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Wycliffe Bible Translators of Canada

Spring 2015

on the

Reaching Bibleless
people overseas
requires dedicated
workers serving in
Canadasome with
remarkable stories.

Wycliffe Contributes to Bible App + Translating the Gospel + Fellow Workers in the Truth
Spring 2015 Volume 34 Number 1
Word Alive, which takes its name from Hebrews 4:12a,
is the official publication of Wycliffe Bible Translators
of Canada. Its mission is to inform, inspire and involve
the Christian public as partners in the worldwide
Bible translation movement. People Like Nathan
Editor: Dwayne Janke
Designer: Cindy Buckshon Dwayne Janke
Senior Staff Writer: Doug Lockhart
Staff Writers: Nathan Frank, Janet Seever

Staff Photographers: Alan Hood, Natasha Schmale
new name appears in our mastheads list of writers (to the left of this
Word Alive is published four times annually by
column), and in bylines throughout this magazine. We are thrilled that
Wycliffe Bible Translators of Canada, 4316 10 St NE,
Nathan Frank, a University of Regina journalism grad, is now on board with
Calgary AB T2E 6K3. Copyright 2015 by Wycliffe
Bible Translators of Canada. Permission to reprint our communications department.
articles and other magazine contents may be Nathan grew up on a grain farm near Eatonia, Sask., the youngest of three boys
obtained by written request to the editor. A in his devoted Christian family. Christ was a part of his life ever since he was a
donation of $20 annually is suggested to cover youngster, but his view of Jesus sharpened over time.
the cost of printing and mailing the magazine. It wasnt until after I attended Bible college for two years that I discovered that
(Donate online or use the reply form in this issue.) Jesus was a revolutionary God. He not only died on the cross for our sins, but He
Printed in Canada by McCallum Printing Group, shattered social customs: He healed a leper, spoke to a Samaritan woman and
healed on the Sabbath.
Member: The Canadian Church Press, Evangelical
I realized Jesus is a dangerous God because He asks me to care for the poor, the
Press Association.
For additional copies: depressed, the lost and even my enemies. He requests that I give up my desires and
To contact the editor: love others like He loves me.
For address updates: The 27-year-olds interest in writing started when he composed short stories
as a child.
I found great joy in getting lost in my writing and using my imagination. When
deciding what career to pursue, I decided journalism would give me the best
opportunity to tell great stories and meet the people of the world.
Nathan worked at a newspaper and a radio station in Saskatchewan before
accepting a writing position with Wycliffe Canada this past summer.
I couldnt pass up a chance to see for myself what God is doing around
the globe, he explains. I want to learn more about what is
happening in different parts of the world and to hear the stories
Wycliffe serves minority language groups worldwide
that have never been told.
by fostering an understanding of Gods Word through
Bible translation, while nurturing literacy, education Field personnel To that end, Nathan will be travelling to various parts of the
globe, gathering stories for Word Alive magazine that inform
and stronger communities. acknowledge that and inspire Canadian Christians to partner in the global Bible
Canadian Head Office: 4316 10 St NE, Calgary AB T2E their work cannot translation movement.
6K3. Phone: (403) 250-5411 or toll free 1-800-463-1143, For this issue, however, he met and wrote about some of the
8:30 a.m.4:30 p.m. mountain time. Fax: (403) 250- happen without the approximately 200 people serving in Canada to further the work
2623. Email: French speakers: Call toll abroad. People like Nathan himself, wanting to use their skills
free 1-877-747-2622 or email committed effort with Wycliffe. They include recruiters, donation receipting staff,
Cover: The face of a girl in a language group of West back in Canada that field project liaison officers, board members, church connections
Asia, formed by multiple images of Wycliffe staff personnel, IT managers, linguistic trainers, spiritual enrichment
who serve in Canada to forward Bible translation supports them. leaders, and others. These and many more all play a vital role
and related tasks worldwide for such people. here in Canada, so that the necessary staff, prayer and funds can
Photo by Dave Crough. sustain overseas field work among Bibleless people groups.
Mosaic image by Cindy Buckson, using We who work here at homefrom British Columbia to the Maritimesare not
AndreaMosaic ( on the so-called front lines of ministry abroad. We dont serve in exotic contexts.
But ask field personnel and they will acknowledge that their work cannot happen
without the committed effort back in Canada that supports them (for which they
thank us often).
Thats why it is so appropriate for our cover photo, of a girl in a language group of
West Asia, to be a mosaic formed by images of folks serving in Canada. The home
In Others Words front and the front line are deeply intermeshed, linked and connected.
You cant have one without the other. We are all missionaries.
The existence of the Bible . . . is the
greatest benefit which the human race
has ever experienced. Every attempt to
belittle it is a crime against humanity.

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), German philosopher

2 Word Alive Spring 2015

6 6 The Computing Pastor Wycliffe Canadas
information technology staff is led by a pastor with a mind
for bits and bytes.

8 Focused on Bible Translation Shooting

photos for Word Alive helps Natasha Schmale enlarge her
monolingual, white-girl-from-a-farm perspective.

10 Sold Out A mature New Brunswick couple, who

liquidated their property to follow Gods leading, now helps
others find their place in Bible translation.

12 Spared for More Mission Wycliffe Canada board

member Steve Kabetus introduction to Bible translation field
work was painful, debilitatingand life-threatening.

8 14 The Passion Facilitator Wycliffe Canadas chief

recruiter lives to help people find and follow Gods direction
for their lives.

16 Seeking the Called Gyoojun Lee and Wycliffe

12 Canadas Korean Ministries look for missionaries within

their ethnic church community.

18 A Reluctant Missionary Wycliffe Canadas

spiritual enrichment team leader went from resistance to
joyful resignation to serve with the organization.

20 Coach Amy Drawing from her own experience,

Wycliffe Canadas internship co-ordinator guides students
to see whether missions is for them.

22 Empowering Gods People Former Wycliffe

translators use their field experiences to help their
colleagues and would-be missionaries.

24 Pulled Back to Push Forward Drawn home to

Canada by family ties, David Thormoset takes on a new role
to support Bible translation overseas.

26 Full Circle Wycliffe Canadas receipts manager returns

to the finance department in Calgary after three decades.

18 Departments
2 Foreword People Like Nathan

By Dwayne Janke

4 Watchword Wycliffe Helps Bible App Reach Milestone

28 Beyond Words Translating the Gospel

30 A Thousand Words The Kabetu Lip
31 Last Word Fellow Workers in the Truth

By Roy Eyre

Word Alive Spring 2015 3


Wycliffe Helps Bible

App Reach Milestone

W ycliffe personnel have provided the popular Bible app,

YouVersion, with its 1,000th digital translation. The
landmark version is the first digital New Testament translation of
the Central African language of Hdi (pronounced Huh-dee).
In September 2012, SIL, Wycliffes key partner organization,
and the Cameroon Association for Bible Translation and Literacy,
completed the Hdi text, which is spoken by 45,000 people,
mainly in Cameroon and Nigeria. The New Testament was then
delivered to the Hdi people in a special dedication ceremony in
December 2013 (pictured below).
YouVersion has more than 700 languages of the Bible available
on smartphones and other devices. That means Gods Word is now
more accessible for millions more people in their heart language.
As the worlds largest distributor of digital Bible text, YouVersion
partners with 150 Bible societies, publishers and organizations,
including Wycliffe and SIL.

Translated by GIU UGG (Bandial partner organisation).

Produced, with permission, by SIL, Senegal, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau.

SIL Helps Battle Ebola Through Literacy

S IL, Wycliffes key field partner organization, is playing a vital role

in raising awareness of the threat of Ebola in the West African
nation of Senegal. While the virus has been a hot topic on French
Drew Maust
radio and television, many villagers dont understand the message
Bible Translated Into well because they dont speak enough French or Wolof, the most
Brazilian Sign Language widely-used national languages.
Compounding the need for information is the belief by some
I n 2013, the Brazilian translation team finished a DVD of childrens
Bible stories in Brazilian sign language. A deaf interpreter shared
how captivated a deaf boy was as he viewed the DVD.
residents that Ebola has been introduced by white people, so they
can steal organs. Others also believe governments are exaggerating
statistics to get more money from international donors.
The boy watched all four stories, transfixed. His favourite was
The literacy team has combated the misinformation with
the story of Samson. His parents were amazed that he understood
translated Ebola facts into four rural heart languages (see the
it and enjoyed the Bible stories in a way they had never seen
sample above). The group also held an Ebola awareness session
before. They gained a new appreciation for the beauty of Brazilian
where a Senegalese physician answered questions about the origin
sign language and a new respect for their sons capacity to
of Ebola, its symptoms, contagiousness and prevention measures.
understand things in his own language.

4 Word Alive Spring 2015

Solomon Islands Translations Hope for the
Near Completion Chocoan Peoples

S olomon Island translation

teams are seeing progress
in three languages: Rovia, Gela
D espite living in a beautiful and fertile land, many of the
Chocoan people of western Colombia (as indicated
below) still experience lives of hopelessness. Desperate
and Baelelea. to earn a living, some are lured to the drug trade for easy
The entire Roviana Bible money, while others have joined subversive groups.
will be completed in the next Bible translation teams working with the Choc cluster
two years, with only a few Old project are preparing an evangelistic booklet entitled Libro de
Testament books remaining la Vida (Book of Life) for distribution among the Choc people
and the New Testament groups in the South American nation. This booklet has the
still being revised. The Gela team is in the final stages of potential to lead the Chocoans to put their hope in the Lord.
translating the Gela New Testament, while the Baelelea New JAMAICA

Testament is finished, with an audio version to be completed

this year.
HONDURAS Caribbean Sea

Linguists Receive Royal EL SALVADOR


Honour in Netherlands

ears of service and dedication to the Naro people COSTA RICA

of Botswana has resulted in a Wycliffe couple being GUYANA

knighted in the Dutch order of Orange-Nassau. Hessel and Bogota
Coby Visser (below) were bestowed the honour by Mayor COLOMBIA
Pieter van Maaren (centre, below) on behalf of King Willem-
Alexander of Netherlands.
The Vissers began language work in the southern African
nation in 1991. Throughout the past two decades, the couple
has worked alongside the Naro people to translate the New ECUADOR

Testament, do language analysis, develop an alphabet and

create multilingual educational programs.
The Vissers contribution to the Naro language Word Count
community has been exemplary, said Freddy Boswell,
executive director of SIL, Wycliffes key field partner 120+
organization. They represent the servant heart and attitude Organizations that form the Wycliffe Global Alliance
that we hope will mark all of SILs work. (WGA), of which Wycliffe Canada is a member.

Countries where these WGA organizations exist.

Years these and other organizations have been assisting
language groups in Bible translation.

Resources in mother tongues that WGA personnel have
also helped produce for literacy, education, health and
other development-related objectives.

Source: Wycliffe Global Alliance

Courtesy of Hessel and Coby Visser

Word Alive Spring 2015 5

Natasha Schmale
The Computing Pastor
Wycliffe Canadas information technology staff
is led by a pastor with a mind for bits and bytes.

By Dwayne Janke

rom a kid in Hong Kong who liked electronics, to directing study avionics/electronics at the Southern Alberta Institute of
the virtual environments department at Wycliffe Canada, Technology (SAIT) in Calgary. He realized his real interest was
Eric Lais journey has meandered like the circuitry on a in computer programming, so he eventually transferred to the
computer chip. University of Calgary to get a computer science degree.
His life has seen God-driven twists and turns that moved Eric With software, if you have a problem, its called a bug. A
out of his comfort zone and prepared him to give oversight to bug can be fixed just like that, without going out and getting a
one of Wycliffes most challenging and important operations component. I love that aspect of fixing problems.
based out of its Calgary office: information technology.
That Eric serves in Wycliffe while also working as a pastor Striking Out on His Own
is impressive given his background, personal traits and the It was also in Calgary that God became more real to Eric. I was
challenges he faced along the way. a practising Catholic. I faithfully attended mass, but I had this
Eric was raised in Hong Kong but finished high school after fear about not making it to heaven. I always feared that what if I
arriving in Canada with his family. sinned and then died before I made it to the confession booth?
You see, Hong Kong is such a small place and has so many Car-less and hindered by the cold weather, he eventually gave up
people, competition is amazing, says Eric. I wouldnt have had a attending a Catholic church. Yearning for a social life, Eric accepted
chance to get into any post-secondary school. So, coming here I the invitation from a friend to visit a Chinese Alliance church.
truly believe was Gods provision. Then I came to realize the biblical truth of salvation. I realized
After first settling in Vancouver, Eric came to Alberta to that my salvation is by Gods grace, Eric explains.

6 Word Alive Spring 2015

(OPPOSITE) Eric Lai, director of Wycliffe Canadas virtual Joining Wycliffe
environments department, inspects the organizations computer Two times since 2009, Eric was approached by Joe Chan, with
server rack with Bill Cameron, technical services manager. Located
Wycliffe Canadas Chinese outreach ministries, about serving at
in Wycliffes Calgary office, the unit is the hub for various computer
applications that are used by Wycliffe Canada staff serving in
Wycliffe. The second time, Eric decided to join the IT team.
Canada and around the world. I totally believe in Wycliffe, the work, the contribution of
Bible translation ministry worldwide. So I said yes, explains the
Eric worked for a software/hardware firm initially but then
decided to strike out on his own as a private consultant. He
I just thought that I might be
loved working with clients because the entire process ended
with delivering helpful computer applications that put smiles
able to help, as an overseer.
on their faces. I had training, I had [software] development experience, and I
As his faith grew, Eric began serving in his Alliance had experience with clients. I just thought that I might be able to
congregation, driving buses on Sunday and developing some help, as an overseer.
tithing software for the church. The introvert decided he would In 2011, the volunteer brought his computer science
just continue to serve in the background. background and the human touch of a consultant to the staff.
In 1996, while attending another Chinese Alliance church, Eric I value people as my top priority. Work is next, of course, but
was challenged by an interning pastor during a discussion in their well-being is my priority, says Lai, who continues working
which Eric said he felt that God would use his gift of computing part time at Foothills Alliance. I think this is what I have learned
in ministry, but never call him to be a pastor. from my pastoral ministry: people come first. They are more
The intern, though only a friend of a friend of Erics, spoke boldly. important than technology.
He said, Eric, what do you rely on when it comes to serving Still, that ever-changing technology is crucial in todays
Godyour talents or Gods enablement? I broke down in tears, modern world, and Wycliffe Canada is no exception. Whether it
recalls Eric. Eventually, I realized God used him to speak to me: be finances, email, video production, management, databases for
Youre going to serve Me, but not with what you think is your best. recruiting and human resources, or smartphoneseverything
I want you to serve Me, using what you feel uncomfortable with. in Wycliffe Canadas day-to-day operations is dependent on
At that moment, I came to God and said, WhateverIm computers and information technology.
yours . . . . You tell me what to do. This is the world that we are living in, says Eric.
Eric felt the Lord was pointing him to seminary. By this time
married to his wife Elaine and a father of two children, Eric began A Bridge, A Channel
studying at Prairie Bible Colleges graduate school in Calgary, When it comes to giving leadership to the information technology
while continuing his private business. department in Wycliffe Canada (called virtual environments
because IT is often focused on Wycliffe staff working remotely
One Big Headache and connecting over vast distances), Eric realizes that his own
But there was a problem. A downward spiral of tension computer know-how is somewhat dated and limited.
headaches, which started in the 1990s when Eric would often However, the basic principles will always stay more or less
work energetically from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., had plunged to its the same. You need someone who knows enough of the overall
lowest point. requirement, but not too much into the technical detail, who
By 1996, my tension headaches were full-fledged. At 6 p.m., is able to tie it together, to look at the big picture, to make
my mind shut down, recalls Eric. I couldnt really watch TV, or decisions which affect not only the department, but the whole
read a newspaper. I stopped reading the Bible for some time. As organization, he says. I am attempting to fulfil that mandate.
soon as I barely managed to finish my supper, I would have to go Eric oversees a staff that maintains Wycliffe Canadas computer
to bed. Thats how severe it was. hardware and infrastructure, keeps tabs on whats emerging so
Neurologists and herbalists couldnt help Eric. This was the the equipment and technology doesnt become obsolete, and
situation Eric faced when he considered going to seminary. develops or evaluates needed computer applications. These days,
I said, God, you must be jokingIm going to study? But its personnel are busy with significant upgrades to Wycliffe Canadas
okay, because if I flunk my first course, Ill know this is not your finance system and website.
will. Manpower is the biggest challenge faced by Erics department.
But amazingly, Erics headaches actually subsided through his Ideally, it should have 10 staffers, but currently has about seven,
studies. That is totally illogical. But again, we are talking about including several working only part time. Other staff are needed
God, right? he says. So I was practically headache-free by 2002 to do programming and manage computer applications.
when I was ready to look into ministry. Eric hopes he can help bring them in. With one foot in a
Eric went on to pastor at two churches, most recently in mission organization and the other in the local Church, he
the increasingly inter-cultural Foothills Alliance Church, one of envisions being a kind of broker, who can encourage Christians to
Calgarys biggest congregations. He is pastor of discipleship. consider serving with Wycliffe.
I am a bridge, a channel, for God to make it happen.

Word Alive Spring 2015 7

Shooting photos for Word Alive helps Natasha Schmale
enlarge her monolingual, white-girl-from-a-farm perspective.
By Nathan Frank

N atasha Schmales photojournalism career began near her It took me until my time in Red Deer where I realized, No,
familys farm in the central Alberta back country in 2005. actually, you might not have done these things, but you are a
One night her parents, Dean and Doris, were bike riding hypocrite, youre selfish, youre prideful, you are just as broken,
on the back roads near Winfield, a small community an hour and you need Jesus.
southwest of Edmonton. A man who looked lost stopped them, As she realized her need for Christ, she started Googling
asking for directions. missionary organizations and looked into whether Wycliffe
As they chatted, the man told Dean he was the publisher of needed a photographer. That search led Natasha to contact
a magazine called Alberta Land and Life. Dean mentioned in Dwayne Janke, editor of Word Alive magazine.
passing that his daughter liked photography. I had heard of Wycliffe from a friend but didnt have much
Here, give your daughter this film, get her to fill it up and well knowledge of what they did, she explained. Dwayne said they
take a look at it, the man replied. could use someone to help out with the photo library, so I did
In the coming weeks, Natasha filled the film with photos from that as a volunteer.
the Alberta wilderness. When the man returned, he took the Months later, Natasha was invited to go on a Word Alive
film and gave her another one to fill. Eventually the man asked trip to Bangladesh to do the photography for the magazine.
Natasha to shoot the photographs for a story he was writing. The tripher first overseasopened Natasha's eyes to the
Well, since you live there, why dont you just write the article importance of minority language groups having the Bible in
too? he suggested. their mother tongues.
Natasha agreed and her journalism career was born. I realized that the world is bigger than my monolingual, white-
Once Natasha, now 27, graduated from high school, she girl-from-a-farm worldview.
decided to take photojournalism at the Southern Alberta [I saw] when you have education, and when you have people
Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Calgary. However, after finishing who are able to read and writethe opportunities that creates.
the two-year course in 2008, she found herself without a steady Literacy improves their understanding of how valuable they are
photography job, working instead at Home Depot. She hated the as people.
job and was frustrated with her life. During the trip, she decided to join Wycliffe and realized for the
I went to school, took all the training, and now Im just selling first time that photojournalism and missions could work together.
plants at Home Depot, she says about her thoughts at the time.
I was so frustrated with where I was in my own life that I didnt Capturing the Right Now
bother to look around at what was happening around me. I Natasha has now been with Wycliffe full time for more than
was very focused on how can I get out of here? I was just mad, three years. She has shot thousands of photos that are being seen
basically all the time. around the world in Word Alive and a variety of other media
platforms, including Wycliffe Canadas website (,
Turning Point brochures and in displays.
Soon she picked up freelancing assignments at the Red Deer As a photographer, I have the opportunity to tell stories
Advocate in central Alberta. Her schedule got so busy that she through the photos I take that hopefully help inform and
would sometimes work two months without a day off. engage others in the work of Bible translation, helping them
In this miserable, dark place in her life, however, she was to get a better sense of the need for Bible translation and also
motivated to find more meaningful work. She also yearned for a showing how Bible translation plays a role in building the
more authentic faith. Church, she explains.
I dont think I fully understood that I am sinful, that I am But more than that I see [my job] as an opportunity to tell
broken; I dont deserve anything and Jesus came, He rescued me the stories of how Jesus is transforming lives all over the world;
and He redeemed me and died for me on the cross. how He is growing His Church, how He uses the most unlikely
Growing up in a Christian home, Natasha thought that she was a people to remind all of us, here in Canada and overseas, just how
good Christian because she didnt smoke, drink, party or have sex. powerful God's Word is and how the gospel changes everything!
I have Jesus, Im good now, and I just carry on with my own
life, she told herself.

8 Word Alive Spring 2015

I see [my
job] as an
Moving In for Jesus
If you were to take a photograph of Natashas life today, you to tell the
would see how much her love of Jesus has transformed her stories of
life. On this particular night, the energetic outdoors enthusiast
is surrounded by friends at a crowded table in her northeast how Jesus is
Calgary home. The smell of spices from a kale and sausage soup
permeates the room, along with an abundance of laughter. She
and her friends have joined a network of people across Canada lives all over
who call themselves MoveIn.
The group of 20-somethings have moved into a low-income the world;
community in Calgary to share their faith with marginalized people. how He is
We are seeing we have nothing to offer these people except
Jesus because we see so much brokenness, like 15-year-old growing His
girls on drugs who are addicted to cutting, or the 10-year-old
boys who were fighting behind our complex all the time. I have
Church, how
nothing to offer them, absolutely nothing except Jesus. He uses the
Thankfully for Natasha, Jesus is the difference. He has led her
out of the back country to a life filled with purpose, touching
most unlikely
nations through her work at Wycliffe. people. . . .
Dwayne Janke
(LEFT) Natasha Schmale per-
forms a press check at McCallum
Printing Group in Edmonton.
For every issue of Word Alive,
Natasha or fellow photogra-
pher, Alan Hood, make the
trip to McCallum to check and
adjust the color of the printing.
(BOTTOM) Natasha (second
from right) prays with her
MoveIn friends at her Calgary
home. MoveIn is a group that
Natasha is a part of that look
to intentionally impact their
community for Christ. (RIGHT)
Natasha goes for a jog across the
Bow River, with Calgarys down-
town in the background, prepar-
ing for a 16-kilometre trail run
in nearby Kananaskis Country.
Alan Hood Photos

Word Alive Spring 2015 9

A mature New Brunswick couple, who
liquidated their property to follow
Gods leading, now helps others find

Natasha Schmale Photos

their place in Bible translation.
By Doug Lockhart

(TOP) Bud Thompson plays passport office clerk in a missionary Penobsquis Baptist Church what he sees as the churchs role in the
simulation game, giving youth from Riverview Baptist Church a Great Commission. Interacting with church leaders is a common
taste of what is involved in getting to cross-cultural ministry over- activity for the New Brunswick couple, who represent Wycliffe and
seas. (ABOVE) Bud and Kala discuss with Pastor Neville Gosman of cast vision for Bible translation among Atlantic region congregations.

E arly in 1990, when Kala Thompson saw her husband Buds

growing interest in the work of Bible translation, she grew
increasingly nervous. After all, Buds hair salon in Sussex,
N.B., had grown to 10 employees. Kala was also working as an RN.
The Thompsons lifestyle in the town 70 km northeast of Saint
begun to change after they both visited a Bible translation
project in Guatemala.
After we came home, says Kala, Bud talked more and more
about Wycliffe and about his growing dissatisfaction with being
in secular business.
John was comfortable and predictable. So many people around me were saying I, me, we, were
Furthermore, with Bud just a few years away from his 50th buying, were getting, adds Bud. The greed kind of got to me,
birthday, Kala wasnt sure she wanted to make any major after seeing all the poverty down there.
changes. But it was clear to Kala that something in Bud had When Bud eventually floated the idea of returning to

10 Word Alive Spring 2015

The people we recruit now . . .
they can . . . live to see every
language group that needs it
Guatemala to serve as volunteers with Wycliffe, Kala agreed to go have a New Testament.
on one conditionthat they would not use the vacation money
theyd saved up to visit Spain and Morocco. As a compromise, Bud beginning that we would do thattake people on a short-term
offered to sell his van instead to finance their volunteer service. mission trip so they could see the work.
The idea left Kala feeling somewhat relieved. One of the first young people to participate was Jessica
I thought, Thats OK; the money wont last that long. Sinclair (see story, pg. 14), a bright, outgoing 15-year-old whom
the Thompsons first met at a church in Moncton. In 1997,
Divine Confirmation Jessica joined Buds first vision trip to a country he knew
About a week later, Kala was dumbfounded when Bud informed well: Guatemala.
her he had sold an apartment building they owned so they could Since then, Bud and Kala have led numerous overseas trips, to
stay longer in Guatemala. And not long after that, her quiet, soft- Guatemala as well as a few countries in Africa. Most are vision
spoken husband dropped another bombshell: he had sold the trips, but somelike a January 2014 trip to Cameroonmay
hair salon. involve physical labour and/or medical outreach, too.
I couldnt believe he would do these things without talking
to me about it, says Kala, noting they had always made big Vast Network
decisions like that together. But he just really believed that God The Cameroon trip benefited a Bible translation and literacy
was calling us to be involved in Bible translation full time. project for a cluster of related languages in the Ndop plain of
Just four months after their visit to Guatemala, the couple Cameroon, one of several focus regions recently adopted by
attended an orientation course in Kelowna, B.C., for people Wycliffe Canada. To raise awareness about needs there as well as
interested in joining Wycliffes staff. If they had any doubts other regions around the globe, the Thompsons regularly meet
at that point that God was calling them to be sold out for with pastors and other church leaders in Atlantic Canada.
missions, their doubts were quickly dispelled when Bud answered For the past couple of years, says Kala, we have focused
an unexpected phone call from a man who wanted to buy their on introducing area churches to the concepts of Kingdom
house in Sussex. Friendships, where churches partner with language groups,
This was oddconsidering their house wasnt listed on the people groups and projects.
real estate market and the man had only seen the exterior. The Thompsons have many More on the Web:
Discover how your church can
After quickly conferring with Kala, Bud suggested an amount opportunities to do so, thanks to
explore Kingdom Friendships at
and the inquirerwho planned to move to Sussex and needed a strong ties to the Convention of <>
large house for his familyagreed on the price over the phone. Atlantic Baptist Churches (CABC).
The denomination includes more
Taste and See than 450 churches.
With their four children grown and following their own pursuits, Through relationships formed with CABC church leaders
Bud and Kala moved to Guatemala City in October, 1990, just and others over the past 35 years, Bud and Kala receive many
seven months after their first visit to the Central American invitations to represent Wycliffe Canada at mission-related
country. For the next six-and-a-half years, they served more services or conferences.
than 20 language projects through a variety of support roles Furthermore, Kala is a licensed lay pastor with the Baptist
that included maintenance, information technology, staff care group. As a result, she has been able to expand their network
and hospitality. through her speaking ministry at womens retreats.
Kala also used her artistic talent to illustrate reading primers Besides their church network, Bud and Kala also enjoy
and Scripture books. meeting students from area schools like Kingswood University
In 1996, when Wycliffes operations in Guatemala began (formerly Bethany Bible College) and inviting them to their home
to downsize because Bible translation there was nearing whenever possible.
completion, the Thompsons returned to New Brunswick and Every day is different, Kala says about their ministry.
bought a fixer-upper house to renovate and call home. Wycliffe While the Thompsons love their role in Wycliffe, they know
Canada leaders then asked them if they would serve as Wycliffe the time will soon come to hand it over to others.
representatives at Christian conferences, churches and schools in We dont have the same energy. . . . says Bud.
the Atlantic region. But we feel the same passion, adds Kala. We are 70-ish and
We said, OK, its not really our thing, but well do it for two we are not going to live to see every Bible translation that needs
years, says Kala. to be done finished. But, the people we recruit now, and the
Belatedly, they began raising financial support from interested people we get involved who are young, they can . . . live to see
friends, family members and churches. Nineteen years later, every language group that needs it have a New Testament.
theyre still spreading the word about remaining needs in Bible Some observers might think its time for the Thompsons
translationand still using a valuable strategy they discovered to start taking it easy. But for Bud, the idea of spending his
early on to help people get what Wycliffe is all about. remaining days on a golf course is out of the question.
Its hard to get people interested in Bible translation if they I couldnt be out golfing every day, he jokes, because we
dont see the work for themselves, says Bud. So, I decided at the blew all our money.

Word Alive Spring 2015 11

Spared for
More Mission
More Mission Wycliffe Canada board member Steve
Spared for Kabetus introduction to Bible translation
field work was painful, debilitating
and life-threatening.
By Nathan Frank

S oon to be a Wycliffe Canada board member, Steve Kabetu

had just attended a New Testament dedication ceremony
for the Apurmac Quechua people of south-central Peru
hours earlier.
Now Kabetu, who is also director of world missions for the
Christian Reformed Church (CRC), was flat on his back in
a rural mission hospital in the community of Curahuasi. As
physicians and nurses hovered above him awaiting a surgery to
remove his burst appendix, one doctor asked him if it would be
okay if they prayed.
Oh no, please do, he responded, while wondering, Are they
praying because theyve never done this surgery before?
The doctor told Kabetu that the hospitals name in the local
Quechua means, In God we trust. This comforted him as the
anesthetic gently put him to sleep.
When Kabetu awoke he was told that the surgery was a life-
saving procedure, but he would have to stay at the hospital for
two weeks while the antibiotics cleaned the toxins out of his
body. As Kabetu sat in his wheelchair recovering, he was resigned
to the fact that his fast-paced life was halted. He had weeks
to reflect on the impact of Wycliffe Canada-sponsored Bible
translation work in Peru. He also had plenty of time to think
about his own life and that of his grandfather.

Alan Hood
Natasha Schmale

(TOP) Steve Kabetu explains in his Burlington,

Ont., office that because of his upbringing and life
experiences, he looks at the world upside down,
like the map in the background which is deliber-
ately printed in a non-traditional projection with
southern nations on the top. (RIGHT) Kabetu
is surrounded by Wycliffe Canada board mem-
bers at their 2014 spring meeting, held at Rivers
Edge Camp and Conference Centre northwest of
Calgary. Kabetu joined the board in the fall of
2013, bringing a unique perspective.

It is priceless to have a
represented on the boar
leader within one of our key
key denominational partne
denominational partners
leader within one of o
represented on the board.
It is priceless to have
12 Word Alive Spring 2015
Spared for More Mission
Fate and Origins From Congregation to Denomination
Kabetus destinyand the origins of his faith can be traced Having moved into a new community, the newlyweds were
back to his grandfathers African childhood in the early 1900s looking for a church, and conveniently a house church was
and his habit of losing goats and sheep while herding. hosted on their block. The pastor of the church knocked on their
When Kabetus grandfather was a child, the first missionary door and invited them to attend, but Kabetu and Patricia werent
to their village was Harry Leakey. Hailing from Britain, Harry and sure what to think.
his family settled into the pre-Kenyan village of Kabete with We looked at each other [thinking], What kind of church
the southern Kikuyu people. The couple was able to stay in the starts in a house basement? Now we were all of a sudden very
region with the permission of the elders, and asked to set up a suspicious. So, we spent six months avoiding our neighbours,
school where they could teach Kikuyu children how to read and explains a laughing Kabetu.
write, and tell them about God and His Son Jesus. Nonetheless, the pastor was persistent and finally they joined
One of the elders was Kabetus great-grandfather (see related the Christian Reformed Church. They found that it was full of
photo, pg. 30), who offered to let his youngest son attend school, folks from all over the world, seeking Christ. It became their
because he wasnt very good at herding. The son would become a church home. Kabetu soon joined the leadership group, which
Christian and a few years later, in 1905, travelled to Great Britain to was asked to attend a regional gathering of churches to learn

pared for More Mission

learn English. Eventually, he would help translate the Bible into the about the CRC denomination and its ministries.
Kikuyu language. Two years later, he was nominated to the churchs board and
When I look back at his life, says Kabetu, reflecting in his began volunteering his time to develop a curriculum and workshops
Toronto office, having had that experience definitely changed on how to talk about racial diversity. In time, his efforts turned into
the way my fathers life was, and the way my life turned out. a full-time position and he became the co-ordinator for the office
of race relations in Canada for the CRC. In 2012, he became the
Overseas Education Canadian director of Christian Reformed World Missions.
When Kabetu was born, East Africa was a much different place
than it was during his grandfathers childhood. He was born in the Stepping Forward
mid-60s at the tail-end of decades of conflict between the British If it had been up to Kabetu, he probably would still be in Kenya
and the regions displaced people groups, who had been removed working on his familys farm. If contentment equated to Gods
from their traditional land and put into reserves surrounded by will for his life, he wouldnt have gone to university and he
barbed-wire. wouldnt have accepted leadership roles with CRC.
After the region stabilized, Kabetu, who was the second oldest After becoming the missions director of CRC, he saw that the
of six children, moved around a lot because of his fathers career. denomination didnt have Bible translation as a part of their missions
The family lived a middle-class Kenyan life and Kabetu spent plan and signed a partnership agreement with Wycliffe Canada.
much of his childhood in his community, playing soccer and Kabetu became a Wycliffe Canada board member in the fall
field hockey. of 2013, helping the board give vision to the organization and
After graduating from high school, Kabetu was working on providing it the constituency accountability required by law in
the family farm when his father told him that he and his mother Canada for non-profit agencies.
wanted him to get an education. After researching different Roy Eyre, president of Wycliffe Canada, was excited when
schools in the U.S., Britain and Canada, Kabetu and his father Kabetu joined the board because of the work Kabetus grandfather
chose York University in Toronto. did in translating the Bible for the Kikuyu. Soon, though, Eyre
During Kabetus first year at college in the late 80s, he realized Kabetus contribution was much broader than his
experienced his first snowfall. He hurried outside, along with connection to his grandfather.
other foreign students to experience a strange new substance. During his years in Canada, he has managed to maintain the
We were outside and you know how the snow comes and perspective of the minority language communities we serve, and
its clean and fresh, he explains. We were outside just trying to he has brought that perspective to board discussions, explains
touch it and hold it . . . the first thing I did when I had a pile of Eyre. In addition, I've really come to value his contribution as a
snow in my hand was taste it. I remember looking at all the other director of a partner organization. He understands my role and
friends of ours who were doing the same thing and saying, It the challenges of leading an organization within our legal and
doesnt taste anything like we thought it would. cultural context.
The cold weather caused culture shock for Kabetu, but he More than that, it is priceless to have a leader within one
stuck with his program, hoping to return to Kenya to help of our key denominational partners represented on the board.
develop the country after concluding his studies in economics. His participation binds the two organizations together in some
However, when he finished, Kenya was unstable politically and he key ways."
was advised by his father to postpone his return. Kabetu brings a rare perspective on the Wycliffe board.
At York, Kabetu met his wife Patricia. After university, the Its rooted in a faith that was planted in his grandfather by
couple moved into a new townhouse, while Kabetu got his feet missionaries over a century ago and its a perspective that has
wet in the workforce, first as a teaching assistant and then in been shaped by Gods remarkable path for his lifefrom a Kenyan
developing economic profiles for various cities. reserve to Canada.

Word Alive Spring 2015 13

Wycliffe Canadas chief
recruiter lives to help
people find and follow
Gods direction for their lives.
By Doug Lockhart

W hen Jessica Sinclair began teaching history classes at That I could get really excited about! says Jessica.
Crandall University in 2005, the Moncton, N.B., native To me, it was what excited me about teaching at Crandall;
thought she had found her lifes calling. seeing people look at themselves and, through the lens of history
It seemed like the perfect fit. Jessica had graduated from the and faith, understand themselves better . . . and have a deeper
small liberal arts university before moving on to earn a masters faith as a result, and be able to engage the world with a Christian
degree in history from McGill University. And there were family worldview and perspective.
ties, tooher dad, Stephen Dempster, serves on Crandalls
faculty as professor of religious studies. Kingdom Investments
But just a few months after she began teaching at Crandall, Since 2007, Jessica and a number of colleagues on the recruitment
Jessica had a conversation with her friends Bud and Kala team have visited numerous college and high school campuses,
Thompson (see story, pg. 10), who several years earlier had churches and youth groups. They engage with young people who
encouraged her to explore doing Bible translation with Wycliffe. either are seriously exploring their career options, or just beginning
The exchange unexpectedly led Jessica back to Wycliffe and an to think about what they should do with their lives.
entirely different direction for her life. If she had her way, Jessica would abandon the term
recruitment to describe her job and replace it with a phrase
Deep Impact that reveals her deeper motivation.
Nowadays, the 32-year-old dynamo leads Wycliffe Canadas I really just want to see God cultivated in peoples hearts, she says.
national recruitment team. Its a role shed never thought about Now married and living in the Toronto area with her husband
when the Thompsons asked her if she would consider hosting Alex, Jessica says there is no typical day that defines her work.
a Caf Wycliffe event at Crandall, to introduce students to Some days, she may stay home to work on a church or college
Wycliffes work in Bible translation. presentation, while other days may find her meeting with an
More on the Web: I thought, Oh, thats a great thing I interested inquirer in a local coffee shop.
Explore Caf Wycliffe events in can do to further the passion in me for Jessica estimates that about 50 per cent of her time is devoted
Calgary, Winnipeg, Edmonton helping Bibleless people access Gods to local recruitment activities in southwestern Ontario, while the
and Toronto at
Word, says Jessica. other half is devoted to strategic planning for Wycliffe Canadas
As a 15-year-old, Jessica had travelled recruiting efforts across the country.
to Central America with the Thompsons for a summer outreach Part of that is recruiting for internships, says Jessica, and
in Guatemala City. Then after she completed high school, setting up and leading short-term trips like InstiGATE as well.
the Thompsons arranged for her to live for two months in a Since joining Wycliffes staff eight years ago, Jessica has
Cameroonian village. accompanied eight teams on overseas trips. One such journey
Both experiences left a deep impression in her life. even included a visit to language projects in South Asia (see Word
In Cameroon, I saw. . . the spiritual issues on the translation Alive, Spring 2010), where Bible
side of missions. . . and really believed it would be very translation must be carried out More on the Web:
worthwhile to spend my life so that people could be able to discreetly because of religious Learn more about past & upcoming
trips at
understand and know God. and cultural sensitivities.
The experience led her to enrol in a summer course at the Jessica says such experiences
Canada Institute of Linguistics (CanIL) in Langley, B.C., with the are invaluable for young people who want to make informed
hope she might find her niche in Bible translation. However, decisions about serving with Wycliffe or any other mission
even though she aced her linguistic courses, the subject didnt agency.
inspire her as a career choice. Young people are reticent to commit to a 40-year career . . . or
Jessicas heart connection with Wycliffe was still strong when even something that involves a five-year commitment. But when
she began teaching at Crandall, so the idea of hosting a Caf they have an experience with something, they have a chance to
Wycliffe event there appealed to the bubbly, outgoing history imagine themselves in that situation.
teacher. The first event she held on campus, which included a So it becomes a way for them to have an educated spiritual
meal and a talk by the Thompsons, drew a modest-sized group of experience where they can discern Gods direction in their life;
interested students. not jumping into something with their eyes closed, but they
Not long after, the Thompsons introduced Jessica to Caf are well informed because they have an opportunity to see and
Wycliffe founders Derryl and Karen Friesen. The Friesens challenged experience what Wycliffe does.
Jessica to consider serving with Wycliffe full time, helping to engage
a new generation in the work of Bible translation.
14 Word Alive Spring 2015
Natasha Schmale VictoriaKoehler
Planting and Cultivating
Some who have participated in these cross-cultural adventures have since
jumped, eyes-wide-open, into service with Wycliffe Canada. They include past
recruiter Sarah Barnes, Word Alive photographer Natasha Schmale, Alberta
recruiters Kevin and Melissa Derksen, and newcomers Chris and Lauren Merke,
who met during a Wycliffe summer trip to Kenya in 2012.
Other past participants are in various stages of post-secondary education, so
Jessica doesnt expect them to make long-term decisions about their future for
some time yet.
Its actually going to be seven
Its about facilitating other years down the road where we
may actually see the impact of
peoples passion for God." these trips on their lives. So part
of our role in recruitment is then
cultivating those relationships and their passion through a number of years.
For Jessica, the task of remotely leading a team of nine recruiters and volunteers
based in Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec and B.C. can seem
overwhelming at times. But every now and then, a stimulating conversation or
meeting with someone whos open to Gods leading lifts her spirits and keeps
her motivated. Natasha Schmale
This past January, for example, Jessica was representing Wycliffe Canada at
(TOP, LEFT) As Wycliffe Canadas recruitment
the Vancouver Missions Fest. A young woman stopped by the Wycliffe booth,
team leader, Jessica Dempster is based out of
explaining that she felt God was leading her to be involved. Toronto, one of the worlds most multi-cultural
I have a background in linguistics, the woman told Jessica. I havent felt like it cities, where she can frequent interesting eateries
was the right time to join Wycliffe, although its been on my mind. But now I feel like an Ethiopian coffee shop. (TOP, RIGHT) As the
that God is launching me. 32-year-old dynamo leads short-term InstiGATE
Jessica broke down in tears. trips overseas for young adults, Jessica enjoys
To have an individual come and say, This is what I believe God is leading me to interacting with people in language groups where
do, not because you convinced me, not because Ive seen a great presentation Wycliffe serves. (ABOVE) Less exciting, but still
but because this person has heard from God and they want us to help facilitate necessary, is processing receipts at her desk after a
them serving Himthats what gets me up in the morning. recent InstiGATE trip to Cameroon.
Jessica adds that her aim is to help such people experience Gods grace in their
own lives by being part of His Kingdom work.
Its not just about getting the job of Bible translation done around the world.
Its about these wonderful people here in our country who are going to be
fulfilled and are going to do what they believe God wants them to do.
So, to me, its not about convincing, or about manipulating people to get
involved in Wycliffe. Its about facilitating other peoples passion for God.

Word Alive Spring 2015 15

Seeking the Called
Alan Hood Photos

Gyoojun Lee and Wycliffe Canadas Korean After the group understands the big picture of world missions,
the importance of Bible translation becomes evident.
Ministries look for missionaries within their The course itself emphasizes a lot about Bible translation
ethnic church community. ministries because its a really good strategic way to finish the
[missions] task, he explains. If we dont have the Bible, there
By Nathan Frank is no source to teach, and train, and be able to correct and
disciple believers.

C amp registration always has a nervous energy. Its a feeling So, the Bible is the basis of all the other missions work.
of excitement mixed with fear. Registration for Mission
101 this past August had the same energy, as more than Path To Canada
100 members of Calgarys Hanwoori Korean Church gathered at Gyoojun was hesitant to become a missionary when he and his
Kamp Kiwanis just west of Calgary. wife Jinsook and their two boys moved to Langley, B.C. in 2000.
As the weekends worship bandclad in fluorescent staff They came to study at the Canada Institute of Linguistics (CanIL),
T-shirtsbegan the two-day missions conference with a lively a training partner of Wycliffe. His hope was that being exposed to
Korean song, Gyoojun Lee, the director of Wycliffes Korean a proper exegesis of Scripture from the original languages would
Ministries, sat off to the side writing some last-minute notes. help him become a better preacher in his native Korea, where he
When the crowd began to clap to the up-tempo beat, Lee was a pastor to a rural community in the Taebaek Mountains.
quickly stood up and joined the attentive group in worship. He had no plans of joining Wycliffe. However, that changed quickly.
Minutes later, it was Gyoojuns turn to take the stage. Looking From the very first week at CanIL, God just touched my heart,
studious with light-rimmed glasses and a blue dress shirt, he he says. I knew we needed to go out and preach the gospel to
got straight to business. That is, after he filled the room with all nations, but I thought my calling was pastoral ministries in
laughter by telling a joke in Korean, the language used for the Korea only. Thats how I limited my ministry boundary.
entire conference. With a difficult decision to make, Gyoojun turned to an
Wycliffe Canadas Korean Ministries have been providing important mentor for advice: a Korean Wycliffe staff member
Missions 101 to Korean-speaking churches since 2008. Churches back in Korea named Min-Young Jung.
partnering with Wycliffe asked that a missions training program You just overcame all those language and cultural barriers
be created so they could be transformed into congregations that coming to Canadajust to study and live here, right? asked
emphasize missions. Jung who is currently associate director of Wycliffe Global
Within the time parameter [of Missions 101], we try to convey Alliance (the international umbrella agency of which Wycliffe
the core of what missions is, with a holistic approach, says Canada is a member). Why not be a Wycliffe missionary to
Gyoojun, who is based in Toronto. benefit other cultures?

16 Word Alive Spring 2015

Wycliffe Canada was also looking for ethnic workers who can connect
Wycliffe Canadatowas
ethnic churches also looking
Wycliffe and its for ethnic
Bible workersministries.
translation who can connect
ethnic churches to Wycliffe and its Bible translation ministries.
Gyoojun followed his mentors advice. However, instead of Gyoojun says he looked up at the pastor at the pulpit and
becoming a translator, he chose to create a ministry for Korean suddenly he could focus. As the pastor read from the Word of
diaspora churches in Canada. God, his attention was no longer jumbled.
I saw the needs of this mobilization ministry, Gyoojun Years later, after accepting the Lord and being convinced the
explains. Wycliffe Canada was also looking for ethnic workers Lord had called him to pastoral ministry, Gyoojun learned that
who can connect ethnic churches to Wycliffe and its Bible his mom had made a vow to God when he was just a baby that
translation ministries. she would commit him to the Lord.
In the following years, he created a ministry that runs several When I was really young, there were four or five times I almost
programs aimed at recruiting Korean-Canadians to serve with died, he says. Finally his mom took Gyoojun to a pastor. When
Wycliffe overseas and connect churches with the mission field. he prayed for the youngster, he asked his mom if she would
These two must go together in Korean congregations, commit him to God and to becoming a pastor if he survived.
explains Gyoojun. Amazed that God had saved Gyoojuns life, his mom dedicated
For Korean churches, its very group- or community-oriented. him to the Lords service.
So, without having a good relationship with the local churches, Its with this calling that Gyoojun seeks those called to
its very hard to recruit people because they [are viewed as only] Wycliffe among Korean-Canadians.
belong[ing] there.

Who is the Ideal Missionary?

Gyoojun believes Korean-Canadians are fantastic missionary
candidates because they already have experience adapting to a
new culture.
Korean-Canadians have already gone through that process, he
says. Wherever they go around the world, they find it far easier
than someone with experience in only one culture.
Although Korean-Canadians may be ideal candidates, its still
a long process for interested candidates to become Wycliffe
missionaries. Those interested are often as young as high school
students and sometimes after years of communication, and a
verbal commitment, the person decides not to join.
Sometimes we have felt like, wow, these guys are fully ready to
go. Then they just take off, he explains. We get so excited to see
the result as soon as possible, but it takes longer than expected.
In that long process, however, Gyoojuns original calling as a
pastor comes into play. Potential recruits are people with whom
Gyoonjun can pastor and build relationships. When a teenager
talks to him about their wild future dreams, Gyoojun listens, not
because one day the teen may become a Bible translator, but first
because he is loved by Christ.
In this kind of secularized society, how can we mobilize people
to sacrifice all other things and then go to the field for 10 years
or 20 years to translate the Bible? Its impossible, right? Who
could do that?
It would be impossible if God didnt call people to the work
of Bible translation, he explains, before referring to Matthew 9:
37-38 (NIV):
The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of
the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

Mothers Vow
Gyoojuns belief that each person has a calling in life isnt based
(OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP) Gyoojun Lee, director of Wycliffe Canadas
solely on his belief in Scripture. Its also rooted in his experience
Korean Ministries, leads a Mission 101 conference near Calgary in
as a child growing up in Korea.
September 2014. The conference presented an overview of what
One day when he was a child squirming in his church pew, God missions is to more than 100 Korean Canadians. (ABOVE) A group
and His Word gripped his attention and allowed him to concentrate. work on a team-building exercise during the two-day gathering.

Word Alive Spring 2015 17

A Reluc...tant Missionary
Wycliffe Canadas spiritual enrichment
team leader went from resistance to joyful
resignation to serve with the organization.
By Nathan Frank

V alerie Salkeld really didnt want to become a missionary. In

fact, when she and her husband Laird began the process of
joining Wycliffe in 2001, Valerie assumed it would only be a
matter of time before he finally heard from God that they werent
supposed to be missionaries in the first place.
I didnt feel like I was qualified, that I was that mature Christian
that I envisioned missionaries to be, Valerie explains while sitting
in her office at Wycliffe Canadas headquarters in Calgary. I
envisioned missionary women to be [wearing] the bun and a
house dress, living overseas eating bugs. I realized how inaccurate
and immature that picture was as I got to know missionaries.
Valerie, 47, is a stark contrast in appearance to the missionary
women she first envisioned. She has a neat elegance in her attire,
often wearing colourful, knee length dresses, which are accented
by her short hair, shiny earrings and perfect posture.
Practical about her faith, the mother of three resisted
becoming a missionary because it meant she and Laird would
have to raise financial support for their young family.
Its a frightening thing. . . . Laird was always determined to use
his skills [as a graphic designer]. He always felt like what he was
doing he wanted to fully devote to God and so I thought that
was wonderful as long as it didnt affect me. Natasha Schmale Photos

(TOP) In addition to providing spiritual enrichment to Wycliffe

Canada staff, Valerie Salkeld speaks to believers outside the
organization, including Edmontons Ellerslie Road Baptist Church
Ladies Retreat in May, 2014. (BOTTOM) Valerie finds a quiet space
to prepare her presentation for the ladies retreat.

18 Word Alive Spring 2015

We impact
Mature, But Real
Valeries perspective changed, however, when
Wycliffes the couple attended a Wycliffe orientation
course where they met Wycliffe missionaries.
They were the mature Christians everyone
wants to be like, but at the same time they
efforts in seemed real. All of a sudden it didnt seem so
unattainable, she explains.
It wasnt about being a missionary and that
the field label or that title; it was more about just your
relationship with God and thats what I desired.
Valerie and Laird started their missionary
careers in the Calgary office in 2002. Valerie
through began in a support role to Laird, who joined
the communications department. This allowed
Valerie to stay home with their young children.
Although Valerie was officially a missionary,
interceding she wasnt finished bargaining with God.
You won this one, she told the Lord. Ill be
a missionary, but Im not going to do the public
praying thing. Im not going to teach, and Im
for the not going to speak in public. (ABOVE) While her son Clayton clears the dishwasher, Salkeld
Of course, within only a few years Valerie prepares dinner at the Salkelds' Calgary home.
would be doing all of these things. By 2006
she was praying publicly, teaching and
people and public speaking in her new role in the prayer
We can get very caught up in our own jobs and forget about
nurturing our faith and relationship with God, which ultimately
ministries department. is the only source we can rely on.
I think to some level we know what God is
the work asking of us and thats why we put up our hands Grasping His Love
[in defiance] before He even has a chance to ask. For Valerie, it wasnt until a pivotal moment in her life that she
Originally Valerie worked in the department realized that God can be relied onthat He is an intimate God.
only two days a week, but in 2010 she took As a child she grew up in a conservative Christian home with
around on the role of team leader and spearheaded a her three brothers and sisters. She heard all the Bible stories but
change in the department from prayer ministries viewed God as in the sky with a big pointy finger.
to spiritual enrichment. The department She was told God was a loving, forgiving father, but she had a
changed the format of the weekly office chapel hard time grasping His loveuntil the first moment she saw her
the world. time, incorporating the reading of longer first-born, Clayton.
passages of Scripture and expanding prayer I was holding him and in that moment it was like God said
to Wycliffe staff needs across the globe. Her to me, This is how I love you. I realized holding him that this
department is also responsible for sending out baby would grow up. This baby could hurt me emotionally. This
Prayer Alive to Canadians praying for the work. baby might distance himself from me. This baby might disobey
We impact Wycliffes efforts in the field me or do all the things he will do to grow and learn. But there is
through interceding for the people and the nothing, nothingnothingthat this baby can do to make me
work around the world. We also encourage stop loving him.
staff and churches to join with us in being Valerie calls this her conversion moment. It took her breath
prayerfully involved, she explains. I feel I am away realizing that her love for Clayton was just a fraction of the
caring for and facilitating a thriving, sustainable love God has for each of us.
Wycliffe community as well as promoting their By joining Wycliffe, despite her fears and reservations, Valerie
spiritual health and their attentiveness to God's has again experienced Gods love and provisionin serving Him.
movement in their lives. You hear this all the time, right? explains Valerie. People are
Working in a faith-based organization, it is very resistant to do what God has called them to do.
still possible to forget the main reason we are And then they do it and wouldnt trade it for anything.
working together . . . to join in God's work.

Word Alive Spring 2015 19

Drawing from her own experience, Wycliffe Canadas internship
co-ordinator guides students to see whether missions is for them.
By Dwayne Janke Nathan Frank
othersin this case, students
getting on-the-job exposure
to experience what she has.

Off to Tanzania
Born in Brooks, Alta., Amy
spent most of her life in
Caronport, attending school
there right through to Bible
college and seminary. She
gravitated to English as
a Second Language (ESL)
teaching courses, and spent
some time in Thailand, before
graduating with a BA in Global
Studies from Briercrest. As
she interacted with visiting
missions representatives, Amy
was touched by the need for
Bible translation. She decided
to do an internship in Scripture
use through Wycliffe U.K. The
then 28-year-old set off for
Tanzania in January 2008.
Amy joined a Wycliffe
couple from Switzerland who
had their hands full with Bible
translation. They had been

O nce or twice a week through much of the year, you will immersed for 15 years in Sandawe, a difficult, tonal language
find Amy Wolverton at the Gymtastiks club in Moose using 15 different clicks and characterized by a highly challenging
Jaw, Sask. Shes there helping local kids experience grammar.
gymnastics, from rolling on mats to walking on the beam. When I got there, they had translated the books of Jonah and
As a certified gymnastics coach, Amy mentors youngsters in one Ruth, she explains. They wanted somebody to distribute it, teach
of her childhood passions. it, do Bible studies, go to markets in the area. I would have an mp3
I grew up doing gymnastics from age four to 15, she says. In player playing the Scriptures and songs, and people would buy
elementary school, Id go to school, then to gymnastics almost calendars in their language with the alphabet on the back.
every day, and I loved it right up to the time I quit. Amy learned as much Sandawe as she could, though she often
Twenty minutes down the highway at her hometown of had to default to Swahili, the main trade language in Tanzania,
Caronport, Amy also coaches the track and field club at the local which she studied for four months at a language school when
high school, which is connected to the communitys centrepiece, she first arrived in the country. The active young woman
Briercrest Bible College and Seminary. enjoyed her 18 months on the field, including the travel and
Because of her love of track and field throughout grade social interaction.
school, Amy decided to volunteer to guide the Caronport I like riding my bike, I like walking, and I like exercise. The
teenagers in the sport. different villages I would go around to would be an hour away,
Its something I really enjoy, she says. I can build relationships, but I could walk and greet people along the way.
and I can help the kids improve and see them grow, and support
them in their sport. Field Realization
Coaching is obviously in the blood of this 33-year-old wife and Amy saw staff working behind the scenes in areas such as finance
mother of two small children. and accounting which support the effort of Bible translators,
So, it seems only natural that Amy serves as co-ordinator of literacy workers and Scripture use staff.
Wycliffe Canadas internship program. Once again, she is helping It gave me a whole new perspective, she says. Then when I got
20 Word Alive Spring 2015
Natasha Schmale

(OPPOSITE PAGE) As Wycliffe Canadas internship program Whatever their circumstances, Amy says young people
co-ordinator, Amy Wolverton draws on her experiences of guiding todayunlike their parentsare faced with many more
and mentoring as a certified coach at the Gymtastiks club in possibilities for careers. They often need to try things before
Moose Jaw, Sask. (ABOVE) Working remotely from nearby Caronport,
committing to anything long term, which makes Wycliffes
Amy Wolverton shows off her new baby girl, Senna, during a video
internship program so relevant.
conference meeting with other staff across Canada in Wycliffes
People department. They get a good experience and . . . I think it helps them get
some direction, either Yes, this is for me or No, it isnt for me.
out to the village setting, I realized what it takes to translate the Internships are a win-win situation, both for the intern and the
Biblehow much work and time, double and triple checking. Wycliffe personnel they assist, explains Amy. Most are replying,
Amy knew the long translation effort was worth it when she Yes, send me another one.
played audio portions of the translated book of Jonah to a group So far, 36 young people have been on Wycliffe internships since
of Sandawe village women. Though the women had the Swahili the program began in 2010. Of that number, five have joined
Bible, it was listening to Gods Word in their heart language and Wycliffe, three are serving in full-time Christian work, and a
following along with printed Scriptures that struck home. handful of others are currently studying for service with Wycliffe.
At the end of it, I remember this one lady said, Oh, thats what
the books all about. In the end, their faces lit up.
Seeing Growth in Others
When Id go to the market and play their songs or Scripture, Working remotely from Caronport, Amy interacts with interns
they just felt a great pride in it and they would say, This is our from the application process right through to their post-field
language. We can understand it. debriefing, via email, Skype or in person.
When Amy returned to Canada in late 2010, she began dating She gives potential interns one-on-one attention to match
Justin, a long-time friend in Caronport. They were married the them with relevant ministry opportunities somewhere in
next summer. Wycliffes worldwide ministry, ranging from two months to one
Justin had made a commitment to continue playing basketball year. These internships have so far included linguistics, Bible
and studying at Briercrest. During the couples engagement, translation, literacy, Bible storytelling, ethno arts, Scripture use,
Wycliffe Canada approached Amy to spearhead a new internship teaching missionary kids, administration, video production and
program. She didnt hesitate to work with young people wanting information technology.
to get a taste of cross-cultural ministry like she had. Theres a huge variety, she says of the possibilities. People
I had just experienced it, she says. Im fresh out of college, shouldnt get the idea that because we say were Wycliffe Bible
seminary[I am at the] same stage as them. I can understand. Translators that there are only opportunities in language work.
Most interns have never travelled before, other than on family
Increasing Opportunities vacations, says Amy, or they have not travelled alone.
Most post-secondary institutions, including Bible schools and Im helping them with visas, and plane tickets and travel tips.
seminaries, require students to do an experience- and exposure- All my past travel experience I can pass on to them, and then
building internship as part of their studies, says Amy. Wycliffe [my experience] cross-culturally too.
Canada is partnering with more and more schools to provide These days, Amy is busy with a two-year-old son and an infant
such opportunities. daughter, and is taking a six-month maternity leave, before
About half of Wycliffe interns are post-secondary students who returning in her fulfilling role as internship co-ordinator.
have taken classes in their area of interest but want an internship I just like seeing growth and building those relationships,
to see if they should answering questions and being available and helping.
continue those Whether its in the gym, outside on a track, or at her desk
More on the Web:
To learn more about Wycliffe Canadas studies. Some are guiding interns, Amy keeps on coaching young people as they
internship program, visit out of high school test and pursue passions and gifts God has given them.
and want to try an
internship and then do their schooling, she adds. Others have
done some schooling and then want to specialize in an area.

Word Alive Spring 2015 21

Natasha Schmale Photos

For Jonathan, 48, and his wife Bonnie, 46, the mission field is
now Toronto, but for more than eight years, from 2000-2008, their
focus was in Central Asia where they worked in translation with
Former Wycliffe translators use their field Wycliffe. The task then was to help devise an alphabet, create
literacy material, and translate the Bible for a language group there.
experiences to help their colleagues and Now the task is to take what they learned in the field and walk in
would-be missionaries. a new callingJonathan as a professor and Bonnie as a counsellor
and member-care consultant for Wycliffe Canada.
By Nathan Frank What I learned is that relationships are important, Jonathan
explains in the cafeteria between classes. As a Wycliffe member,

I t would be difficult to find a more diverse class than the I tend to be task oriented, and we as an organization tend to be
group Jonathan Kim taught this past June. Standing in front task orientated.
of a small group of students gathered at Tyndale Intercultural Both Bonnie and Jonathan confide that while they were on
Ministries Centre in Toronto for a two-week missions course, assignment overseas, they felt isolated with no one to talk to
Jonathan pointed out that there were nearly 10 different ethnic about the unique challenges of translation work. Then, when
groups represented in the class. they were finished their mission, they were left asking themselves
Surrounding one table are a pair of Korean men, a Dutch- what was next.
Canadian man and a man from Mainland China. At another table All I knew was Bible translation, explains Jonathan. All of a
are a group of women: a Jamaican, a Portuguese, an African- sudden Im not doing that. I tried to grapple with the reality of,
American and a Canadian. Jonathan was born and raised in Korea, What does this mean to me? What does it mean for my family?
while his partner in teaching the class, Robert Cousins, is Irish.
Jonathan explains to the multiethnic, multiracial class that it is Struggle Leads to a New Calling
like the global Church, before issuing a challenge. The mission is When they returned from Central Asia in 2008, they prayed,
to bring the gospel to all nations and in Toronto the nations are regrouped and evaluated what their greatest passions were.
on your doorstep. Drop all expectations, Jonathan told Bonnie. Drop all youre
supposed to do. Think about what you want to do.

22 Word Alive Spring 2015

We saw that a lot of
missionary families are
Bonnie reflected on life in Central Asia. The main goal was suffering . . . but
Bible translation, but where she found her passion was in the
conversations with other missionaries who often came to their mission agencies and
home to talk about their struggles.
We found ourselves doing a lot of informal counselling,
their sending church have
Bonnie explains. Both my husband and I have a heart to see little idea.
people thriving and growing in their journey.
We saw that a lot of missionary families are suffering, Jonathan
adds. The relationship between husband and wife was not going
well, the relationship with their children may not be going well,
but mission agencies and their sending church have little idea.
Jonathan says struggling missionaries are not as effective in their When Jonathan was in Central Asia he saw that his translation
ministries as they could be because they are often reluctant to share work was not as effective as it could be because of a lack of
their problems with peers and supervisors. They believe they may multi-cultural training.
be viewed as not successful enough to remain in the organization. In Jonathans June class, he taught the group how every person
So, the couple decided to do something about the needs they has a cultural mindset. However, we accept, adapt, minimize or
saw. Bonnie began working toward her counselling credentials and deny the differences of cultures. The course is meant to have the
is now a student counsellor in Tyndales counselling department. students become more self-aware of how differences in cultures
As a member-care consultant for Wycliffe, her main role is affect relationships and ministry.
to organize and run week-long re-entry programs for returning
missionaries. In the future, however, she hopes to gain a bigger Bi-focals
role in connecting and caring for them. According to Jonathans co-instructor, Robert Cousins, Jonathan
Its in the very beginning stages of how to do it, but in the is the perfect person to teach this course. He teaches with a
long run, my primary interest group are missionaries who are humble, but vast perspective. He knows what its like to be out
coming back and taking a few months rest; where I will be able of place in an alien culture. In fact, with all the different cultures
to provide professional care. he and Bonnie have lived in, they could multiply that feeling
several times over.
Teaching Future Missionaries When Bonnie counsels returning missionaries at the re-entry
While Bonnie chose counselling, Jonathan saw teaching as his program, she knows how the missionaries feel. She understands
new path. In 2009, he began his PhD studies in education at the isolation and confusing feelings they have associated with
Trinity International University in Deerfield, Ill. returning from assignment.
Today, he teaches intensive cross-cultural mission training and Jonathan and Bonnie may not be overseas as missionaries
language courses at Tyndale to missionaries and churches. His anymore, but its clear their impact for Wycliffe is just as important.
position was created through a partnership agreement between 1 Corinthians 12:12 (ESV) reminds us that, For just as the
Tyndale and Wycliffe. body is one and has many members, and all the members of the
Jonathans hope is to equip and empower missionaries and body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
churches with what he sees lacking in the mission field and in The Kims are an important part of the body of Christ and
home churches. of Wycliffe, as they empower fellow missionaries to serve
better overseas.

(OPPOSITE) Jonathan Kim

teaches a two-week mis-
sions course to a group of
about 20 students at Tyndale
Intercultural Ministries Centre
on the campus of Tyndale
University College and Seminary
in Toronto, where he and his
wife Bonnie both spend a lot
of their time. While Jonathan
teaches, Bonnie is a counsellor
at Tyndale and a member-care
consultant for Wycliffe Canada.
(RIGHT) As the Kims gather
for a family photo, (from left,
Bonnie, Jeremy, Jessie, Joel and
Jonathan) Jeremy and Jessie
show off their musical talents by
performing a duet.
P u l l e d B a c k to

Tabe Abiandroa Jean-Pierre

Drawn home to Canada by family ties, David Thermoset attends a Wycliffe Canada-sponsored field
program in Africa, where he and his wife Henny served for 17
David Thormoset takes on a new role to years. Field trips are part of Davids role as director of field partner
relations, where he oversees Wycliffe Canadas relationships with
support Bible translation overseas. its numerous global partners who are doing Bible translation and
related ministries, funded by Canadian donors.
By Doug Lockhart

F or David Thormoset, the freak weather pattern that buried Hearing and Heeding
Calgary in more than 25 cm of snow this past September David and Henny were in Cameroon when they learned that
was another reminder that hes a long way from Africa. 19-year-old Andreas had taken his own life while living with
Besides adjusting to climatic differences between Calgary and relatives in Calgary (see Word Alive Spring 2004 at
Cameroon, where he and his wife Henny served for the past 17 <>). Since then, they have done their best
years, hes also adjusting to an entirely new job. to provide emotional and practical support for their daughter
As director of field partner relations, David now oversees Sonya, and their twin sons Nathan and Stefan.
Wycliffe Canadas relationships with its numerous global Sonya has since married and moved to Switzerland, while
partners who are involved in Bible translation and other Nathan and Stefan have both married and settled in Calgary. But
language-related ministries funded by Canadian donors. That when the twins told Henny in December 2012 that they wanted
means the veteran linguist and translation adviser will no longer her and their dad to return to Canadalong termDavid and
be directly involved in training minority language groups to Henny took their request very seriously.
translate Scripture. In Africa, it was easy to assume that the kids were fine, says
But hes okay with that, because he and Henny are still David. Of course we missed them like crazy and it was really
involved in furthering Bible translationand in Calgary, theyll hard to not see our two granddaughters, but our thinking was,
be near two of their three adult children and their families. This is what God has called us to do.
While the desire to be there for their kids has always been Their sons request forced them to reconsider their plan to
important to the Thormosets, it became an even greater priority keep working in Cameroon. David says he and Henny realized
after the tragic death of their son Andreas in 2001. that if they stayed, their children and grandchildren would have
to make sacrifices.

24 Word Alive Spring 2015

The idea is that we always have our Sharper Focus
This past September, David travelled to Africa to assess a Wycliffe
finger on the pulse of the projects our Canada-sponsored language project in Tanzania and another in
partners are doing, to see how we the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Eventually, his work
will take him to other countries to visit with partners in Wycliffe
can come alongside and help them. Canadas focus regions that also include Cameroon, Peru,
Bougainville (in Papua New Guinea), Thailand, and even here in
Canada, as well as a few partners in restricted access regions
within Asia.
Even though there was no crisis with our sons or their families In recent years, Wycliffe Canada has taken steps to sharpen
. . . there was a felt-need that they were being deprived of its geographic focus in terms of recruitment, prayer and
something. project funding. Furthermore, David and his colleagues hope
As David and Henny prayed about the idea of leaving to encourage the formation of Kingdom Friendships between
Cameroon, they felt a growing confidence and peace that a Wycliffes overseas partner organizations and churches in Canada
return to Canada was part of Gods plan. (see Word Alive Summer 2014 at <>).
We had to really re-think, re-analyze what that could look like With about 500 staff scattered around the globe, Wycliffe
if we were to serve from Canada, says David. But we realized Canadas role in the worldwide Bible translation movement is a
that we would still get to serve Bible translation. modest one. But with more than 1,800 languages still in need of
We havent pulled away from the task that we feel so Scripture translation, the need for effective global partnerships
passionate about. is crucial to finish Bible translation in this generation. Wycliffes
leaders are hopeful that by directing people and resources to
Expanded Role strategic regions, and encouraging healthy, growing Kingdom
After the Thormosets moved to Calgary in January 2014, David Friendships, Wycliffe Canada can make an even greater impact
began his work in the Calgary office by orienting himself to on language communities.
Wycliffe Canadas overseas projects. Initially assigned to be a liaison
between the home office and Bible translation projects in Africa, More on the Web:
Settling In Learn how a B.C. church has begun
he has since taken on the additional responsibility of directing Fostering Kingdom Friendships a Kingdom Friendship with a
all field partner relations. In that role, he oversees a team of field between overseas language groups Bible translation agency in Peru.
partner liaisons, most of whom serve part time in that capacity and Canadian churches is part of See Word Alive (Summer 2014) at
while juggling other roles and responsibilities in the organization. Hennys job as director of Church
Both roles will require him to regularly visit language projects Connectionswhich means she
overseas and interact with the leaders of local organizations and David frequently find themselves working together to engage
that Wycliffe partners with in Bible translation. Together, they local churches in the work of Bible translation.
will review the projects progress, financial records and resource While they both enjoy such opportunities, David says theyve
needs, while exploring ways to serve and build capacity in the both struggled in adapting to their new roles and surroundings.
partner agencies so they can expand the scope of their work. At times, he adds, theyve both felt in over their heads.
Its relationship-building, adds David. Its one thing to get on I think both of us are longing to feel settled a bit; to get our
Skype or send an email, but its another for our field partners to roots down, get some routine. Because a tremendous amount of
be able to put a face to a name, our time has been spent on trying to . . . get a sense of what we
More on the Web: and know, Oh yeah, this is the
For more information about want to accomplish. . . .
guy we talk to whenever theres Additionally, David has missed working with Cameroonian and
Wycliffe Canada projects, visit a need. expat colleagues.
Furthermore, David says he We dont get to rub shoulders anymore with the awesome
and other project liaisons will do people we had the privilege of working with over the past 17 years.
their best to help Wycliffes field partners fill personnel gaps, by And theres something thats always been appealing about . . .
recruiting needed staff. speaking different languages. I really enjoy that.
So were looking basically to work hand-in-hand with people However, the Thormosets are thankful for the opportunity to
in our recruitment department, and to help place interns and establish new roots and routines in Calgary, close to their two
volunteers. The idea is that we always have our finger on the sons and their wives, and twin granddaughters.
pulse of the projects our partners are doing, to see how we can The loving words spoken in their kids homes are music to
come alongside and help them. their ears, and a source of joy and strength as David and Henny
continue to further Bible translation around the world.

Word Alive Spring 2015 25

Lutheran Bible Institute in Camrose, Alta. She had already
finished a business administration diploma before attending

Wycliffe Canadas receipts manager
returns to the finance department in
Calgary after three decades.
Bible college, but it wasnt until she saw a bright orange paper
that her Wycliffe career was birthed.
It was from Wycliffe and it was all the accounting and
bookkeeping positions in the world, she recalls. Id never
thought that I could use what I like to do and the training I
By Nathan Frank already had for GodI just never knew that.

Dolores applied for a short-term mission position with

D olores Wuermli has a gentle presence. Perhaps its because Wycliffe and after only a couple months of being in Calgary,
her outlook on life has been seasoned by raising two she met her future husband Sam, whom she married in 1982.

children. Or maybe the grace and peace the tender-eyed Three years later, Dolores became pregnant with their first child,
Dolores radiates is simply caused by the way her brain is wired Natashia, and stepped down from her position at Wycliffe to
toward numbers. It could even be that the stories she hears focus on being a mother. A year later she and Sam had their
daily from donors as Wycliffes receipts manager has given her a second child, Josiah.
holistic perspective. With their young family growing, the Wuermlis decided to
She oversees processing of about a million dollars of donations move to Fort St. John, BC., to work alongside Sams cousin at
from Canadians each month and speaks to many of the donors. his dairy farm. The move north was a return to where Sam first
Her job is crucial for hundreds of Wycliffe Canada staff around immigrated when he moved to Canada, and was close to Dawson
the world who need their salaries paid each month. Creek, where Dolores was born and spent some time as a child.
Processing all the gifts from donors for Wycliffe Canada However, after more than eight years raising their young
members helps them to continue doing their work, knowing children around cattle and the fresh country air, the Wuermlis
thats taken care of and that they can buy groceries and send felt like they needed a change.
their kids to school. We had always considered doing missions together, Dolores
In addition, field project managers overseas need funds that explains. We thought wed check out Wycliffe and found out
the finance department sends their way, explains Dolores. It they had a need for a bookkeeper for the South Asia Group
helps management make decisions. [based in England].
Dolores role may be important and serious, but its also fun. We prayed about it as a family. We talked about it with [the
She finds particular enjoyment in her connections with donors. kids]. It wasnt just that we said to them one day, Were doing
One young lad, she says, sold his pet lizard so he could donate this and youre coming along. We wanted them to feel a part of
$100, and a 5-year-old donated 40 cents. the whole ministry, too, and I think they did.
The boy who gave the 40 cents was sent a receipt and a letter The Wuermlis next move would be a big one, across the
from Wycliffe Canada, says Dolores. We wanted to encourage Atlantic Ocean to England.
him to continue giving as the Lord leads.
Changing Roles and Disappointment
Id never thought that I could The family settled at the Wycliffe U.K. Centre in England in 1996.
use what I like to do and the Dolores was the bookkeeper for the South Asia and the North
Eurasian entities of SIL (Wycliffes main field partner), while Sam
training I already had for God. worked in information technology and maintenance.
For Dolores and her husband Sam, a donors commitment will A decade later in 2006, Dolores and Sam were given added
sometimes be close to home. Ever since the Wuermlis became roles at the Wycliffe U.K. Centre as house parents for those who
Wycliffe missionaries serving in the U.K. in 1995, Sams parents came to Wycliffe England to volunteer.
in Switzerland were consistent financial partners. However, when We were there to care for them, listen, pray with them and
Sams mom passed away in 2012, his dad dropped his support encourage them, Dolores explains. The hardest part was saying
from 500 Swiss Francs (SF) to 400because he no longer goodbye every six months to another group of amazing young
received her pension. Before Sams father passed away, Sam and people.
Dolores realized that the entire pension he received was 500 SF. The program, however, ended in 2009, when the England office
He gave us 80 per cent of what he received. When we asked was closed. The Wuermlis were devastated.
him about this he said he was taken care of in the [seniors] Lord, what are you doing that we dont see? Dolores asked.
home. He didnt need any new things, just toothpaste and soap, She describes the pain she felt as a loss or a death.
explains Dolores. What sacrifice! What now? the Wuermlis asked themselves, feeling
disappointed in those making the decisions.
Meshing Accounting with Missions

I knew deep down in my soul that God was calling us to come

Dolores first realized that Wycliffe and her love of accounting back to Canada and Sam wasnt on that page for a while, says
could mesh in 1980, when she was attending the Canadian Dolores. I had to just pray and let God do His work in his life to
also bring him to that point.

F 26 Word Alive Spring 2015

Transition to Canada
Helping the Wuermlis make the transition back
to Canada in 2011 was a 13-week Freedom in
Christ discipleship course they took in England
and now teach in Calgary.
The course teaches participants how to apply
forgiveness to their lives and to walk in freedom
in who they are in Christ, by going to God with
their hurts.
In the pain we experienced in 2009 and 2010,
we knew God was with us. He felt our pain. He
held us. He showed us where we needed to
confess sin and repent. He taught us to forgive
and forgive and forgiveand when the emotions
raged He reminded us to be honest with Him

about how we were feeling and cry out to him.

He would love us, no matter
what we said.
After some time, Dolores

and Sam began to feel more

comfortable in their new roles
for Wycliffe Canada. Although
Sam still misses England to this
day, his new role as the Race
to 2025 co-ordinator has been

his dream job, combining his

passion for the wilderness and
working with young people. The
adventure race is a fundraising
and recruitment tool.
I realized that we need be
where God wants us to be.
Otherwise I may not be as happy
over there and definitely not as
effective, explains Sam. Through
the race we have an incredible
influence on young people. (TOP) Dolores Wuermli (left) has a laugh while
Dolores, like Sam, has found opening mail filled with donations with her
her new role fits with her colleagues in the receipts department. (LEFT)
passions and skills. Its a position Dolores creates a Swiss delicacy called zopf in
co-ordinated by God. her Calgary home, for the Wuermlis Sunday
I love being here and I love morning breakfast. Dolores Swiss husband
the team I have. I think they also Sam taught her how to make the braided

enjoy it, Dolores says. They bread more than 30 years ago. (RIGHT) In her
dont find it stressful. They look living room, Dolores helps Wycliffe accountant
forward to coming to work. We Bota Davletova and her mother Sauliya make
greeting cards, a hobby of Dolores for nearly 20
just try to create a space where
years. She hosts a group of ladies once a month
people want to be, who want to to make cards.

do this job, but also that we can Natasha Schmale Photos


enjoy each other and pray for

each other.
Because Dolores and Sam took a leap with
God, today they find themselves where they are
supposed to bein Gods plan.

Word Alive Spring 2015 27

Beyond Words

Translating the Gospel

By Hart Wiens

Part 13
Rhetorical Figures
By Hart Wiens

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who
believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Editors Note:
This is the final
in a series of 14
T he phrase may not perish is part of a bold rhetorical figure which the
writer uses to highlight the ultimate destiny of the person who believes in
Jesus. The figure profiles the desirability of that destiny by first emphasizing
what it is not.
In the original Greek, this phrase consists of the word for not followed by
articles reflecting
on the verse John the word , which is translated in some English versions as perish. The
3:16 word by primary meaning of the Greek word actually has to do with destruction and is
word. The series glossed in Greek lexicons as to destroy or to ruin. In The Message, Eugene
illustrates some of Peterson has be destroyed. Other recent versions such as Good News, Gods Word
the challenges Bible and The Contemporary English Version try to capture the fact that what is being
translators face as dealt with here is a life and death matter, so the Greek word is translated into
they seek to present English as die.
Gods Good News The variation that we find in our English versions illustrates the difficulty
in every language of translating rhetorical figures in a way that fully and accurately captures the
spoken on earth. meaning of the original. Peterson is certainly right to translate this verse in a
way that shows that believing in Christ keeps us from destruction. However, his
rendering is so general that many readers will have difficulty knowing what type
of destruction is being referred to. Older and more literal versions tend to use
the English word perish, which is accurate, but also
archaic because many contemporary Bible users do not
In the case of difficult use perish to mean to die anymore. By making this
rhetorical figures, a life and death issue, newer versions are more easily
the work of the understood, but people may take these translations too
literally as referring to physical death.
translators must be Our UBS Translators Handbook warns translators that
supplemented by this verse has frequently been misinterpreted to imply
the work of teachers that if people simply believed in Jesus that they would
never experience physical death. The Contemporary
and preachers. English Version tries to avoid this misinterpretation by
saying that those who have faith in Jesus will never
really die, implying that there is a kind of death other than physical death from
which they will be spared.
Ultimately, as translators we must recognize that in the case of difficult
rhetorical figures such as these, our work is not enough. The work of the
translators must be supplemented by the work of teachers and preachers. The
Bible Society is keenly aware of the need for partnership with the Church. The
work of Bible teachers, preachers, and even parents and Bible study leaders is
critical for followers of Jesus to understand the Bible so they may grow and
become true disciples in the Kingdom that Jesus came to bring.

28 Word Alive Spring 2015

Part 14
Limitations to Translation
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who
believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. (John 3:16)

O ne of the reasons Christians love this verse so much is its promise of life
eternal life. According to this verse we have this life through a combination
of what God has done and our response to it. God sent his Son to save us
and the anticipated response on our part is faith that results in action.
The original Greek text is . The first Greek word is the source from
which we derive our English word zoology. It is generally translated in English
as life. The second word is most frequently translated into English as eternal.
We get our English word eon from this Greek root. Unfortunately in our English
translation, as in many languages, the focus in a word like eternal tends to be on
the length of timetime without end. However, in Greek and in the context of the
Jewish culture in which the Gospel was written, the focus is as much on the quality
of life that is promised as on the length of time. The Jewish people looked forward
to a time when the Messiah would come and rulethe messianic age. Could that
be what John had in mind when he wrote about eternal life in this verse?
Those of us who just read this verse in our English translations without
understanding the context in which John lived and wrote, will tend to think
of a time after death when the part of us that does not die goes on to live
forever in heaven. However, for Jesus, and for his early followers, that time had
already begun with the coming of Jesus, the long-awaited Messiah. Everything
that Jesus did and taught was intended to demonstrate that the messianic age
(the Kingdom) had come near. So perhaps what John is telling us here is that
Illustration by Cindy Buckshon
by believing in Jesusby believing that he is indeed Gods
Messiahwe are ushered into a whole new quality of life.
In Greek and in the This life does not just begin at our physical death and then
context of the Jewish go on forever after that. It begins here and now, and goes
on after our bodies die. It begins as soon as we recognize
culture in which and place our trust in the Messiahthe one and only Son
the Gospel was of God whom God sent into this world because He loves us
written, the focus so much.
The inadequacy of translations to capture the full range
is as much on the of what Scripture is trying to communicate profiles the
quality of life that importance of sound biblical teaching to help convey
is promised as on the depth of meaning that cannot always be captured in
translation. As Bible translators, we work in partnership
the length of time. with the Church to bring the powerful good news of the
gospel to transform peoples lives.

Reprinted with permission from the Canadian Bible Societys Translating the
Gospel article series, written by Hart Wiens, CBS director of Scripture translation. Hart and his wife Ginny
served with Wycliffe Canada in a Bible translation project among the Kalinga people in the Philippines for
19 years. More recently, Hart has been a Wycliffe Canada board member.

Word Alive Spring 2015 29

A Thousand Words

The Kabetu Lip

Steve Kabetu (see his story on pg. 12-13), a new

Wycliffe Canada board member, holds a picture
of his great-grandfather (middle, wrapped in
a blanket) along with two other elders of the
pre-Kenyan village of Kebete. Before explaining
that in the early 1900s his great-grandfather
agreed to allow missionaries to establish
a church and a school in the community,
Kabetu points to a distinguishing feature
of his ancestorthe Kabetu lip. The pointy
middle part of his own lip, he acknowledges,
Natasha Schmale is the same as his great-grandfathers.

30 Word Alive Spring 2015

Last Word

Fellow Workers in the Truth

By Roy Eyre

n 1 Samuel 30, Davids small ragtag army returns from
a discouraging venture only to face disaster. As they
near Ziklag, the foreboding smell of smoke alerts them
to the fact their unprotected town has been raided by
the Amalekites, their families taken captive and their
mission out of an inferiority complex. The body image
has powerful resonance here.
To apply Pauls metaphor about the body to missions,
evangelism ministries shouldnt be ranked higher than
training schools. And the administrative assistant should
homes burned. Its too much. They raise their voices and not think herself less a part of the body because she is
weep until they have no more strength to weep. not a translator.
Thats when their agony shifts to anger, and theyre Theres encouragement for you, as well. The apostle
ready to stone the one who led them away on this John picks up the same thread when he makes a hero
failed excursion. David, already distraught because his out of a quiet church member named Gaius. He says
two wives are among the captives, refuses to give in. He in 3 John 8 that, when we support people who take
strengthens himself in the Lord his God, and then he Gods truth to those who havent heard it, we are fellow
moves to action. workers in the truth.
David inquires of the Lord, and God promises success. We all have a part to play, and God can put our
Before the bitterness can harden, David rallies all 600 meagre resources together to create real impact. Wycliffe
men. They probably dont mind having an action plan, is not simply a group of translators. Were a team of
but theyre not fit for quick pursuit. Before long, a third administrators, receipt clerks, teachers,
of them collapse, because they are too exhausted to cross photographers and church-goers,
a river. David switches to plan B, taking participating in Gods mission to
advantage of this setback to allow those transform and restore our world.
Churches too often with remaining strength to thin down their Were a Canadian movement
have a hierarchy, gear and leave it with the 200. Moving that dares to dream that we can
lighter on their feet, the 400 catch up with fuel a global Bible translation
valuing those working the Amalekites and rout them, freeing their movement.
at home below those families and collecting plenty of loot. Roy Eyre is the president
on the front lines. The question they face now is this: of Wycliffe Bible Translators of Canada.
does the loot belong to the 400 on the
Here at Wycliffe, front lines, or to the entire army? In spite
we have a parallel of voices to the contrary, David decides
hierarchy. that the one who goes into battle will
have the same share as the one who stays
with the supplies. Eventually David will
make this principle the law of the land:
people should not be valued differently because of the
specific piece they can contribute to a missions success.
This principle has an application today for how we
view missions. In my experience, churches too often
have a hierarchy, valuing those working at home below
those on the front lines. Im not pointing fingers. Here at
Wycliffe, we have a parallel hierarchy: translators are at
the top of the heap, and everyone else fits into another
tier. Even mission agencies can compare themselves
against other missions. But such thinking is neither
healthy nor biblical.
In his book The Mission of Gods People, Dr. Chris
Wright comments: In the variety of mission God has
entrusted to His church as a whole, it is unseemly
for one kind of mission to dismiss another out of a
superiority complex, or to undervalue itself as not real Copyright 2014:
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