Where are you going?

We have been assigned to the country of Côte d'Ivoire. It is located in the southern part of West Africa. It is roughly the size of New Mexico, yet it has over 75 unique languages. Many of these languages are currently in the process of translating the Bible into their language, but at least 20 have yet to start! The need is great and we are excited to be a part of this mission.

What is your timeline?

We need to do three things before landing on the ground in Africa. 1. Develop a Team. We're working to develop a team of partners that will join our Wycliffe ministry in prayer and finances as we prepare to work overseas full-time. If you're interested in joining our team, you can head to the Give page to find out more. 2. Linguistics Training. Bible translation requires specific training. Jack has completed a year-long program through SIL, one of Wycliffe's partner organizations, in order to prepare him for his work in Africa. This was done through Dallas International University in Dallas, TX. He is continuing his studies online to complete his MA in Applied Linguistics over the next couple of years. 3. Language School. Going to French-speaking Africa requires that we learn...well...French. We will do this by living in Switzerland for a year while attending language school. The kids will attend a local French-speaking school. 4. Move to Africa. We have been assigned to work in Abidjan, a capital city of Côte d'Ivoire in West Africa. We will be moving there to work among language groups all over the country. Check out our latest blog post to see where we are at in the process!

How can I support you?

Pray! The work we are doing will not be easy and it will be a huge adjustment to move to Africa and adopt a whole new way of life. We are so excited to be following God's call in this way, but we covet your prayers. To know how to best pray for us, you can follow our blog and keep up with us on our social media platforms (found at the bottom of this page). If you'd like to partner with us financially, you can find all the information you need on our Give page. We are truly grateful for any contribution you are able to make.

How do your kids feel about this?

They are so excited. The love living in a camper. They can't wait to live overseas. And they can't wait to have friends that speak other languages. It has been fun to walk through this with them, but they have lots of questions. Lucy in particular is bummed to say goodbye to her friends, but our response is, "But is it worth it?" "Yes!" she says. We're excited to see our kids be exposed to other languages and cultures at such formative ages.

Who will you be working with?

We are now members of Wycliffe Bible Translators. They are involved in 80% of all the Bible translation happening around the globe. They work with local translation organizations to create a team that is working together to translate the Bible into their own local languages. You can find out more about what Wycliffe does on the main Wycliffe website: www.wycliffe.org.

How many languages still need the Bible in Africa?

There are over 2100 languages on the continent of Africa! And there are active translation projects happening in more than 1000 of those languages. It is an exciting time to be a part of this work, but there are still 597 languages that have never seen the Bible in their own tongue. While a lot of work has been done, the need is still great. We want to be a part of the solution!

Why can't they just read a French Bible?

While French is an official language of the countries we are going to, not everyone speaks French, and for most it is not their heart language. Our desire is for people to read a Bible that speaks to their heart and doesn't make God feel distant from them because of language. "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart." -Nelson Mandela

Where is home base for you right now?

The short answer...wherever we park it! We live in a camper! As we raise support and prepare for life overseas, we want to be as mobile as possible. This frees us up to visit churches or people and to spend time with family before we leave.

What will you be doing?

Jack will be serving as a linguist. His job will be to prepare languages for the task of translation by analyzing them and helping to publish research about them so that the work of translation can be done in the most effective way possible. This work could include things like helping to develop an orthography or helping our translators understand language-specific processes that will be important for creating a good translation of the Bible. To learn more about what a linguist does or about the process of Bible translation in general, be sure to listen to our podcast, The Bible Translation Podcast, found here on our website or wherever you listen to podcasts.