Our stories

How we got here

I knew that God had called me to be a missionary in Africa when I was only 11. It happened at a Youth for Christ rally in Sacramento, California. Dayle

I was in a time of intense spiritual growth, most of it due to my personal interaction with the Word. A Wycliffe representative, George Cowan, spoke at a mission conference I was attending. Because the Bible meant so much in my own life, I could not imagine a better thing to do than to give it to someone else. Ed

Timeline

1960-1970

We are both native Oregonians. Dayle moved to Grants Pass when she was 13 in 1965 and Ed when he was 11 in 1963. We still call Grants Pass home.

1970-1974

We graduated from high school in 1970 and both studied at Prairie Bible College, graduating with majors in missions in 1974. We were married later that same year at the Redwood Country Church in Grants Pass, Oregon where we are members.

1974-1978

Following studies in linguistics, literacy and translation at the Universities of Washington and Oklahoma, and French language study in Switzerland, we went to Burkina Faso in March of 1978 and were assigned to the Cerma language. We lived in a place called Niangoloko where we worked until 1981. Left you see Dayle in front of our house in Niangoloko.

1978-1981

During our time in the Cerma language we developed an alphabet (the language was previously unwritten), did a translation of the life of Christ, learned to speak the language and began developing literacy materials. We were also able to train a local man, Emile Soulama, as an assistant translator.

1981-1983

Ed orienting new translators

Beginning 1981 we served as Associate Director for Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Mali. This involved moving to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire and helping oversee all translation and literacy programs in those countries. Dayle assisted teams understanding culture and language learning.

1983-1993

Matthew and Mark with their friends from next door, 1992

In late 1983 we returned to Burkina Faso, and served as director for the work in both Burkina Faso and Niger. This included responsibilities for 14 language projects and support programs in those countries. Dayle worked in a variety of technical and administrative roles.

After we moved back to Burkina Faso in late 1983 the Lord gave us two sons; Matthew (September 15, 1984) and Mark (September 13, 1986). We praise the Lord for them, especially since we waited so long and they came in spite of medical opinions to the contrary. In fact, we gave up medical options when we went back to Burkina Faso because none were available there.

With Ada Louka, Kasem translator, and his family in Bobo-Dioulasso, 1994

The shift of focus towards Africans leading translation projects was advancing rapidly in the late 1980s. Dedicated African Christians with university degrees began coming to us. They were saying that they felt God calling them to ministry and wondered if there might be a place for them in Bible translation. In 1989 the churches in Burkina Faso organized an inter-church organization for Bible Translation in Burkina Faso – called ANTBA.

1993-1996

Ed with ANTBA staff and others

In 1993, we took a position advising and assisting this new organization – under its leadership and direction. ANTBA grew to have translation projects in 6 languages and literacy efforts in a number of others. All are entirely lead and run by qualified and dedicated African Christians. During this same time period the same thing was happening throughout Africa. In fact, all over Africa, Christians were (and are) taking up the task of translating the Bible into the over 1,000 African languages without any Scripture.

1996-2001

Ed with Wanyu in Cameroon in 2000

In 1996 we were asked to head up an Africa-wide program to promote and assist this movement of the African church and African Christians. We moved to Nairobi. Our goal was to increase the number of translations done by Africans to over 200 by the end of 2002. We reached over 160 by October 2001 when we moved on to another position.

2002 – 2010

Ed with translation students in Bunia

In October 2001, we took positions alongside others working with churches in the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire, assisting them in running and developing their own translation programs. We are promoting the next step in involving Africans: helped the Congolese churches to run the translation programs staffed with their own people. We were based in Nairobi.

Ed meeting with Congolese studying transaltion at the Shalom University of Bunia

2011 – Present

Director of GILLBT and our boss

In 2009 and 2010 I was asked to make trips to Chad and Ghana to help with planning in the areas of mobilizing Africans, using newer methods, and solving some administrative problems. After my trip to Ghana the leader of the Ghanaian organization doing Bible translation (GILLBT) asked me to take up an assignment there. When the leaders of Wycliffe International learned this, they suggested that I use Ghana as a base of operations to help in other countries. We plan to move to Ghana in early 2011.

Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said: “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?
I Chronicles 17:16 (NIV)

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