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Serving in Finance With Wycliffe: 3 Ways You’ll Impact Bible Translation

by Wycliffe US



How do finance professionals impact Bible translation work around the world?


At Wycliffe, we connect organizations and communities with the resources they need to get the Bible and thrive under the influence of God’s Word. God is at work around the world today, and we strive to join what He is doing through local churches and communities.


In 1985, God led Tim and Jan Stoker to begin serving with Wycliffe, and Tim has served in a variety of roles since then. Now as a financial analyst and special projects coordinator, his contributions are making an eternal impact as he stewards financial resources.


He shared three ways he impacts Bible translation work around the world by serving in finance.


1. Connecting Global Teams


God is using the global Church to impact the Bible translation movement in ways we’ve never seen before. Wycliffe USA partners with over 100 organizations around the world and our staff has opportunities to work alongside local communities. Not only does Tim work as part of a team that spans the globe, he manages the financial reports for about 40 projects in Central Africa!


As part of his role, Tim is responsible for understanding translation project needs and ensuring resources are stewarded well. It can be a challenge to keep everything organized and on track. And when working in multicultural environments, numbers don’t always tell the full story. As he works with people from a variety of cultural backgrounds, Tim has to ask questions, stay flexible and be open to looking at situations from different viewpoints.


But bringing together different cultures, generations and backgrounds to make an eternal impact is worth the challenges. Tim said: “God is doing amazing things. He really is on the move. … I see this especially in what I’m doing now where I work pretty closely with projects in Central Africa. I have a front-row seat to see what God is doing. It’s exciting.”


2. Ensuring Excellent Stewardship


At Wycliffe, we steward resources and build capacity so local translation teams and churches can move forward with well-planned, high-quality, sustainable and community-engaged Bible translation programs.


Finance mentors like Tim are critical; they come alongside teams and ensure that the teams follow best practices to steward resources. For example, a project budget is an important agreement between organizations and teams, and accountability is key to moving work forward. Tim analyzes and reviews budgets to ensure teams are on track to reach their goals.


Tim said, “I can usually provide helpful information just by looking at the budget. I’m good at asking questions [that] help develop the budgets better. … That’s important too for the donors [so] that we can ensure that the resources they’re giving are being used the way they intended.”


As part of his role, Tim also has the opportunity to read quarterly reports from the projects he oversees. He directly sees how more lives are being transformed as people encounter Jesus in a language and format they clearly understand.


He said, “The way Scripture speaks to people’s lives … is just so concrete sometimes. … It makes a big difference in their lives. And that keeps me going.”


3. Keeping Up With How God Is Moving


We’re living in a day and age where the global Church is expanding at an unprecedented rate and Bible translation is accelerating. As Tim works with teams in Africa, he is motivated and inspired by what he sees happening. He said: “This is a once in eternity thing, what we’re seeing right now as far as the opportunities that are available, as far as the way things are just exploding. They’re outside of our control, which is a good thing, because this tells us God is orchestrating it — not us.”


In his own journey, Tim has had to face change as God opened doors for him. Before joining Wycliffe, Tim was working in the atmospheric science field. When he became a missionary, Tim had to use the skills he had developed to try new things, go above and beyond in his work and grow professionally. He served in roles with linguistics, desktop publishing and information technology before finding his fit in accounting and finance. He said, “I got a lot of on-the-job experience here in Wycliffe and on-the-job knowledge.”


For Tim, Bible translation goes even deeper than simply words on a page. We want God’s Word to transform other people through Bible translation, but we believe transformation starts on an individual level at Wycliffe as each person treasures His Word and commits to growing in their faith. Tim said, “There have been so many times, all along the way, where one thing or another from God’s Word has spoken to me. … It is fulfilling to see God’s Word being used, being spread wider and wider, touching lives [and] making changes.”


God is changing people and communities worldwide through the transformational power of the Bible as it is used for evangelism, discipleship, church planting and spiritual growth.


As a finance professional, Tim impacts Bible translation by connecting global teams, ensuring excellent stewardship and keeping up with how God is moving. As he relies on and learns from others, he has forged intercultural relationships and developed a meaningful community. We’re looking for more people who are passionate about the global Church expanding through the work of Bible translation.


God is on the move, and you could join in what He is doing! Are you ready to do your part?

 

Reproduced with permission from Wycliffe US

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