6 Ways Convergence Will Prepare You to Become a Translation Consultant | Wycliffe Bible Translators

6 Ways Convergence Will Prepare You to Become a Translation Consultant

  • February 8, 2023
  • By: Victoria L. Smith
Convergence team working together at a table around a laptop

Translation consultants come alongside local translation teams, providing biblical, exegetical and linguistic insight into challenging problems. Traditional training can take up to a decade for a consultant to be able to effectively mentor translation teams. But many teams are waiting for help right now.

Convergence is an accelerated apprenticeship program that equips new consultants to be effective mentoring teams. April* joined Wycliffe in 2020 as a Convergence participant and consultant in training. She shares six ways Convergence will prepare you to become a translation consultant.

*Name changed.

1. You'll Be Equipped to Grow

Growing up, April spoke modern Hebrew and had a passion for teaching and translating. After teaching Hebrew to translation consultants, she wondered how to become a consultant herself. April said, “This has been my side hobby forever. … [I have been] studying biblical languages [and] comparing translations for years. Those are things I’ve always done.”

April needed linguistic and program management training, so she decided to boldly follow God where He was leading. “… I’d been praying for the last few years of my studies about [missions],” April said. “That was something God put on my heart but I didn’t know in what setting.”

After spending more time in prayer, April contacted Wycliffe USA and learned that Convergence equips new consultants with classroom knowledge and hands-on experience in less than five years. She found that Convergence would give her the training she needed to effectively collaborate with communities so they can access the Bible in their own languages.

2. You’ll Broaden Your Perspective

We believe Bible translation changes lives when done under and through the local church around the world. In a global community, it is important to look at situations from different viewpoints. Through globally-based training and mentorship, Convergence participants practice humility and generosity by serving the local team.

Throughout her time in Convergence, April has had the chance to participate in intensives. April currently serves in the Philippines where she has many opportunities to teach workshops, come alongside translation teams and observe translation consultants at work.

“The main goal is observing and getting trained up,” April said. In addition to getting trained, April has also benefited from learning about the processes and people involved in the Bible translation organization she serves in.

3. You’ll Develop Meaningful Relationships

Although April has experienced times of uncertainty on her journey, she isn’t alone. April’s field mentor works closely with her, providing supervision and guidance as they work together alongside local communities and translation teams. April said, “I don’t think I could have asked for a better mentor.”

April is also embedded into a rich, diverse cohort of colleagues who encourage and pray with her every step of the way. United in their passion to see lives transformed by access to God’s Word, they encourage each other during monthly meetings. April said, “It’s a lot of fun. It’s like having a bunch of big brothers. … I don’t [have any brothers] but now I feel like I do!”

4. You’ll Join a Global Community

At Wycliffe we partner with over 100 organizations working in more than 120 countries around the world. We focus on humbly taking direction and learning from local partners to strengthen communities in their goals and develop sustainable, church-led Bible translation programs.

Once, April attempted to check newly translated Scripture with a translation team over a video call. A weak internet connection made it difficult to communicate. So April took initiative and traveled to the city where the team was working. When they finally all sat down together at the same table, the translation checking process was much more effective. She said, “It was such a better experience to sit face-to-face with the team.”

5. You’ll Disciple Others in God’s Word

Serving with a spirit of humility and collaboration allows discipleship to take place. As a translation consultant, it’s important to have a passion for discipleship. April is grateful for the years she has spent reading, studying and reflecting on God’s Word. Her skills in exegesis and theology have allowed her to be a more effective consultant in training as she disciples others.

“That’s probably the thing that I’m relying on most,” she said. “It’s a lot  … [of] teaching and mentoring a team and being very specific about verses and how that impacts theology or understanding of Scripture.”

6. You’ll Deepen Your Faith

While serving as a consultant in training, April has discovered truths in God’s Word that have impacted her own faith. She recalled a time when she was researching how the word “redeemer” is used in the book of Ruth. She said: “… It’s really good to see that Boaz is a human example of what God does. … Seeing Boaz as a redeemer gives you a better … picture of what it means when God says, ‘I am your redeemer.’ … That was really exciting for me.”

April has trusted God through seasons of ambiguity, knowing that He’s doing bigger things than she can imagine. Her commitment to produce an accurate, clear and natural translation allows others to experience God through His Word.

Ready to Do Your Part?

We’re looking for more humble, passionate people to join our next Convergence cohort! If you’re committed to your faith and passionate about introducing people to a relationship with God through the Bible in their own language, you can be part of a mission that is deeply fulfilling and has eternal impact.

When you join a Convergence cohort, you’ll grow in your faith and your skills, develop deep relationships and broaden your perspective. Are you ready to learn more about what it takes to join Convergence?

Learn more about what it looks like to train and serve as a translation consultant in our webinar, “Convergence: Hands-On Training for Translation Consultants.”