This morning, I’m going to do something very strange. I’ll cycle down to the railway station, board a train for Leamington Spa and spend the day with colleagues in a new organisation. After thirty years working for Wycliffe Bible Translators, this morning, I join the staff of Global Connections.
In some ways, this is a natural move for me. I’ve not actually been directly involved in Bible translation since the mid 1990s. I’ve spent much of my time since then, helping people think through the best approach to mission in their specific contexts. I’ll be doing much the same with GC, just not focussing so much on Bible translation. Over the last few years, I’ve worked closely with Global Connections on a number of occasions, so the learning curve won’t be as steep as it might otherwise have been.
It’s also an unexpected move for us. When we returned to the UK, we fully expected to return to Africa once David and Sam had left home. There is a large slice of my heart which will always live in Francophone Africa and to know that I’m unlikely to return there to live and work hurts.
For Sue, nothing much changes. She will continue with her involvement in translation in Madagascar (and elsewhere as time allows). She does have to put up with me working from home and the inevitable sound of obscure music blaring out of my office on the days when I’m around.
Over the last 30 years we have studies linguistics and French and lived in France, Cameroon and Ivory Coast. We spent six years in an isolated village with no running water or electricity and another six years in one of the biggest cities in Africa. We’ve been involved in grass roots translation work, mission leadership and various training and consulting roles; we’ve packed a fair bit in! We’ve also made some amazing friends from all across the world.
We’ll still be part of Wycliffe. As I said, Sue is staying involved in translation and I am being seconded from Wycliffe to Global Connections. It is quite possible that I will return to a role in Wycliffe in a few years’ time or that I will be involved in supporting language and translation work on a part time basis in the future.
However, for the moment, it is au revoir Wycliffe and I’m just a little nervous about a new world.