On Wednesday, Wycliffe Bible Translators celebrated the publishing of about 15 Bibles! Some were New Testaments, some were several books of the Bible, but one was the entire Bible, Old Testament and New Testament: The American Sign Language Bible!
For the first time, those who speak this language have a Bible that speaks to their heart! Many people don’t realize that the deaf need their own language. The order of their words and syntax is different than English.
We’re so excited to have been a part of this translation.
Click here for an activity that you can do with your children using American Sign Language. And then celebrate with us that between 250,000 and 500,000 people can now understand the message that God has for them: He loves them and sent his very own Son to die for them!!
This just in! Please join us in praising God for these Scripture dedications that took place in December and others we just learned about! Pray that the Scriptures will be used and result in transformed lives.
Rikou New Testament online dedication in Indonesia on Oct. 31, 2020. Population: 10,000. Tampuan New Testament in Cambodia on Nov. 11, 2020. Population: 40,000. South Conchucos Quechua Bible in Peru on Nov. 26-30, 2020. Population: 250,000. Gizrra New Testament in Papua New Guinea on Dec. 6, 2020. Population: 1,350. North Conchucos Quechua Bible in Peru on Dec. 13-19, 2020. Population: 250,000. Guerguiko New Testament in Chad on Dec 28, 2020. Population: 25,500.
Your support and prayers were a big part of this work! Let’s praise God together for all the people who can now read the Bible in their own language!
While some look back at 2020 as the worst year of their life, we have so much to be thankful for! God is still in control and has made a way for Bible Translation to continue in spite of the many difficulties put before our colleagues.
Rejoice with us while watching this short video of how your contributions have made Bible Translation progress this year!!
Join me in giving God’s Word this #GivingTuesday! I’m partnering with the Saare people in Nigeria to help translate and publish the first chapters of Scripture in their language. Visit wycliffe.org/givingtuesday or call 1-800-WYCLIFFE to learn more.
It was only in the last decade that I was made aware that there was a need for Bible Translations for the deaf. I always thought that deaf people could just read any book and understand it. Why do they need their own Bible?
My ignorance might be shared with others but it was still a subject I knew nothing about! And why would I? I’m not deaf nor do I know anyone who is nor can I speak Sign Language. In fact, when I write “sign language” I’m referring to the American Sign Language, just one of up to 300 different sign languages used around the world.
Sign languages and spoken languages have completely different syntaxes. The way that we order words in spoken languages differs from the way that words and phrases are ordered in sign languages. And spoken languages are phonetic, relying on connections between text and sound. “For Deaf people … they need something that’s visual. … As hearing people read, there’s a connection between text and sound. For us as Deaf people, we cannot hear and we’re never going to have that connection between the sound and the text. … Visually seeing the hand movement in sign language is very important for us.”
I encourage you to click this link and read the whole article. It was fascinating to see how challenging it is to get the translation right!
Would you pray now for those doing this important work?
We were blessed to get away for nearly a week to the TN and NC mountains. We stayed in a place that gave a good price for missionaries and pastors to rest at. Rest we did. Lots of reading, short hikes, and drives on winding roads just talking was so good for us. We feel ready to return to work and serve our Wycliffe Bible Translation members once again.
Fear is normal for us mortal beings. God has created us with emotions and when I read the many Bible verses that talk about fear, I am reminded that I am in good company with that particular one! Men and woman have suffered from fear for hundreds of years.
Fear grabs me when someone jumps out from behind a door. It also sneaks in when I’m home alone and can’t figure out what that bump in the night was. Watching the news the last several months can bring more fear than hope at times.
Knowing that the world is suffering together under a pandemic, some terrific writers at Wycliffe Bible Translators have made devotional so that we can tackle our fears together and not just the virus.
Click here to join me! Let’s replace our fears with peace!
We get to observe many Seniors in our organization. Often, someone knows them from decades ago and shares stories of the wonderful ways they contributed to the Bible Translation task before they retired.
When we were recently in Pennsylvania helping to care for Anne’s mom, Anne was sharing with a visiting nurse about what a fabulous piano player her mom was. She wanted the nurse to see beyond the aging woman in front of her.
John E. Roberts wrote a beautiful poem about growing old.
They say that I am growing old I’ve heard them say it times untold In language plain and bold But I’m not growing old This frail old shell in which I dwell Is growing old I know full well But I’m not growing old.
What if my hair has turned gray Gray hair is honorable, they say What if my eye sight’s growing dim I can still see to follow Him Who sacrificed His life for me There on the cross of Calvary
Why should I care if time’s old plow Has dug some furrows in my brow. Another house not made with hand Awaits me in the glory land. My hearing may not be as keen As in the past, it may have been Still I can hear my Savior say Come faltering child, this is the way.
The outward man, do what I can To lengthen out this life’s short span Shall perish and return to dust As everything in nature must. But the inward man the Scriptures say Ah, the inward man Is growing stronger every day.
Then how can I be growing old’ I’m safe within the Saviour’s fold ‘Er long my soul shall fly away And leave this tenement of clay This robe of flesh I’ll drop and rise To seize the everlasting prize I’ll meet you on the streets of gold And prove that I’m not growing old.
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.