In August 1990, Ken and Anne took a trip to Dahlonega, Georgia to check out Wycliffe Bible Translators. One month later, we signed on the dotted line and joined this organization dedicated to translating the Bible in to every language on earth so that ALL may know God and choose to take His offer of GRACE and MERCY.
Thank you for standing with us. Together we have traversed many miles and served in a number of roles. It’s one of the best decisions we made in our lives! Time flies when you are having fun!!
We lived in Southeast Asia for 10 years, serving in an International School, starting in the early 1990’s. Our luggage weight was limited when we traveled so we had to be careful about each thing we packed. We would not return to the States for three or four years. But we also had to bring items that we knew we could not purchase in our new country.
One of those items we always tried to bring with us were Ziplock bags! These bags will still rather new and as well were expensive since no “knock offs” had yet been manufactured. But they were so good to have in a country with great humidity and lots of tiny ants.
I would purchase one or two boxes of large Ziplocks and a few small ones, take them out of the boxes and lay them down in a suitcase. Then, I would use them very surreptitiously while overseas. My family knew that if they got a Ziplock in their lunchbox, it had to come home with them!
I would then take the dirty, used plastic bag and wash it out in hot, soapy water. I’d hang it up in our kitchen. After it was dry, I would carefully fold it up and put it away to be reused. I never put something in the bag, like raw chicken, because that might contaminate it permanently and I needed to reuse this bag. Those bags would last for years, but would finally start to break down little by little.
Fast foward 10-20 years…one of my daughters was dating a guy and when he came to stay at our home, he was surprised to see Ziplock bags drying around my kitchen. “Why do you rewash Ziplocks?”, he’d ask. I felt kind of sheepish answering him…it seemed like I was so poor or backwards! But then I’d explain how they were “like gold” to us in the past.
Eventually I started to throw out the small Ziplock bags, even though my family would still come in to the kitchen, emptying out their lunch boxes and asking, “Can I throw the bag out or do you want this?”
But the large bags? No way. If they are “clean”, I still wash those things and hang them up to reuse. Why? Can’t I afford more bags? Yes, but those things are perfectly good to use and it just feels wasteful to me to throw them out.
The other day I laughed as I went through the Aldi ad. They now sell reusable “Ziplock” bags! Recycling has caught up with my frugal ways and it’s now “cool” to reuse, rather than throw out.
Saturday afternoon found me in the kitchen for a few hours. I was making several cheesecakes for an event for this coming Friday. Needing to be entertained while licking the cream cheese off of the spatula, I put on one of those “Planet Earth” shows.
I’m always in awe of the shots that are made by the photographers. I watched as a Damsal Fly went underwater, cut a hole in the stem of a plant and laid her eggs. How, how, how did they know where to put a camera in that area of the pond??
Anyway, as time went on, I watched as an animal called a Stoat chased a rabbit. You might know the name Ermine better to describe this small mammal. The video proceeded with the small animal chasing down a huge rabbit. Round and round it went, tiring the poor rabbit until the underdog Stoat was able to eventually overpower the hopping bunny and make it a meal.
Sigh. I have a love-hate relationship with these shows. I love the footage and love learning new things, but hate seeing things die.
The thing is, as the stoat chase the rabbit round and round, many other rabbits were seen in the view. Some turned their head, watching the chase, but most just kept on eating. No one ran to rescue the soon-to-be-dead rabbit. No one distracted the Stoat. Everyone just did their own thing. The attitude seemed to be, “Hey, that’s his bad luck. Have you tried this great lime green grass? It’s fabulous!” Disconnect.
This past week found me studying I Thessalonians. Paul and Silas started the church in Thessalonica back in A.D. 140. New converts, amidst persecution meant that the young believers needed to get a tutorial in godly living.
Don’t be idle.
Encourage the timid.
Help the weak.
Be patient with everyone.
Try to be kind to each other.
Believers can’t sit idly by while others get eaten. Ok, no one’s literally being eaten but sometimes it feels like you are when no one jumps to your defense when you are clearly right! It feels like cannibalism when a friend is impatient with you or talks behind your back. There’s no place for that among believers.
So we work on our own sanctification. How can we be more holy, more like God today? How can we be kept blameless until the coming of our Lord?
Pray for each other. That’s what Paul did and what he encouraged the Thessalonians to do.
Speaking of which..thank you for praying for us, day after day, week after week. We feel it, especially when we feel down and are having trouble facing a day that looks very much like the one before.
We love you. Just like Paul loved his brothers and sisters in Christ.
If you are interested in seeing a stoat chasing a rabbit, click here.
Just a quick medical update on Ken. In brief, after meeting with both his surgeon and an infectious disease doctor on Monday, the decision was made to have another surgery. His continued pain as well as other things let them know that it was not healing inside.
Tomorrow we have to be at the hospital by 5:30 a.m. for surgery. We are hoping and praying that this will take care of all of the infections and that in time, Ken can get back to his physical therapy and walking and biking as normal.
We thank you for praying for us over the coming days.
A lovely blessing: I, Anne, was supposed to fly to Philadelphia to help out with my mom but had to cancel my flight. American Airlines has kindly given me a voucher for the money lost to be used at another time, even though it was a ticket that “couldn’t be changed”. I really appreciate their graciousness. Little blessings warm my heart!
Adventures in Odyssey has a new episode titled “The Morning Star” which features the story of John Wycliffe and Wycliffe Bible Translators. In the episode, the character Matthew takes a trip to England in the Imagination Station and discovers why it’s so important to have the Bible in a language you can understand.
You can listen for free at any time by signing up for the Adventures in Odyssey Club two-week trial. Visit wycliffe.org/resources/kids for more information.
We lay in bed in the dark. Both of us tired, but restless. It was the night before Ken’s scheduled second surgery on his knee. We opened our cell phones and read different things to each other about his situation and his types of infections. By the time we said, “Goodnight,” we had decided to cancel the surgery in the morning if we were able.
We’ve heard a lot of good advice the last 5 weeks. Trying to put it all together is the tough part. Today a friend said to me, “God is not a God of confusion.” She’s right, and by noon today we had a bit more clarity.
On Monday, we will return to Ken’s surgeon to have him look over his leg. He is still wanting us to have surgery next week. On Monday afternoon we will see an infectious disease doctor. Today we signed papers with Anne’s orthopedic doctor to see if he would give Ken a second opinion. We may get to do that next week as well.
So we ask you to pray for wisdom and peace for us and that Ken and I would be unified in both of those things. We continue to look to God as the source of our wisdom.
Thank you for your prayers and your notes of encouragement with verses. We read and re-read each one of them.
Thank you for your prayers on our behalf for Ken’s health! We finally saw Ken’s original surgeon today. He asked us if we wanted to wait a few more weeks to see if his leg closed up, but we declined. It’s already been 3 weeks so we feel it is time to do something else.
Tomorrow, Ken will have his second surgery. Because two surgeons are suggesting this, we feel it is the right decision. But I also feel uneasy. I’m not sure if that’s just me or something prodding me.
This week as I studied Hebrews with my ladies Bible study, we talked about the Superiority of Jesus. The question in our study was, “Do people see in you that you believe Jesus is superior is all ways?” I have to say, “No, not all the time.” I often want to take things in to my own hands and my worry reveals my distrust and unbelief.
So we ask for peace and obedience and that God will be glorified once again. Please pray for our doctor by name, Dr. Fosnough and that the infection will be healed immediately.
Thank you so much. As my dad always said, “This too will pass.”
Some years ago, when our long time missionaries started retiring, someone had the foresight to build some low income housing for our members. Anne now manages one of them in Waxhaw, NC. We have another facility in Tucson, AZ as well as one in Dallas, TX.
Today we feature John and Billie Mishler who have lived and served in our Dallas facility for eighteen years.
John served his country in the Korean War, returned to the US in 1951 and enrolled in Arizona Bible Institute (ABI). It was there that he met fellow student and future bride, Miss Billie Jane Blevans.
Billie graduated from ABI and moved to California in ’53 to attend nursing school. In ‘55, John also moved to California to study aviation mechanics. That same year, they married and welcomed their first child a year later.
In June of 1959, they felt called of God to full time missionary service with Wycliffe Bible Translators and began training at the University of Oklahoma.
Preparations completed, they flew to Pucallpa, a city in the rain forest of eastern Peru, to begin their assignment.
Some of Billie’s favorite experiences were visiting Indian villages to do health checkups and give shots. She once spent a month partnering with a Bible translator beginning work with a newly discovered Amazonian tribe, the “Matses.” During her stay, a jaguar attempting to snatch it from its hammock attacked a Matses baby. Billie took the injured baby, treated his wounds, saving his life. In 2011, she had the joy of seeing this same child, now an adult, translating the scriptures for his people!
In 2000, the Mishlers returned to the US and eventually became managers of the Cowan Retirement Apartments in Dallas. Many times I sat as a guest at their table and in awe, listened to them tell of how, for 40 years, God had filled their lives with opportunities to serve the cause of Bible translation!
John now serves as our Senior Services Coordinator and is part of our Senior Benefits Leadership Team. Being the former Marine that he is, John has never used the terms “problem” or “challenge” with me in any conversation. He sees everything as an “opportunity to see God at work.”
I wish we had more space to share more about these special servants and their journey, but I chose this issue to share their story because Billie’s health began to decline this year after several heart procedures. Pneumonia set in and she was again admitted to the hospital. When it became apparent she was not getting well, she asked to be taken home under hospice care. After five and a half weeks at home, Billie slipped peacefully into the arms of her Savior surrounded by her family.
John has chosen to continue his duties at Cowan. We ask you to remember John and their children, Rebecca, Mike, and Julie as they adjust to life without their beloved Billie.
*** Our thanks to our co-worker, Jerry Stuckey, for sharing this story. Ken and Anne continue to work with John.
Our almost 30 years of work with Wycliffe Bible Translators has allowed us to celebrate many finished Bible Translations. Together with you, we continuing the work until it is done! Here are some numbers for you!
Wycliffe USA public statistics for fiscal year 2020: Approximately 1.5 billion people do not have the full Bible in their first language. At least 7,000 languages are spoken or signed around the world. More than 2,000 languages still need a Bible translation started. About 170 million people still need Bible translation work to begin in their language. Work is being done in more than 2,600 languages worldwide and at least 1,900 of these projects involve Wycliffe Global Alliance partners.
Number of languages waiting for Bible translation by regions of the world: ● Americas — 123 ● Europe — 64 ● Asia — 870 ● Africa — 643 ● Pacific — 415