Friday, December 1, 2023

Language and Identity

“Language is very important because that is our identity, what makes us unique as Naskapi people,” says Amanda Swappie, a team language specialist and translator. “Without it, our culture and traditions would not be the same...”

More than 1,000 Naskapis now live in their community of Kawawachikamach in Quebec, surrounded by forests and swampy muskeg (peat bog). Forty years ago, Naskapi leaders asked SIL (one of Wycliffe’s strategic partners) to help start a foundational grammar and dictionary project for the Naskapi language (which uses syllabics - characters that each represent an entire syllable).

SIL’s Bill Jancewicz has been serving as resource linguist since he and his wife Norma Jean joined the community-based Naskapi language and culture development strategy in 1988. The project has yielded a Naskapi dictionary, mother-tongue literacy and education, printed Naskapi stories and legends, and translation efforts, including Scripture.

Imagine how different life would be without access to the Bible in a language we clearly understand... As we each celebrate the joy and truth of Christmas within our own cultures and traditions, so now can the Naskapi, praise God!

Pray for continued Bible translation in Naskapi and other First Nation languages.


Personal Update

My November trip to Florida was wonderfully warm and my time with friends was so refreshing, but I came home with a nasty cold that sidelined me for a while. I am very thankful to be able to work from home and it is nice to be feeling better now.

Both of my roles with Wycliffe are going well. Thank you for your prayers that the Lord will continue to give wisdom to faithfully serve my colleagues with the background details that permit them to focus on their own tasks in Bible translation.

I’m enjoying helping with the Jr High Sunday School class at Faith Church. I’m learning lots, too, as the class is a survey of the entire Bible!

This holiday season has already been different than previous years, but the Lord is allowing me and my family find our new normal for this chapter. I am grateful for the many prayers and encouragements through these months of adjustment.

For an annual financial update, please visit my Google Group.

Friday, October 27, 2023

Saying "Yes" to What God is Doing

"Yes!" It's such a joy to say, "Yes!" when God positions us to meet a need -- to help someone. It's Wycliffe's goal to say, "Yes!" when churches and communities around the world seek assistance with Bible translation. Through your prayers and gifts for my Wycliffe ministry, you've been saying, "Yes!" We're participating together as God's Word is made accessible to all people in the more than 7,000 languages that are spoken or signed in our world today. Take a look at the video below to see what God is doing!

Highlights this month:
- The October software update went very smoothly!
- The audio/visual things at the Women's Retreat were fine.
- The Women's Retreat provided time for making new connections and deepening existing ones.
- I've had some improvements in sleep.
- There have been opportunities to spend time with family.

Items for prayer:
- Continued wisdom with clients. Every situation is different.
- I'll have a sleep study done again in a few weeks to measure improvement.
- We're still figuring out what family gatherings look like.
- I'm heading to Florida in November, Lord willing, for some work in the office, reconnecting with colleagues, and vacation.

Please let me know how to pray with you, too. It is a privilege to partner together.

Friday, September 29, 2023


A 4-wheel drive vehicle is a valuable tool for Bible translation! One of Wycliffe's strategic partners, JAARS, has a center in North Carolina where missionaries can go to learn how to be successful as drivers in what we would consider "off-road" conditions, but that might be very normal where they live and serve.

In this video, Casey & Valerie Ellis, share about the vehicle training they received. They also talk about how God is using his Word to change the lives of people in Vanuatu. Your partnership through your prayers and gifts for my Wycliffe ministry is a part of the bigger picture, helping others not only have a translated Bible, but also helping them learn how to make it a part of their lives and how to share it with others.

Highlights this month:
- My Wycliffe workload is at a good level.
- The Lord is providing much wisdom for some unique situations with new clients.
- I got to work with a group doing software testing for an update coming in October. (see below)
- The last details of the estate were closed on Sep 7.
- I had opportunity to spend an extended weekend in Kansas, where I first taught school. It was a great time reconnecting and my first vacation this year.
- I've begun helping with Jr High Sunday School at Faith Church. I'm enjoying getting acquainted and have been able to be "technical support" for the lead teacher.

Items for prayer:
- For the people of Vanuatu to understand the Bible and be transformed by it.
- This weekend, there will be a major software update for an important process our team uses regularly. I'll be involved in final testing on Monday.
- We're beginning to figure out what "family" gatherings look like in this chapter of life. Everyone's coming to my place tomorrow for some birthday celebrations.
- I have begun using a sleep apnea device. Pray for good adjustment to it and for improved sleep.
- I'm helping with audio/visual needs at Faith's Women's Retreat, Oct 6-8.

Thank you for your prayers. God has been using them in my life. Please, let me know how to pray with you, too.

Friday, August 25, 2023

The Hope of Christ

When a strong tsunami struck the Arop community of Papua New Guinea in 1998, more than 2,200 people were killed, including one member of the Bible translation team. In the wake of that tragedy, the surviving translation team members felt a deep sense of urgency to help other nearby language communities have the hope of Christ. Today 11 communities in the area, including Arop, are involved in Bible translation.

Clement, a Bible translator for one of the communities, heard music as he walked home from church one Sunday morning. He noticed a crowd gathering outside a church and saw the people listening to lyrics that had been written during a recent songwriting workshop. “I feel so glad that these translated Scriptures in song are being listened to and are sparking more interest in the translated Word of God,” he said. “Now I’m hearing people humming the Scripture songs, and I’m encouraged to keep translating.”

Through your prayer and gifts for my Wycliffe ministry, you help others have the hope of Christ. Thank you!

Faith's GO (Global Outreach) Time weekend was such an encouragement! [Welcome to those who are new to these updates.:-)] It was a privilege to share about what God is doing in Bible translation and to invite others to consider how the Lord might use their gifts in the process. I soon hope to have access to a video of the seminar from Sunday evening. I'll pass that link on when it's available.

On a personal note, my parents' home was sold to their grandson (my nephew) and wife in early August. That is a blessing in many ways! The smoothness of the process is evidence of so many prayers on our behalf. We are all grateful.

Prayer requests:
- for the 11 translation projects in Papua New Guinea to make good progress.
- that I would continue to have wisdom to do my work well.
- that we'd find the right combination of options to help my mild sleep apnea.
- that the last details of the estate would close smoothly.

Please, let me know how to pray with you, too.

Thanking God for you all,

Friday, July 7, 2023

GO Time schedule!

Faith's GO (Global Outreach) Time podcast will be released today. You will be able to find it on the Faith Church app or here. I had the opportunity to share additional “life story” details on a Women of Faith podcast last year. Guys -- it would be fine for you to hear, too! (Thanks to Claire Kingsley for all her work on the podcasts!)

Sunday, July 16 at 9 AM or 10:45 AM: I'll be sharing briefly Sunday Morning during the services at Faith Church and will be connecting with folks between services.

Sunday, July 16 at 7 PM: Hybrid Seminar: The Ministry of the Ordinary: Have you ever wondered how your skills could be used in building God’s Kingdom? Join us for a seminar about how God can use “everyday” tasks to make the mundane an act of worship, joining with the God who holds all things together. (Join in person in the Worship Center at Faith Church or view the livestream.)

Tuesday, July 18 at 7 PM: Hybrid Prayer Meeting (join in person in Room 152 at Faith or on Zoom.)
Meeting ID: 837 5479 2733
Passcode: 135980

I look forward to seeing Indy friends next weekend. If you aren't able to attend one of these events but would like to touch base another time, please let me know. My schedule is now flexible enough for us to meet and I'd love that!

Friday, June 16, 2023

GO Time!

July 14-16, at Faith Church, I'll have an opportunity to share about Wycliffe and the story of how we (you and I) are part of taking the Bible to others in a language they clearly understand. I'll email more details as they become available about this GO (Global Outreach) Time weekend.

Please pray as I prepare, that the Lord would lead me to the right stories and illustrations so the Spirit might move some to whatever next steps He has planned for them. We'll focus lots on those kinds of roles that have always been a best fit for me -- those roles in the background. Ok, no more hints now. You'll need to come and join us in person or online. :-)

Thank you for your faithful prayers as I've been settling in, developing new life and work routines, and continuing with the remaining details of Mom's estate. We are getting very close to being finished with estate matters and could possibly have them completed in August. I'm grateful for the help we have had from so many.

My role helping Wycliffe colleagues with finance things is a good brain stretch for me. I'm also seeing it in a new light as a distinct privilege. I'm noticing more and more that many who come my way are in seasons of struggle, so for at least this brief moment in our journey together, I'm able to pray for them as I fulfill my tasks. And as you pray and give for my Wycliffe ministry, you are impacting those co-workers, too.

Friday, April 21, 2023

The Bible Translator's Assistant

Most of the languages in the world without a Bible translation are minority languages with few resources. The Bible Translator’s Assistant is a cutting-edge software to help bridge that gap. Developed by Wycliffe Bible Translators Canada in collaboration with partners like Wycliffe USA, The Bible Translator’s Assistant (TBTA) is speeding up Bible translation!

The Bible Translator’s Assistant (TBTA) is able to combine grammar analysis of a language with templates of books of the Bible and create an initial translated draft. The software can be used with any language that has been analyzed to work with the program. Local translators then polish the draft through a variety of team and community checks.

Language communities who have used TBTA report that it reduces the overall time and cost of translating a Scripture up to 40%. This means an Old Testament could be translated in only half the time or an entire Bible translation could be completed in 12-13 years rather than the average of 20 years! Praise God that he continues to bring his Word to the peoples of the world so their lives might be transformed. This is what we are a part of in the "big picture" of Bible translation. That is a thrill to me!

Thank you for your continued faithful prayers and gifts for my Wycliffe ministry. The member finance tasks have been going well and I've enjoyed the mental challenge of completing them. The member care opportunities are beginning to expand as we have better access to information to keep in touch with our members.

There were a couple of delays for my move, but everything is now in the new house. There is still some sorting and rearranging to do, but I'm settling in and things are functional. It's beginning to feel like home. I'm so thankful for help from family and friends/partners/small group folks. The whole process has been such a gift to me. I'm in the stages now of finding gas stations and grocery stores and the post office and a hair salon and... you understand. :-) Once again, I am aware of and grateful for your prayers as I begin to find routine for this chapter.

Friday, March 10, 2023

I'm Moving!

So much has happened in the last month! God has been answering your prayers as I have been learning some complicated tasks for my member finance role. It will take some time to execute the routine smoothly for these tasks that will come up each month, but I am trusting that the Lord will help me become better at it with practice.

God has also answered your prayers about housing for me. I had not intended to move this quickly, but I closed on a new-to-me home on Wednesday. Lord willing, I'll be moved in before the end of March!

Almost Home Sweet Home

I shouldn't be surprised. You all have prayed so faithfully over these years and God has moved when the time was right in so many situations. I look forward to beginning to settle into new patterns of life soon.

My family and I are grateful for your continued prayers as we work through things for Mom's estate. All is going well. It all just takes time. Thank you also for your prayers for my continued service with Wycliffe. There are some exciting possibilities that are about to open up in the member care part of my role... but there will be more learning to do there, too!

Friday, February 3, 2023

God is on the Move!

Around the world, people’s lives are being transformed as they encounter Jesus through Scripture in a language and format they clearly understand. But Bible translation today looks very different than it has in the past. Today, local believers and churches are not only asking for God’s Word, they are taking ownership of the work, too. As the global Church has increased vision of and ownership in the work of Bible translation, there has been an unprecedented level of growth and impact.

Through Global Partnerships (a multi-organizational collaboration), Wycliffe Bible Translators engaged with almost 500 new languages in 2022. This was a significant increase from the 150 new languages engaged in 2020.

This exponential growth is bigger than any of us. Bible translation cannot be done without God’s hand at work in the lives of people joining together through prayer, giving, personnel resourcing and local ownership. Through your prayers and gifts for my Wycliffe ministry, you are a part of what God is doing around the world! Thank you!

Story Source:

Personal Update

I am so grateful for the many faithful prayers and encouragements the Lord provided before and after Mom’s passing (Dec 22). God has been gracious to bring the right people to help at exactly the right time for each step of this journey.

To answer questions that seem to be in the minds of many, I plan to stay in Indiana now. Though I loved Florida and the people I know there, my family is here and it is time to be near them. And, with all that I know now, Lord willing, I hope to work until I am 70… and then, I hope to volunteer both with Wycliffe and at Faith Church, as long as I am still helpful and able!

For previous updates, see my Google group.