Bible in the language they best understand. Pray that many more will come to know Jesus and grow deeply in their knowledge of God.

Your partnership with your prayers and gifts is being used to speed Bible access to those just like the Gela. Thank you!

Friday, April 29, 2016

April Equip

Thank you for your faithful prayers and gifts toward my Wycliffe ministry. Your partnership in April was used by God to impact the Equip training of 21 new missionaries and their 12 MKs. I praise the Lord for health and strength for the “Crew” (who facilitated the two-week orientation) and for the participants and their families.

“B,” one of the Equippers, was originally from South Asia. We were very moved to hear his testimony of the power of the Bible in transforming his family, one member at a time. Relationships that were at one time harsh and abusive became nurturing and life-giving. B’s parents are from an oral culture and do not read. They now spend time each evening listening to audio Scripture in their heart language, learning and growing in their knowledge of God.

Seeing the power of the Word in his family’s lives has motivated B to join Wycliffe Bible Translators. His desire is to use his gifts and experience in administration to help translators in his home country continue translating for others who are still waiting. You have a part in his future Wycliffe ministry.

For more information, check out Letters from Lisa.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Surgery tomorrow

Thanks to all who have been praying for Mom and for my family as we wait. Surgery is scheduled for tomorrow.

For a season, it seems best to not post specific updates here. I'll be back with ministry and personal updates in the future. For information about this part of our journey, please message me with an email address so I might pass on information to you by email rather than by broadcast here. Or, just keep praying, as we can be thankful that God knows our needs and will use your prayers, even without specific details. Thanks for your understanding!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Back to Indiana!?!

Hello from Florida! It was an honor to be a part of Faith's Global Impact Conference. I enjoyed connecting with many of you and sharing about what God is doing in Bible translation. As a pleasant surprise for me, I will be back in Indiana, March 19 - April 4.

The unexpected part is that Mom did not return to Florida with me. As a result of last week's CT scan, she now has a surgical consult on March 21. Thanks so much for your prayers. She is trusting God and doing ok in the waiting. We are thankful.

One prayer request we have is that the surgery be scheduled very soon after the consult, so that I might be able to help out post-surgery. (I am very grateful for all the family's oneness-of-mind in being available to help out!) Also, please pray for clarity as I sort through the tasks here next week, so that all that can't be done "remotely" gets accomplished. Thank you for your faithful prayers and encouragements.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Global Impact Conference

Hello from Indy! I am grateful to be a part of Faith Church's Global Impact Conference this weekend. It was such a joy to see a number of you last night at Terry & Jane's home meeting. My heart was so encouraged as we spent time catching up and interacting. Thanks again for your time last night.

Below is a list of the events that remain for the conference. If you are in Indy but not a part of Faith Church, feel free to join us for one or more of the events. (RSVPs are helpful, but not required.) I look forward to seeing many of you there!

Here are the events where you may find me:

WOMEN'S TEA | Sat., March 5 | 2 pm | Room 210
Join us for light refreshments and visit with missionary women! RSVP.

CONNECTION CLASSES | Sun., March 6 | 10:45 am
10:45 am | Lisa Meharry | Room 190 | Equipping Wycliffe members translating the Bible.

FAITH FAMILY LUNCH | Sun., March 6 | 12:30 pm | lobby
After the second service, enjoy a pitch-in lunch and the opportunity to help with a hands-on service project. Bring a dish to share: A - H salad/fruit, I - P side/vegetable, Q - Z dessert. Pulled pork sandwiches and tableware provided. RSVP.

WOMEN'S GLOBAL PRAYER | Tues., March 8 | 9:15 am | Room 190
(I will join this meeting by Skype, as I plan to return to Florida on Monday.) Join us for breakfast, hear from our featured missionary women and lift them up in prayer. Childcare available upon request; RSVP.

On a personal note, Mom has a CT scan scheduled for this morning. We'd appreciate your prayers for God's guidance in figuring out what is going on with some unexplained pain she is experiencing. Thanks much.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Between Connections

Thank you for your prayers these past two weeks. Endeavor (Paid Staff orientation) went very well. I was thankful to be able to "cover" a few things on behalf of a co-worker who was dealing with laryngitis, especially since she and others have covered for me at times when I was not well.

Then, this past week at The Wycliffe Connection, we have been privileged to celebrate 32 furloughing colleagues (and 13 MKs) from overseas. Over and over, we have heard amazing stories of God's faithfulness in their lives. Some of these new friends serve where they are able to be lights in very dark places. Would you pray that God will continue to renew and encourage them as they prepare to head back? Thank you!

Next week, we host a group of US-based colleagues. Thanks in advance for your prayers as we step away for this weekend to rest and to finish our preparations for their arrival.

Think of it -- these co-workers serve in their various ways; we encourage; you pray for and give toward my Wycliffe ministry... and the Lord weaves all of it together to speed Bible translation so that all may have access to the Truth in the language that best speaks to their hearts.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Equip and more


January was a great time, welcoming 26 new colleagues for their Wycliffe USA orientation: Equip. Among the “newbies” are pilots and linguists and teachers and accountants and animators and IT folks. They are headed all around the globe to do their part to help eradicate Bible poverty. As you prayed for them and for me, your partnership now extends to reap the blessing for all God will accomplish through their service.

So what does Equip look like for me? I am teaching again, using skills practiced during 20 years of school teaching, just with different content. Part of what I get to teach is the use of software I learned while in the offices at Faith. Then, I help out with the logistics (another skill I got to practice at Faith!) needed to keep a large group together and functioning for two weeks. It is a privilege to be able to walk alongside these new co-workers early in their journey and to serve with such a committed and godly team of facilitators.

The Big Picture

Can you remember suddenly understanding something significant for the first time…? You might have been feeling pretty excited and joyful. Marinne Weststrate observed that excitement and joy in a service in central Nigeria as some heard Scripture for the first time in their heart language.

I attended a church where services were held in the national language. Many of those who attended spoke Gworog, a minority language. A guest speaker was invited to preach, but since he did not speak the national language, he preached in English. Someone then translated the sermon into the national language.

As the service continued, one of the translators was asked to read Scripture. He read from a recently translated passage in Gworog. Everyone listened attentively. From everywhere in church, I heard chuckles and whispering. One of the women later exclaimed, “Hearing the Word in Gworog is so sweet!”*

There are nearly 1800 languages who still do not have access to a single verse of the Bible in the language that best speaks to their hearts. Thank you for your part in helping bring that sweetness to them.

*Story Source:

Friday, January 15, 2016

Equip (new missionary orientation) begins tomorrow!

Thank you for your prayers! It was a blessing to see many of you over the holidays. My heart was encouraged to hear stories of God's faithfulness in good times and in challenging times in your lives. My travel was smooth and I was renewed by my visit.

We are ready for the next round of onsite programs in Orlando, beginning with 26 new missionaries who will come tomorrow for Equip orientation. As always, thank you for your prayers for endurance, health, and wisdom. Pray also for God's Spirit to truly "equip" these new colleagues as they begin their Wycliffe ministries. I'm eager to meet them all!