Russ Hersman says, “Lynda and I joined Wycliffe in 1976 with the goal of providing the Scriptures for one Bibleless people group somewhere in the world. That took us to the Toposa of southern Sudan, where we began the Toposa translation project. We only got that project underway when God moved us into administrative work, where our gifts were more suited.
“Little did we know then that the approach to the translation work would change radically over the next twenty years. By the time we left Africa in 1999, the Toposa project was being run by a Toposa man with a master’s degree in Bible and translation studies, and we had had the privilege of impacting dozens of language groups instead of only one.
“One of our proudest moments was receiving a certificate of appreciation from the Tira community for our work on their behalf. While we can speak no words of Tira, nor have we translated anything for them, through our support and encouragement the Tira received their New Testament.”
Russ Hersman was appointed the Chief Operations Officer of Wycliffe Bible Translators USA in 2012, giving leadership to the Executive Team. The team is tasked with leading the organization in mobilizing prayer, people and funds for the greatest acceleration of Bible translation the Church has ever witnessed. Previously he was Senior Vice President for seven years and spent five years in the Personnel department, first as the personnel administrator for the Pacific and Eurasia Areas and then as the director.
During the twenty-one-year sojourn in Africa, Russ acted as linguist/translator, office manager, support services manager, and branch director, in addition to serving several terms on the executive committees in Sudan and Kenya. He has also served on Wycliffe USA’s Board, Wycliffe Associates’ Board, and the Missio Nexus Board of Directors (formerly known as the Evangelical Foreign Mission Association).
Russ has been married to Lynda since 1972. They have been faithfully commissioned and supported by Lake City Community Church of Lakewood, Washington, since the beginning.
Russ and Lynda have three adult children: Pam (married to Matt), Erik (married to Rinnie), and Amy. They also have seven grandchildren and three dogs, all of whom are doted on accordingly.