Today was the first full day of Equip Onsite, a two-week training course for all new members of Wycliffe Bible Translators which follows Equip Online, a six-week online course which I recently completed. Equip Onsite is held at Wycliffe USA headquarters in Orlando, Florida where I will be working after completion of the course.
I’ll try to blog regularly (and often) during Equip Onsite to share what I’m learning. Today, we spent most of the day sharing our personal stories with the rest of the group about how we were called to missions and why we chose to join Wycliffe. Although the primary purpose is to get acquainted, I suspect that this is also our first opportunity to practice “partnership development” which constitutes a large part of the course. Since most Wycliffe members depend on voluntary gifts of family, friends, and churches for financial support, partnership development is necessary. By virtue of my retirement funds accumulated during my 35 years in academia, I am fortunate to be a “partially self-supporting member” but I intend to raise financial support for special pilot projects in social media and other parts of my portfolio.
Needless to say, the variety of stories exhibits God’s leading as well as his provision which has led each of us to begin our common journey as Wycliffe members. In addition to sharing my own story today, I was also further encouraged in one of my major motivations for joining Wycliffe in order to tell the story of Bible translation through the stories of those who devote their lives to this task. Their stories are indeed compelling as well as worthy to be distributed widely so I am convinced of the contribution which social media can make to this goal.