Lightbulb Moments That Led to Partnership | Wycliffe Bible Translators

Lightbulb Moments That Led to Partnership

Two families followed God’s call to live generously.

  • February 24, 2020
Pendergrass Family

We love that Wycliffe donors want to be a part of God’s plan to share his Word with the world. He’s called each partner into this task in a variety of ways. The Pendergrass and Wong families, for example, are sharing their resources to help move Bible translation forward. Learn the aha moments that led to their decision to help spread God’s Word!

Making Room for Giving

Andy and Polly Pendergrass first became involved in Bible translation when Polly’s sister, Phoebe Thomas, became a Wycliffe missionary. Out of their love for Phoebe, the Pendergrass family partnered in her mission to serve the Bibleless.

Andy and Polly Pendergrass

As Andy and Polly dug deeper into Wycliffe’s history, they learned more about the translation work in progress in languages around the world. They heard about the need for work to begin in more than 2,000 additional languages. And when they realized the breadth of the ministry, the Lord deepened their passion for being part of ensuring every person has access to Scripture in his or her language.

“We can see this work come to completion in our lifetime,” Andy said. “That was the aha moment for us. … We want to be a part of that.”

Andy, a financial advisor, was prompted to follow the same counsel he gives to his clients: steward resources well and live generously. He and Polly decided to downsize their possessions in order to increase their cash flow and be able to say “yes” to God’s call to give cheerfully.

“We haven’t regretted it,” said Polly. “It’s only been confirmed that [this] was the right decision.”

“God in his grace still allows us to be a part of [his work] and to be touched by what he’s doing [in] other people,” Andy said.

Andy and Polly’s encouragement to fellow believers is simple: “Don’t miss out.”

An Eternity-Focused Lifestyle

In 2017 Cece and Tommy Wong started a real estate business. Their plan was to tithe 10% of their profits, but soon they began to question their typical giving pattern.

Cece and Tommy Wong

Cece remembers hearing Francis Chan talk about Luke 3 and challenge believers to revise their thinking on just giving what’s expected. “It got me thinking, ‘How much should we give? Ten percent?’ It looks more like 50% in the New Testament,” said Cece. “That opened my eyes. We’re not just checking off the box of tithing, it’s about giving generously.”

Then the couple read the book “God and Money” with friends. As they studied what Scripture says about money, Tommy and Cece were convinced they needed to radically change the way they gave.

The book’s central question of “How much of what you make do you really need to keep?” became their giving benchmark. They decided to make a stewardship covenant — working with excellence to grow their income, but capping how much they would draw as an annual “salary” and giving the rest to kingdom work.

“It was a hard decision to change our lifestyle, but we were convicted to rely on God for provision,” said Tommy. “Our philosophy is to give now, so we can help change people's lives for eternity. There’s real joy in taking part in what God is doing.”

As part of their new giving-focused lifestyle, Cece and Tommy decided to live simpler and downsize their living space.

Because of their deep love for God’s Word and passion for helping others experience its power, the couple donated part of the profits from their home sale to Bible translation. Tommy said, “There are so many things that you can do to be involved in ministry but spiritually, this is a no-brainer. We get to be part of what God is doing — bringing life to communities.”

"God's desire is for us to take care of his people — the marginalized and the poor. I think everyone should be involved [in Bible translation]. We can’t fulfill the Great Commission without the Word,” said Cece.

Learn more about what it means to live generously by downloading a free, 7-day PDF devotional called "The Gift of You.”