The End of an Era

Tomorrow, I fly off to Togo to spend a week helping with an operational audit of a Bible translation organisation in two neighbouring West African countries. I’ll be part of a team taking a hard look at what the organisation is hoping to achieve and what it is actually doing and seeing how well those two things overlap. At the end of the week we will give them a report with advice on how to improve what they are doing if they are really going to meet their goals.

For the last five years on and off, I’ve been travelling out to Africa for a week or two at a time to help different Bible translation organisations plan their work and to rethink the way they do things. For the last two years, I’ve more or less been in Africa for at least a week every month and I’ve also had the privilege of joining in a couple of planning sessions in the Philippines too. It’s been an interesting time, though the contrast between working with a team in some African capital and sitting on my own in our spare bedroom in Southampton has been difficult at times.

But, it’s all about to change. This Togo trip is the last visit of this sort that I’ll be making for the foreseeable future. Over the next few weeks, I will gradually be moving into the role of Executive Director of Wycliffe Bible Translators in the UK. I officially take on the new role on March 1, but I’ll effectively start at the end of this month. We will be looking for a house to rent somewhere in Buckinghamshire or Oxfordshire in the spring, meanwhile I will be commuting up to the office for a few days at a time.

But for the moment, it’s time to pack once more, to check that I’ve got my antimalarials, my mp3 player and my passport and to try and get a night’s sleep before heading off to Southampton airport first thing in the morning.

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