Core Values: Investing in Others and Collaborating with Humility and Interdependence | Wycliffe Bible Translators

Core Values: Investing in Others and Collaborating with Humility and Interdependence

  • August 14, 2020
  • By: Andy Keener

This post is part of a series on Wycliffe USA’s core values.

Core Values: Investing in Others and Collaborating with Humility and Interdependence

Relationships are at the core of what we do and who we are in Wycliffe. We serve a God who has always had perfect relationships, even prior to creation. We are made in his image and he calls us to love one another and, as believers, to live and work in unity.

As we develop relationships, we also seek to work in partnership with both organizations and individuals. We frequently use the statement, “We don’t do anything alone.” Two of our values flow from this focus on relationship and partnership: “investing in others” and “collaborating with humility and interdependence.”

Key to the long-term sustainability of Bible translation efforts is having local believers and churches take the lead in the development and execution of Bible translation projects. In order to facilitate this, we first seek to build relationships with like-minded ministry leaders around the world so that we can develop quality Bible translation projects.

God has not only called Wycliffe to be a part of making his Word available to people in the languages they speak, but he has also called, and continues to call, groups of believers in each context to this same ministry.

As we engage with local church and ministry leaders, we seek to see all the skills, knowledge and resources present within the local context that are needed for an effective Bible translation program. While there are needs for external resources in many places, our desire from the beginning of each project is to invest in local believers. We want to build their capacity to lead well in the work and handle all technical, practical, relational and spiritual aspects critical to seeing lives transformed.

Wycliffe missionaries Alex and Karla Watt shared their firsthand experience with staff from eight countries who worked together to translate God’s Word into 11 languages simultaneously. Their account testifies to the special synergy teams feel when God unifies them to translate Scripture.

When we as individuals or as an organization sense the call of God, it can be tempting to embrace the attitude that we have something that God needs. Nothing could be further from the truth. All that we have and all that we are comes from our Father; we can do nothing more than offer back to him what we have received from him. Having a right view of our gifts and talents is the first step in having the right attitude for working with partners.

We recognize that God’s pattern is to call many believers to work together to accomplish his mission. No person or organization has everything needed to foster an individual’s, family’s or community’s transformation through Bible translation.

The whole church can accomplish so much more together than any one of us ever could alone. This recognition helps us work in humility, not thinking more of ourselves than we ought, while at the same time finding joy in the things that others can do that we cannot. Our deep desire is to live out humility in all that we do.

We seek to collaborate, even when we are tempted to think we already have all we need. We desire interdependence over independence. We choose to extend trust to other believers, even when it’s difficult. We long to learn as much as we desire to teach. We are better when we focus on the journey, not just the destination.

As God does wonderful things through all of us who respond to his call, may he also continue to mold us into the image of his Son, Jesus Christ.

Andy Keener serves from Texas as Wycliffe USA’s executive vice president for global partnerships. He spent several years in translation and linguistics working with communities in the Caribbean and Panama, and later focused on translation efforts for Deaf communities worldwide.

Alex and Karla Watt serve in Bible translation with the Maiadomu people of Papua New Guinea. They have been privileged to help produce a “Mini-Bible” (a panorama of the Old Testament, Mark and Acts), have helped distribute audio Scriptures and are currently assisting the Maiadomu people in translating the full Bible.