This summer, eleven interns are working with Wycliffe in Orlando, Dallas, Waxhaw, and D.C. From cartography to graphic design to computer tech support, each intern is enjoying the opportunity to support Bible translation while gaining practical, hands-on training in their unique field of study. But this is far more than just a work experience. Interns also participate in weekly Bible studies, dinner with staff members, group and personal reflection, leadership development, a Faith and Culture class, and fun community events.
Here, intern John-Michael shares his story:
My name is John-Michael, and I’m currently an intern at the Wycliffe USA headquarters in Orlando, Florida. Allow me now to tell my tale.
Born and raised in a nearby city, I grew up in a family that loved the Lord. I never lacked opportunity to serve Him at church, but my heart longed for more. Specifically, I desired to offer my service to God in Japan as a missionary. So two years ago, on July 13, 2009, I departed Florida and headed to Okinawa, Japan. I spent nearly a year there, and two months in South Korea.
When I returned, God placed in my heart a desire to translate His Word into the languages of the unreached peoples of this world. This past spring, while in my third semester of Bible College in California, I applied for and was accepted to the summer internship with Wycliffe.
This summer I‘m working in the Prayer Ministries Department as the Bibleless Peoples Prayer Project (BPPP) assistant. This position opens doors to the most interesting relationships with missionaries and those who pray for missionaries all over the world. It provides ample opportunity for hearing powerful stories of God’s faithfulness, of trials and triumphs, of adventure and thrill, of joy and sorrow. Encouragement lies around every corner. Moments of stretching occur on a regular basis. All in all, I know God placed me in this position with sovereign intentions, and these intentions are very evident in my day-to-day activities.
What’s next for John-Michael
As a child, I hated piano lessons, but I grew to love piano after I quit and found that I have a natural gift for music. I was also interested in software engineering, but I hated computers, and I understood math, but didn’t like to actually do the problems since I found them too easy.
Research has shown that those who are musically innate and skilled at math (natural sciences and computer sciences included) have a great chance of being linguistically gifted. It just so “happens” that what I hated in my youth actually developed my brain capacity in the exact area I love! Amazing how every single step is ordered by God—even when unbeknownst to us.
A couple weeks ago I asked a recruiter from the office upstairs to sign me up, and I’m now in the beginning stages of applying for membership as an “official Wycliffe missionary.” This means that I will need to develop the support of a team for both finances and prayer—especially prayer! It also means that in the summer of 2012, I plan on attending a six-month program of concentrated studies at the Canada Institute of Linguistics (CanIL). These studies will prepare me for language survey. Survey is the beginning of every translation. A team of linguistically trained missionaries go to people groups without a Bible translation and make detailed, thorough reports about their language.
Wycliffe is a wonderful place to work. Never a dull moment if you remain open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit! I will remain with Wycliffe until the Lord leads me elsewhere.
Read the full story on John-Michael’s blog.