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!!
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.
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
Ten days ago, Ken had surgery on his knee. Previous surgeries were uneventful and Ken was up and driving the next day.
Not so with this one. The doctor removed a large mass from his knee. Praise God with us, it is not malignant! But the space attracted a lot of blood. Two extra trips to the doctor to have the blood painfully removed were necessary. We are very hopeful today. It seems like the knee is starting to heal.
We’ve cancelled some parties and Ken has been working from his Lazy Boy chair in the living room!
Staying tucked in for a few days allows us to slow down and remember the holiday we are celebrating. If you have children or grandchildren, we are including the link to a very fun devotional you can use. There are Bible readings, follow up questions, a recipe and a challenge to pass on what the children learn.
The second link gives you “12 Days of Christmas with Kate & Mack”, another fun resource from Wycliffe. You could use this in your church as well!
Easter Island has always held so many secrets. All those statues keeping watch across the small island. How were they made and moved? Why? The island used to be teaming with people but by the time Wcyliffe’s Bible Translators arrived in the 1970’s, there were only 2,000 inhabitants on the island.
Check out the short video below. Rejoice in the transformation of the people once someone started paying close attention to their language. Languages are connected with the way people feel value.
This is why we support the work of Bible Translation. Value, worth, able to understand the very words of God…all good reasons to keep to our task of giving every people group the Bible in the language that speaks to their heart.
Thank you for praying and giving your hard earned money to help us do that. We love you all!