Making an Impact | Wycliffe Bible Translators

Making an Impact

  • January 24, 2023
  • By: Catherine Graul
people meeting around a table taking notes

How do you hope to grow in a position? By learning skills? Gaining practical experience? Developing meaningful relationships? What about making an impact on the world?

If you’re courageous and flexible enough to embrace humility, you could join God where He is at work! When you serve with Wycliffe Bible Translators, you’ll join a group of teammates who are rooted in their faith and ready to embrace you as part of the family. Whether you’re looking to serve overseas, remote or in the U.S., your contributions will open doors and have lasting significance.

Katherine Jesson served in writing and international relations and Mark Rice served in IT. Both were able to use their skills and passion for God’s Word in a task that has an eternal impact.

Path to Missions

Katherine
Katherine

When Katherine was a freshman at Gordon College, she heard a Wycliffe speaker share and was inspired. She joined the Bible Translation Cohort, a group of like-minded students who wanted to explore serving in Bible translation. “I thought it was a good idea to pursue and explore my calling through … Wycliffe,” Katherine said.

In the summer of 2020, Katherine used her writing skills to create country-specific fact sheets that described the cultures, translation needs and opportunities for people to serve. “My project [helped] recruiters and people interested in serving get connected [in] the right places and the right roles,” Katherine continued: “People can learn about what God is doing around the world and … in the Church.”

“That’s been my favorite part — learning about the Church and what God is doing around the world,” she said. “I learned about countries I hadn't even heard of before. It’s amazing to see how God is working in each culture and to realize I have brothers and sisters all around the world!”

Making a Difference

Mark studied software engineering at St. Cloud State University. He also has a previous degree as a math teacher. Mark first learned of Wycliffe through a newsletter of possible jobs that a professor sent, but the timing never worked out for him to serve with Wycliffe. “But I always thought it would be a great experience to work for an organization like Wycliffe,” he said.

Mark
Mark

Later on, Mark was invited to visit a Perspectives on the World Christian Movement class and the speaker just happened to be from Wycliffe. As Mark listened, he became intrigued. The speaker was from the same area as Mark, had graduated from the same university and even had a math education and IT background!

Mark said: “The similarities in our stories and our journeys made me realize, ‘Hey, this is a path! This is something I could do!’”

The next summer, Mark worked in information systems, helping build an application to perform business intelligence and data analysis of financial gifts. He took over from several students who had initially developed the app. “It’s a completely student-led project,” Mark said. “No organization can function without money! Just the ability to increase and improve resources can potentially allow Wycliffe to … send out more people [to work] on translation projects. … That’s how I [helped] Bible translation with this project.”

Looking Ahead

Mark and Katherine are both grateful for their experiences at Wycliffe.

Mark loved the practical experience he received. “I really don’t have any professional experience in software engineering yet,” Mark said. “[This] … is my first time being a professional in the field of computers [and] software technology. That has been my biggest takeaway [and] most valuable experience: being a professional working in a professional environment.”

Katherine also appreciated a broadened perspective: “This … opened my eyes to the importance of the global Church and of American Christians being in communication with our brothers and sisters across the world. I don’t yet know how God will use this, but that’s what He’s been putting on my heart.”

Katherine continued: “[Serving with Wycliffe] is a great opportunity because there are so many different roles that you can really find one to work with your skills. It's really exciting to contribute to this ministry and use your skills to support Bible translation in a way you might not have thought of. It was also nice to work in an environment that is about relationship building, not just about what we produce or accomplish. … It’s about how you are growing as a person.”

Mark agreed. “You will get everything out of your … [experience] that you would hope to get, and you are also contributing to a ministry. You know the work you’re doing is worthwhile.”

Learn more about volunteering with Wycliffe by visiting wycliffe.org/volunteer.