The Lord brought us into each other’s lives in December of 2006. Soon after meeting we started dating, and were married May 23rd 2009. After we were engaged, the Lord began leading us to Wycliffe through many mediums such as: Scriptures, pastors, and even a Jack Black movie (Gulliver’s Travels). He developed within our hearts a passion to make the Scriptures available in the heart language of those who long for them.
We joined Wycliffe as a Bible Translation team in January 2011. Saying yes to this leading was not an easy task. We have experienced many trials in ministry, and through them all the Lord has been faithful. Wycliffe Bible Translators requires that each ministry team build partnerships with individuals and churches. These partnerships are an integral part of each Wycliffe ministry and serve as a source of prayer, encouragement, and financial support for our work of Bible Translation. (Interested in Partnering see “GIVE”)
In Fall 2010, Jesus confirmed that he was leading us to serve in Papua New Guinea (PNG). After receiving some initial training at the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics, we left the United States to work as Bible Translators in Papua New Guinea in Fall 2012. After arriving in PNG we started training Papua New Guineans (PNG’ns) to do the work of Bible translation and in the Spring of 2013 we joined the Aitape West Translation project, which was started in response to a tragedy that affected the Arop language group.
Currently, we are in the United States receiving further training in order that we can assist our national translators in the task of translating the Bible into their language. We are planning to return to Papua New Guinea to continue the work of Bible Translation with the Aitape West Translation Project in the Summer of 2018 after finishing our training. We have missed our Papua New Guinean teammates and cannot wait to return to the vital work of translating the Bible into the 11 languages of the Aitape West Translation Project.
Matthew has always had a heart to help those in need around him. When he was young this was motivated by a desire for others to think he was a good person. It had nothing to do with the people that he would help. It was all for his self-exaltation.
But, that motivation changed when Matthew was brought by Jesus into relationship with him at the age of 13. It was no longer about Matthew. He wanted people to see and know Jesus as the lover of their soul.
After college, with a love for Jesus and others, he chose to attend Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary where he received a Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies. While there God opened his eyes to the possibility for missions, and then Bible Translation. Currently, Matthew is working on a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics at the Graduate Institute in Applied Linguistics. This second Masters is concentrated on Bible Translation, he should finish this during this next Spring of 2018.
Rachel grew up in church and always had a heart for missions. During high school she was given the opportunity to go to Kenya, Africa with a team of adults. While there she had many people telling her that she would not be living in America for much longer, but still never thought about going anywhere long term.
While going to college, the Lord continued pointing her life towards missions. Her heart’s desire is to see that people all around the world know and worship the Lord. Learning more about Wycliffe and Bible translation, the Lord has placed a passion in her life that people need His word in their a language that communicates most effectively in order to fully know and worship Jesus.