Saturday, May 24, 2008

This past Thursday, we did something that was a first for us. We held a public relations training seminar. Can you imagine that? A couple of ex-dairy farmers, small town hicks, and introverted ordinary working linguists like us trying to inspire and encourage others to be outgoing, dynamic, and entertaining presenters of the work God is doing through the ministry of Wycliffe Bible Translators? Yeah, we have trouble believing it too! It’s not something we ever thought we’d be doing, but that’s exactly what happened.

Several Wycliffe folks who had seen the “Welcome to Ouagadougou!” or “An Evening With Wycliffe” presentations we had developed over the past couple of years thought they were an interesting and effective way of presenting the ministry of Wycliffe to churches. Though far from professional, the presentations received a lot of good feedback from church members that saw them, with many saying that they had never seen a missions presentation like that!

As a result, the Wycliffe folks thought that other Wycliffe representatives could also use these kinds of presentations to encourage God’s people to get involved in the work of language development and Bible translation, as well as individual members looking to assemble a team of prayer & financial partners for their individual ministries. So they asked us to hold a training seminar before we took off for Burkina Faso again this fall.

About a dozen people came to the seminar, and we spent an afternoon trying to pass on some of the enthusiasm we felt, the materials we had created or developed, and the lessons we had learned. That evening, we did an actual presentation of “An Evening With Wycliffe” at the Waterloo Pentecostal Assembly so that the seminar participants could see how it actually looked in action, and the impact it had on those who came to see it. It did not come off perfectly. We deliberately made a few mistakes so that they could learn from these also :)

We have to admit that although this is something we never thought we’d do, we love doing it! We love meeting and talking with people, entertaining folks with our presentations, helping fellow Wycliffe members carry out their ministries, and being used by God to mobilize His people for the remaining Bible translation task. Soon we’ll be heading off to our other lives in Africa, but for the time being, we wouldn’t trade places with anyone!

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