Friday, December 4, 2020


Saul & Rebecca Thurrowgood are Wycliffe Australia members who are excited about Chameleon, a motion capture technology Saul has spent years perfecting. Rebecca explains that, just like the chameleon’s ability to adapt and change in order to communicate, "the goal of Chameleon is bringing the gospel to the Deaf in a new way that protects the people involved by changing their appearance." Currently, less than two percent of the world’s Deaf identify as followers of Jesus. Many do not have access to God’s Word in a language they understand—their own sign language.

There are significant barriers to videoing real people for the translation of the remaining sign languages. For many regions around the world, persecution is a daily occurrence. Filming a real person may be a dangerous move. The use of animated characters eliminates these risks and also enables the translation work to be accelerated. After many years of setbacks and trials, Chameleon 1.0 is almost ready for release. Rebecca adds: "We are so grateful knowing that this product will be a way to get the gospel out to places where it otherwise may have been impossible to create a sign language translation safely."

See the calendar for dates of my upcoming trip to Indy. God used your prayers to keep me alert and safe on the last long trip. Thank you in advance for your prayers again! I look forward to connecting with family and with as many of you as possible, within the safety guidelines that likely will continue to be in place.

Please let me know how I might be praying with you. It's a true privilege to join you.

Friday, November 6, 2020

Skills Used in Bible Translation

God uses all kinds of skills and experiences in Bible translation. Just as he uses you as you pray and give, he uses me as I arrange logistics and train and coach. He also uses translators and teachers and airplane mechanics and even… lawyers!

One colleague who came through our Equip orientation training is Majeedah Murad. Majeedah is originally from Florida. She began her legal career here and then spent several years in private practice in Dallas. She is licensed to practice law in Florida and Texas, two states where Wycliffe USA has a significant presence. Majeedah looks forward to serving at the Wycliffe USA Headquarters as associate general counsel. She is in the process now of building a team of prayer and financial partners who will invest in her Wycliffe ministry. The staff in the Office of the President eagerly anticipates her arrival.
Majeedah’s skills and expertise are greatly needed, and we would like to have her join the team as soon as possible. There are a wide variety of legal issues that confront a global organization with 3,000+ employees working in more than 70 countries. On any given day, we deal with matters related to complex contracts, employment, tax, insurance, intellectual property, international law, real estate, and more. Truly, there is never a dull moment, and this year in particular, just keeping abreast of the latest developments from the U.S. Supreme Court has called for a significant investment of time. We look forward to Majeedah’s contributions to the team. — Josh Heidelman, General Counsel, Wycliffe USA

All of us working together accelerates Bible translation so that more people have opportunity to understand God’s Word and have their lives transformed. Would you pray for God to provide for Majeedah’s Wycliffe ministry so she might be able to begin her assignment soon?

For more information, see

For a personal update for Lisa, visit my google group.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Thank you

You've met Jack and Lindsay before. As they finished their initial time of asking God to build their team of prayer and financial partners, they wrote a very gracious note and asked me to share it with you so they might express their gratitude.

Here's the link to their note:

It has been so good to reconnect during my time in Indiana. I'm so grateful for your prayers for the drive up and would appreciate them again on the return trip (Oct 26 and 28, with a day off in between).

Please let me know how I might be praying with you. It's a true privilege to join you.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Equip #48 is in the books!

Praise the Lord with me!
  • Equip #48 was completed yesterday.
    • Our technical and health challenges were minimal.
    • These 30 colleagues will serve all around the world in a variety of roles.
  • Lord willing, I still plan to come to Indiana, October 13-25.
  • Pray for the Equippers as they work and ask God to raise their teams of prayer and financial partners.
  • Pray for safety as I'll be driving north on October 12 and south on October 26.
  • Pray for opportunities to connect with family and friends during my time in Indy.

Thank you -- your impact as you have prayed for these folks may only be known in eternity. I am grateful for your faithfulness in walking this journey with me. Please let me know how I might pray with you.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Equip #48 Begins Tomorrow!

Praise the Lord with me!
  • My family and I are healthy and safe.
  • I've been back in the office (with social distancing protocols) for ten weeks.
  • Technology helps me continue to serve those far from Orlando and to stay connected with family and friends.
  • Lord willing, I plan to come to Indiana, October 13-25.
  • I plan to worship at Faith Church on October 18.
  • I plan to worship at Solid Word Bible Church on October 25.
  • Equip orientation, September 26 - October 8, will be held "virtually." Pray for:
    • The participants and crew as we all navigate technology in new ways.
    • The crew as we facilitate the technology.
    • Wisdom and deep insight for the crew.
    • Consistent internet for all.
    • Good rest and renewal for all between our online sessions.
  • The two Connection (reentry/care programs) for October and November have been canceled.
    • Pray for encouragement for those who had planned to come.
    • Ask God to provide love and care for each missionary and family where they are.

I am so thankful for your faithful prayers and gifts for my Wycliffe ministry. The Lord is using you to impact so many as He transforms lives through the translated Scriptures. May God continue to encourage your heart today with His faithfulness. Let me know other ways I might pray, too.

Friday, September 11, 2020

"I never truly understood..."

"What does this recording mean to you?” Nathanael Gregoriev asked a group of translators in a remote village in Cameroon.

Together, they had been working on a film about the Gospel of Luke in six local languages. Vernacular media specialists such as Nathanael and his wife, Darla, work hard to make God’s Word accessible to people through audio and film formats.

An older translator responded to Nathanael’s question: “You know, I went through Bible school. I took all the translation courses. I even preached on this passage of Scripture. But I never truly understood what Jesus went through to die for my sins until I saw him do it and heard him speak my language. I heard him say in the film, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ It was at that moment, I truly understood what Jesus went through. If this can impact someone like me, who has preached on these passages for so many years and translated, how much more will this speak to other people who haven’t heard it before?”

Nathanael’s motivation: “We don’t want to see anyone being left out of getting God’s Word. We want people to have access to God’s Word in [a] way that they understand.”

I had opportunity to meet the Gregorievs at a Wycliffe Connection program. It was a joy to hear more of their story and to work to encourage them as they continue serving faithfully. Your partnership with my Wycliffe ministry through your prayers and gifts permits me to extend your impact to the people they serve. Thank you!

Decisions have been made that we will not host any Connection programs in Orlando for the remainder of 2020. We’re working now to create other virtual events to help care for and celebrate our established members.

Friday, August 28, 2020

The True Word of the Only God

The Huichol Bible was dedicated on July 10 in Mexico. This video (5:34) about the ceremony is in Spanish, but if you select "CC" at the bottom right, the subtitles are in English. (See the green arrow for location of the Closed Captions button.) This story is similar to many of the translation projects around the world today -- local language speakers have the principal role in translating God's Word into their own languages. Through your prayers and gifts, God is using you as more people like the Huichol are transformed through the translated Scriptures. Thank you!

The Huichol Bible Dedication

Equip #48, September 26 - October 8, will be virtual. Please pray:
  • For all of the technical aspects for 30 adults and six Crew, spread across four time zones.
  • Five of the families have pre-school children. Pray as they manage extra variables.
  • For health and strength for all involved.
I am so grateful for your many prayers and encouragements. Please let me know how I may stand with you in prayer.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Why haven't I heard this before?

Thank you — your prayers and gifts for my Wycliffe ministry matter. They impact all those who come to us for training… which means your ministry extends to all those who will be served someday by those colleagues. Here is how one of those stories unfolded!

Michelle and Nicholle are sisters who came through Equip and went on to Tanzania. They are currently stateside, but are continuing to serve the people of Tanzania. Here’s a report on a part of their ministry:

In January, February, and early March we continued editing audio recordings of the gospel of Luke from here in the U.S. to assist a partner ministry as they completed recordings in Dodoma. One translator, Ester, reported that her team took the recordings to their villages to share with their neighbors - most of whom practice another major world religion. The response they often received was, “Why haven’t I heard this before?” One neighbor who is a Christian, responded with, “I’ve heard the Scriptures and read them many times, but in Swahili. Hearing it now in my language is like hearing it for the first time.” Praise the Lord for the way He is at work through His Word!

Story Source: Michelle and Nicholle Haupt
Personal Update

My family and I are well. The break in my wrist is healed. I’m still regaining complete strength but am essentially not limited at all now, thankfully.

Working from the office continues to go well. We’re making good progress on curriculum revisions and preparing as much as possible for coming programs. Thank you for your continued prayers as we walk through doors when the Lord opens them!

Friday, July 24, 2020

Where's... this team?

Monday, I returned to the Wycliffe USA office. There are appropriate CDC safety measures in place. About half of the office staff is in the building each day now. Though the virtual conversations of the past four months helped sustain me, it has been very good for my soul to be with "3-dimensional people" at lunch and in small meetings. I've spent a good deal of time sorting through items that arrived at the office during my time at home and adjusting to this paradigm. There is another wave of "grief" to go through since the current "normal" is little like the previous one.

The folks I coach (virtually) are sharing their Wycliffe stories primarily through socially distant or virtual methods and God is still building their prayer and financial teams! Thank you for praying for them. They will fill roles as translation workers (three of those!), a mom, an EthnoArts specialist, a recruiter and a technical library consultant. They will serve Bibleless communities in Mexico, Asia, Africa and around the world. They are building teams primarily in areas like Illinois, Florida, Virginia, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

Created with

Then it was amazing for me to realize you are in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Guatemala, Texas, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Wisconsin, New York, California, North Carolina, Kentucky, Minnesota, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Florida, Spain, Kansas, Illinois, Southeast Asia, Washington, Georgia, Colorado... did I forget any place? It's wonderful that the Lord has wound the tapestry of our lives so that as He is accomplishing His purposes in each of us, He is also using us to touch each other's lives... each of us doing what God has asked us to do in our own place in His world. What fun! And what a loving, sovereign, all-knowing, creative God! It is a privilege to be connected with such a strong team. Thank you for your faithfulness and countless encouragements on this journey as we serve together.

Friday, July 10, 2020


God is continuing to move Bible translation forward, even in these challenging times. Though travel is still limited, the accelerated implementation of technology has permitted many to continue to serve, praise the Lord!

This has also been a time I've been reminded that Bible translation truly is a worldwide movement. This video was produced by Wycliffe Australia. I found it on Wycliffe South Africa's Instagram account. (Those are just two of the more than 100 other like-minded Bible translation organizations around the world!) It was a blessing to me. I trust it will be for you, too.

God's Word will accomplish every purpose for which he has sent it. Every person who prays for and gives toward Bible translation will someday be able to share in the reward for all the lives God is transforming through the translated Word. Thank you for being a part of this amazing work.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Equip 47

​Praise God for His healing! Thank you so much for praying for my wrist. I am healing well and was not hindered from participating in our virtual Equip new missionary orientation these past two weeks. We finished yesterday. Half of these new colleagues will be working directly with languages; the other half will have roles that support Bible translation. We praise God for this new group of co-workers who have followed God's call into missions. Your partnership with my Wycliffe ministry through your prayers and gifts will now extend to all those who will one day be reached through their service. We are grateful! Please pray these "newbies" are able to get off to a good start as they ask God to raise teams of prayer and financial partners.

​Wycliffe's office continues to reopen gradually according to official guidelines for Orlando. At this point, our onsite programs have not yet resumed. Connection programs scheduled for July have been canceled. Please pray for those who planned to attend -- that the Lord would encourage them in other ways.

I am still working from home. I am grateful for predictable technology and a safe and comfortable place to be. I am also grateful for the many "touches" from so many of you in these days -- Zooms, emails, phone calls, texts, cards -- all have been so encouraging. Thank you!

It is a blessing to be so connected, especially in these uncertain times. Please let me know how I may encourage you by standing with you in prayer.

Friday, June 5, 2020


Praise God for His continued protection! Tuesday, I took a spill while on my morning walk. I have a "displaced triquetral fracture" (that's a small bone in my wrist), but it was my left wrist (I am right-handed) and the removable splint has already helped alleviate the pain. The exercises I was given are beginning to reduce the swelling. Typing is a little interesting, but even that is coming. I have some other sore spots, but nothing significant. I am very grateful for your ongoing prayers.

I am also grateful for the comfort and encouragement of God's Word, especially in this challenging time. Would you continue to pray for those who are marginalized -- not only those around the world who do not yet have access to the Bible but also for those marginalized by our own nation? May we each seek God's peace and to live out the truths of Scripture so that all may see God's love and glory.

Friday, May 22, 2020

The Word that Brings Freedom

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)

This was the first verse from the Bible that Afaafa* had ever read. As a Kenyan who had been taught another majority religion, she had refused even to touch a Bible. She had planned to convert her Christian friends, but one of them challenged her to read the Bible for herself. She decided to read the first verse she set her eyes on, and there it was, Galatians 5:1. When reading it, she felt something powerful come on her. And that night she had a dream where God invited her to choose slavery or freedom. She chose freedom and became a follower of Jesus. Her two sons are growing up knowing Jesus.

Since 2005, Afaafa has been a Bible translator because “if God can change my life through one verse, then I expect every verse I translate will impact the life of another Bydla* person.” She longs to see her people receive Scripture in their language and know the freedom that comes in Christ. God’s Word has power to change individuals, especially when it is in the language that speaks to them best. It can bring freedom to communities and cultures, too. Thank you—your prayers and gifts for my Wycliffe ministry are helping train colleagues who will one day impact people just like Afaafa, all around the world.

*Names changed for security reasons.

Personal Update

My family and I are well. Working from home continues to be productive. The goal now is to prep for June virtual Equip using all we learned in April. I am not sure I realized how thankful I could be for predictable internet, but it is a blessing, keeping me in touch with family, friends, and colleagues. Your many encouragements have also been a blessing. Grateful for you!

Friday, May 8, 2020

Day 52

Today is day 52 of Sheltering in Place for me. While this is not the plan I would choose, I am thankful for the Lord's gracious care. My family and I are healthy and able to connect regularly. The weather has been so amazing that I've had the house open and a wonderful breeze comes through. I've been reading YouVersion's Blended Plan (some Old and New Testament passages each day, but pairing Genesis and Romans, for instance) and have seen the holiness of God and the sacrificial love of Jesus more clearly.

But I am reminded that there are still more than 2,000 language groups who do not have any portion of the Bible in a language that speaks to their heart. They are unable to access God's Word clearly while we may choose from hundreds of English versions.

Together, we have been working and asking the Lord to change that -- to give all people His Word in a way that their lives are transformed. Your prayers and gifts impacted this group of Equippers who are also accelerating Bible translation. As you have prayed for me and given to my Wycliffe ministry, you have a part in their ministry, too. Thank you! We (Virtual Equip #46 crew and participants) are grateful!

Map by Marty Pelton

As a crew, we're processing all we experienced and praying that the Lord will use each of these colleagues mightily. Would you pray for them, too, as they continue their Wycliffe journey in this distinctive season? Thank you.

Thank you for your faithful partnership. The Lord uses you to encourage my heart as we serve together, each of us where He has placed us. Please let me know how I might pray with you.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Virtual Equip Update

Wow. The Lord has been answering your prayers. Equip virtual orientation is going well. The internet has been generally dependable for all, praise God.

God has also provided grace and strength. The total number of online hours makes this significantly more fatiguing (in a different way) than if we were together. And it's been more challenging to make relational connections.

But this group has been amazing and persistent and flexible and engaging and grace-filled. They've been taking advantage of every opportunity we do have and making the most of them. Those with small children have been especially resourceful when it comes to staying engaged and also keeping the "littles" happy.

The Crew has been brainstorming regularly to adjust and tweak all types of little things. God has granted us enough time and space and mental energy. Very grateful to be a part of this team.

Please keep praying. We'll have most of Saturday and all of Sunday off. Pray for rest and renewal. We will finish at the end of the day next Thursday.

So grateful for you. May the Lord bring you moments of sweet joy today. Let me know of ways I might pray with you.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Praise and Prayer

This is a time to praise the Lord:
  • God is Sovereign over all and Jesus is RISEN!
  • Equip orientation planning is almost complete
  • My family and I are healthy and sheltered in our places
  • Technology helps me continue to serve and to stay connected with family and friends


Equip orientation, April 18-30, will be held "virtually." Pray for:
  • The participants and crew as we all navigate technology in new ways
  • The crew as we "practice" with all the technology this coming week
  • Wisdom and deep insight for the crew
  • Consistent internet for all
  • Good rest and renewal for all between our online sessions
The two Connection (reentry/care programs) for May have been canceled.
  • Pray for encouragement for those who had planned to come
  • Ask God to provide love and care for each missionary and family where they are 
Very grateful for your faithful prayers and gifts for my Wycliffe ministry. The Lord is using you to impact so many colleagues. May He continue to encourage your heart today with His faithfulness. Let me know other ways I might pray, too.

Peace to you,

Friday, March 27, 2020

Video Update

Thanks so much for your prayers and encouragements over the past two weeks. With the current immersion in video conferencing, I thought I'd try a brief video update. There are captions available if it's difficult to hear or understand me. Welcome to my home office!

I am so thankful for you and your faithful prayers. Please let me know how I may pray with you. It's a privilege to stand together in prayer, especially now.

Friday, March 13, 2020


James 4:14-15, NLT
How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” 

I am beginning to have a little better understanding of what James meant when the Lord directed him to write those words. Even when I feel like I am asking the Lord for wisdom and guidance in the planning, my tendency is to plan ahead and then be pretty convinced my plans are good ones. I'm learning more about resting in the Lord as many things now need to be held with more open hands.

This month, Wycliffe Bible Translators and many of our partner organizations began to restrict non-essential business travel internationally and domestically. Those whose travel is deemed to be appropriate are then being assessed as to their personal medical risk. Some meetings and conferences are being canceled or moved to online-only where possible. 

We have been encouraged to use discretion regarding any personal travel. My plans for my Indy trip are being held very loosely right now. It's likely I won't make a final decision about coming until Tuesday evening.

I am so thankful for you and your faithful prayers. We are trusting in God's sovereign plan to accomplish his purposes through this challenging time.

Please let me know how I may pray with you. It's a privilege to join you.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Thank you for praying!

We've just finished hosting two Connection groups of Wycliffe colleagues -- 48 co-workers and 20 of their MKs (missionary kids) were at the Orlando headquarters this month. We had opportunity to care for and connect with them. It's our prayer that the Lord will continue to renew them as they prepare to return to their service in places across the United States and the world.

There were also some highlights in my other role -- the Lord provided a complete prayer and financial partnership team for a new missionary I've been coaching. She'll be on her way to Nigeria very soon to work with others helping Nigerians who speak minority languages learn how to craft and share a core set of Scripture stories. Many times, these stories provide the first access to the Bible and will lead to a desire for more translation.

I also got to see a family who is still in the process of asking God to build their team. They passed through Orlando briefly on Tuesday. Apart from their time here for Equip orientation, all of our other coaching meetings have been "remote" ones -- through the internet. It was excellent to be in the same space for at least a little while. We'll continue meeting together regularly until their initial prayer and financial teams are complete.

Thank you for your prayers and gifts for my Wycliffe ministry. You impact each of these colleagues.

I truly am completely dependent on your prayers and God's strength. Please let me know how I may pray with you. It's an honor to join you.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Access to the Old Testament

In November 2017, the Board of Wycliffe Global Alliance (a community of more than 100 diverse organizations and networks serving together in Bible translation movements around the world) passed a motion expressing its desire to see that the whole Bible is translated for each language still needing it. Historically, the primary focus of most modern Bible translation has been the New Testament.

God’s mission is revealed through the full counsel of Scripture. The Psalms teach us much about prayer, God’s sovereignty, the treasure of God’s Word and many other truths. Imagine being deprived of knowing the richness of the Psalms.

God is calling us to enter into a loving relationship with Him. Even the flawed examples of Abraham and Moses and David give us insights into that relationship. Knowledge of the writings about the law and the sacrificial system helps the New Testament come alive in new ways.

You make a difference. Your prayers and gifts for my Wycliffe ministry are a part of this larger picture -- helping language groups all around the world have access to the full counsel of the Bible.

Personal Update

Thank you for your prayers for the projects we undertook in January. We made excellent progress. The month was also a time of much rest and renewal and routine for me, for which I am grateful.

We will host two groups of colleagues in the next two weeks for Connection programs. Pray that we can celebrate them well and encourage them as they continue to serve in a variety of roles all over the world. Your ministry will now extend to all those whom they serve, praise God!

Friday, January 17, 2020

Celebrating God’s Faithfulness Through You

This photo was taken in November 2010 at Faith Church in Indianapolis where I was commissioned for service with Wycliffe Bible Translators. I remember it as an affirming day with many encouragements, mingled with the sadness of also knowing I was about to move away from family and friends.

So much has happened since the commissioning. There are some pictured in the photo who are now in heaven. There likely have been many other changes for each of us.

My Wycliffe acceptance came in January 2010. My first role was to work and ask God to build a team of prayer and financial partners for my Wycliffe ministry who would “go with me” as I served. The Lord brought you to this team! Many of you have been onboard, praying and giving, since the very beginning.

It has been such a privilege to serve with Wycliffe on your behalf. Because of your faithful prayers and gifts, we’ve been able to touch the lives of hundreds of Wycliffe colleagues who are now impacting literally millions of people around the world, speeding the process of Bible translation so others may have access to the translated Scriptures. I am beyond grateful.

Personal Update

Thank you also for your prayers for the technical project we have been working on. We met our first deadline and are ahead of schedule for the balance of the task. God provided access to the right people and information at the right time for us to move forward.

Mom also continues to do well and my treadmill walking is improving one bit at a time. I’m not “fast” yet, but my stamina is considerably improved! God has been using your prayers in wonderful ways.