Galen Stutzman, one of the many servants in our computer support department, recently shared the following story at a missions conference. I thought it was worth repeating. It proves once again that God works in mysterious ways!
“Let me challenge you this morning to get involved in missions in some way. Wycliffe Bible Translators has the goal of translating the New Testament into everyone’s language. That means they have to start 2,500 translations by the year 2025. That’s a huge job and they need lots of translators. If you are a translator or willing to be a translator, we need you. God needs you.
If you’re not a translator, God needs you, too. The translation task is enormous and the translators need lots of help. I’m a member of Wycliffe Bible translators, but I’m not a translator. I’m a Wireless Communications specialist. Translators need to be able to communicate from very remote areas. I, and the department I work in, can help them do that. Are you a communications specialist? We need your help. If you can do plumbing, construction, fly airplanes, understand computers and networks, teach, care for children, be a secretary, understand accounting, almost anything you can do, we need you. God needs you.
If God isn’t calling you to join a mission, He still needs you and your skills, no matter what they are. Let me illustrate by telling you about a single mother named Bev.
JAARS accepts donations of communications and test equipment. We do our best to make these donations available to our members overseas. On one occasion, a company in Colorado donated 19 oscilloscopes that they had replaced. These scopes were old and in various states of disrepair, but they would be very useful to a technician overseas, who may not be able to afford to buy one on their own, as they run about $2,000 to $3,000 new. It was important to get this equipment in the hands of technicians in a timely manner. I wanted to send them out as soon as I could, but I couldn’t send them out the way they were. I had a shortage of staff at the time and there was no one available to repair and calibrate them. The technicians in the field wouldn’t have the time to check them out and buy parts. Parts may not even be available at all. What to do?
This weighed on my mind for several weeks. One day I received a call from our Public Relations department. They gave me the name of a woman in Rock Hill that they wanted me to call. Her name was Bev.
I called Bev. Bev was a single mother of a little boy. She had visited JAARS on a JAARS Day recently. She had listened to the various missionary speakers and heard the stories of Bible translation. She had taken the tour and saw the airplanes and the print shop and the carpenter shop and all of that and had come away impressed with the work we were doing. She had limited resources, but she wanted to help. She told me with a sad and almost apologetic voice, “I want to help out in some way, but I don’t have anything to offer. The only thing I know how to do is calibrate oscilloscopes!!" Isn’t God good?
Bev’s mother helped baby-sit her son during the mornings for two weeks and she swapped parts and calibrated those scopes and now they are on the field helping electronics technicians and computer technicians around the world support Bible Translation. Because a young mother was willing to do what she could to help, God blessed translators and technicians around the world and showed me His faithfulness and advanced His kingdom."
Anne and I thank those that have sacrificially given, prayed, or encouraged us in order to make our ministry possible. Now it's our turn to encourage you?
What can you do for God? How can He use you in in missions?