Category Archives: Wycliffe
I lifted the side flap on the canvas lunch bag. The pocket was empty. I had stashed my phone, car keys and watch in there when we went to the beach. I unpacked the trunk of the car. Soggy, sandy towels, sandy beach toys, and sandy half-eaten lunches rounded out the contents. Where was my watch? I know I had put it carefully in this pouch, but now it was no longer there and no where to be found.
I dumped out my entire purse and pawed through wallet, receipts, gum wrappers and warm lip sticks. No watch! I guess it’s possible I put it somewhere else….but I knew I hadn’t.
We all showered the salt water off of our bodies, wrung out our bathing suits and got dressed for dinner. When I told my family about the missing watch, everyone jumped up and helped me search through the car trunk and under the seats, several times asking about the last time I had seen the watch. The watch had been given to me as a graduation gift from my family for finishing my degree just last year. It was special to ALL of us. My eyes filled with tears thinking that it might be gone forever.
The tide had been coming in when we had left the beach a few hours earlier. Upon arriving to the beach we had placed our towels about 100 feet from the edge of the water. By the time we left, it was a mere 5 feet away from our gear. No one remembered anything being left on the sandy beach. If it was on the beach, it was now under the salty water and undoubtedly ruined.
The only place it could be was the parking lot where we had left our car. “Let’s drive back before getting dinner. It’s only 15 minutes away,” my husband said. I was relieved that he had suggested it knowing how hungry everyone was and not wanting to delay our dinner any more.
We drove the 15 minutes in silence. I was silently praying for a miracle. When we arrived at the parking lot, three people on bicycles were resting at the entrance of the parking lot where we had recently parked. All three were in our way, in the exact spot where we needed to stop. Ken courteously waved them by and two of them moved on. The third person waved us through. Ken pulled in to the left of where we had parked our car. The parking lot was nearly empty. We all anxiously jumped out of the car, heads down, frantically scouring the ground for the watch.
At the same time, the woman on the bicycle came driving over toward us. “Are you looking for…..” Her sentence was cut off as I pounced on my watch, its gleaming silver edge protruding from the sandy driveway. The watch had been run over and was on level with the soil which was, thankfully, sand! I couldn’t even speak! I just held it out in disbelief and joy!! “I saw it just as you arrived“, the woman shouted, joyful as well that we found my prize possession! We yelled our thanks as she drove off.
Our eight-year-old grandson was so pleased and surprised. Unbeknownst to me, he and his Papa had prayed together that the Lord would lead us to the watch minutes before we departed on our search. He was able to see the answer to his prayer in 15 short minutes.
We prayed AND we looked! Two actions. What would have happened if we had only prayed? What if we had just looked? I’m not sure what the results would have been. Had we delayed even 30 seconds later the watch would have been innocently picked up by one of the bicyclists and carried home. We would never had known its story.
This reminds me about the woman in the Bible who had 10 coins and loses one. She lights a lamp, searches for the coin, then rejoices when she finds it. We don’t read that she prayed, but she looked and she celebrated as we did. Luke 15:10 says “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Every month several people groups receive the Bible, newly translated, in their own language. It may not previously been prayed over by the people, since they didn’t know what they were missing, but someone prayed over that language. Someone worked and gave them the ability to find out the way of salvation. It is theirs for the choosing. And when they find it, there is rejoicing in the presence of angels.
Thank you for making that possible. You do it month after month. Your prayers, your gifts, your hope, your action.
Do you think translating is easy? Why can’t we use a computer to just translate the Bible word for word in all of the languages we work in?
Check out this very short video here to see what it takes to accurately translate God’s Word into the language that speaks to people’s heart!
Your gifts allow us to continue in this work! Thank you so much!
Everyone parent and every child knows “the Look.” You know, when the child is fidgeting in church and you turn to them and “look” at them? Or maybe it’s at the dinner table! Everyone is holding hands so you can pray and then two kids start arguing because one is squeezing the hand of the other too hard? They get “the Look” from the parent.
Cut. It. Out.
It might look like this:
When my dad gave me “the Look” or when my husband gave our girls “the Look” they usually stopped what they were doing immediately and settled down. While each of us love our children immensely, sometimes we don’t love their behavior. “The Look” gets them back on track.
In John 18, we read the account of Peter who denies Jesus three times when asked if he was a follower of Jesus. The book of Luke (22:61-62) records that Jesus “looked straight at Peter” after he refused to admit three times to others that he was a follower of Jesus.
The difference between my parenting look and this look of Jesus was that this was not a gesture of condemnation. Instead, it was one of complete love and of one who knew Peter’s heart. He knew that Peter loved Him deeply, he knew that Peter would deny Him (he had warned him), yet he still loved him.
What struck me again was the difference between Peter’s remorse over his sin and Judas’ actions after he had turned Jesus in. While Judas immediately ran out and hung himself, Peter didn’t. He wept bitterly, but he still came to the place where Jesus was hung on a cross. We know from later chapters and church history that Peter went on to be a great leader and writer in the church.
Why the difference?
Because one had a relationship with Jesus and the other didn’t. Judas hung out with Jesus and looked like he was a disciple of Him, but his heart had never really changed. He was the same sinful Judas, whereas Peter spent the same amount of time with Jesus and had a changed life. Yes, he was loud and impulsive (sounds like me) but little by little, he turned different areas over to the Lordship of his Savior.
We don’t have the privilege of physically walking and talking with Jesus, but we do have the Holy Spirit with us here on earth who guides us as we have a relationship with the entire Trinity.
We have been given God’s very words to read and study so we can learn from people like Judas, Peter, and even Jesus Himself. That’s why we are committed to getting God’s Word in to the hands of the Bibleless people of the world!
Who will you be today? Choose to be a Peter…a follower…a sojourner. Then when you get “the Look” you’ll know it is one full of love, not condemnation, and you too can look forward to the day when you see Jesus face to face.
We were gifted a few days at the beach last week, so I practiced my doodling while walking alone one morning.
Thanks for praying as Ken spends two weeks in our Orlando, FL office. He’ll be serving our members who are on furlough as they get refreshed and cared for at our home office.
Did you know that Wycliffe Bible Translators holds races to raise money? Do you know some healthy, energetic people who might be interested in a fun way to shed light on Bible Translation needs? Perhaps you could send a team from your church youth group and have everyone support them. Here are some details and a link below.
When: 3/14/2014 5:00 PM – 3/16/2014 5:00 PM Where: Tall Timber Ranch, 27875 White River Rd
Race to 2025:
Wycliffe USA’s Adventure Fundraising Race with Eternal Impact!
Racers: Hike through wilderness territory. Climb and rappel precarious heights. Face various challenges along the way to discover a hidden village! Race to 2025 bridges the adrenaline of adventure sport young people crave and the extreme challenge to which Jesus calls His church – to make disciples of all nations. Young people are joining the Bible translation cause-praying, advocating, giving, and going.
Inspired by intense language survey trips conducted by Wycliffe linguists in remote regions worldwide, this race is hosted in the beautiful outdoors of various locations. Co-ed teams of four race against time and other teams in demanding linguistic and wilderness challenges, all in search of a remote ‘Bibleless’ tribe. Upon contact, teams share an ethnic meal with villagers, conduct a simulated language survey and race to the finish with valuable linguistic data. Prior to the race weekend, teams commit to raise a minimum of $2,000 per team ($500 per racer). These monies go to support Bible translation projects around the world. Cool prizes are awarded for the most money raised, fastest team across the finish line, and various other categories. Each night, veteran missionaries engage racer’s hearts and minds with stories of lives spent serving God in tough places, unlocking the fascinating world of language and linguistics.
Are you looking for some unique gifts? Wycliffe has a website with interesting items for sale, ranging from t-shirts to bracelets. Proceeds support Bile Translation. These would be great gifts for family or for a church function where you are highlighting missions. Click here to start shopping.
Those last four words…
Most people know the story of Jonah in the Bible. Runaway prophet, he ends up spending three days in the belly of a large fish after being thrown overboard by god-believing (small g intentional) sailors.
After having enough of his dark, smelly quarters, he relents and decides to follow God’s instructions to go to the city of Nineveh to warn them of God’s impending judgment. Much to his surprise and chagrin, they repent immediately.
Jonah is ticked off with God. He wanted the evil Ninevites to feel the wrath of God. He’s judgment-oriented and wants people to get what they deserve. But he testifies about the character of God when he says, “I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.”
After Jonah relishes in his self-thrown pity party, God quietly rebukes him, reminding Jonah that he has been concerned about the unimportant things in life (like a dying vine), rather than the 120,000 people of Nineveh that could have died.
And then comes those last four words….
“and also many animals.”
God was concerned that if the people of Nineveh were judged, their animals would suffer too.
God is an animal lover! That warms my heart since I’m pretty crazy about my dog, Brandy.
But more than an animal lover, God cares about the small ones who can’t help themselves. Isn’t that wonderful?
The work of Bible Translation does the same thing…it attempts to bring the very Words of God to those who can’t get access to it themselves. Some of those people groups are small, just thousands, but if God would lift his hand for just a few thousands Ninevites and their animals, shouldn’t we do the same?
Each month, many of you lift us up in prayer or write a check out on our behalf so that the work of Bible Translation can continue. You must have the heart of God!
So thank you. Just like God’s care of those animals, illustrated by those last four words, you care. And we’re not complaining!
Click here to see Wycliffe USA’s president and his wife say a word of thanks to you too.