Jaars Center

From The President

Each of us fell sick—one by one—starting literally days after my wife, Mary, and I and our children arrived in West Africa to begin our mission service in May 1996. Outside temperatures hit 120 degrees. Inside our apartment it was 105, cooling only to 98 at night.

Mary, a trained nurse, kept detailed health records for each of the five of us. The diseases we faced were serious—malaria, dysentery, parasites—and by Christmas, Mary had logged 52 doctor visits. We were literally sick and tired, and we wanted to go home.

Yet through those challenges, God taught us an important lesson about perseverance. When we felt like we were at the end of our rope and couldn’t go on, God sent help and encouragement. On some days it was a fellow missionary who visited us; on others we got word that friends at home were praying for us. Over time we understood and accepted God’s bigger purposes and thankfully, we began to feel better.

Paul in Romans 5:3–4 explains this reality well:
“We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

Over the past two years, the world has faced a very serious global pandemic from COVID-19. Many have faced severe illness, including a number of workers with JAARS and with our global mission partners; many others have lost their lives. You and your family have likely also suffered due to this disease.

Despite the challenges, I am thankful to share that God graciously responded to the prayers and generosity of many to accomplish significant things around the world through JAARS during 2021. Like you, we sought to persevere, and we have witnessed God’s mercy and encouragement.

Please take a few moments to read about some of these accomplishments and give thanks to God with us. And for those of you who journeyed with us through your prayers, financial support, and service, thank you! Your partnership is truly making a difference around the world.

Yours for God’s glory,

Woody McLendon
JAARS President

“Nothing about God’s mission is thwarted or hindered or otherwise changed by world events.”

—Woody McLendon

Our vision is that people’s lives and communities are transformed as they experience God’s Word in their own languages.

Our mission is to make Bible translation and language development possible, especially in the most remote and difficult places on earth. We do that by enabling locally appropriate and sustainable solutions in transportation, technology, media, and training.

2021 Scripture Celebration

Celebrate with people groups around the world who now have God’s Word in the language that they understand best! This five-minute video shows the impact that JAARS and its partner organizations have on those who are receiving Scriptures in their own languages for the very first time.

Solutions for Africa


Democratic Republic of the Congo

Despite many challenges due to the pandemic, civil unrest, and supply chain issues, we delivered vehicles to five Bible translation partners who work with remote, scattered language groups. In this vast country where only 2% of roads are paved, reliable transportation is a must for moving forward. Read more.

3 4WD vehicles

18 motorcycles

2 rugged bicycles

Our leadership visited Bible translation partners in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to see their challenges firsthand and learn how we can help.

“For a long time, I have heard teachings and sermons on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. But when I read the crucifixion scene in my own language, I shed tears! The words chosen to describe the scene were accurate and natural, and were very moving. Tears flowed, even without me realizing it.”

—Ifè speaker in Togo, where work continues on the Ifè Old Testament at a translation center where we sponsored better internet access

“Two weeks ago we finished visiting six different clinics, providing medical, eye, and community health that isn’t regularly offered. This was a great blessing for these areas. … The trips wouldn’t have happened without JAARS support.”

—Mark Spangler, helicopter pilot for SIL Cameroon


Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Togo, Uganda

Reliable internet and power are crucial for translation work—but are overwhelmingly difficult to get throughout Africa. Thanks to supporters like you, we sponsored improvements for nine partner organizations, ranging from a new generator to satellite internet repairs, network upgrades, subsidies for higher quality internet access, and more. Read more.



With God’s help and the generosity of people like you, we’re blessed to provide a wide range of support for our aviation partners around the world—from specially outfitted aircraft to trained pilots and mechanics, on-site inspections and support, safety standards, insurance help, custom fabrication, special parts and equipment orders, and much more.


This year we provided flight subsidies for our partner SIL Cameroon, which faced huge challenges due to new government regulations. This allowed critical flights to continue for Cameroonian Bible translators and pastors, linguists, medical evacuations, a trauma healing workshop, and other ministry. Read more.


We sent an aircraft mechanic to help Samaritan’s Purse with a helicopter inspection and other maintenance.



For years, we’ve sponsored annual conferences to equip and encourage the IT staff who serve with our Bible translation partners throughout Africa. The pandemic put those on hold, but training moved online in the form of monthly webinars in both English and French. Sessions covered everything from data protection to security, software, and spiritual refreshment. Read more.



Our team had the privilege of offering training at a Christian boarding school that serves local children orphaned by the HIV/AIDS epidemic on Mfangano Island. The week of our trip, a commercial boat was so overloaded that it sank, and 7 of the 19 people aboard died—a sobering reminder of why this training was so important. Read more.


25 Kenyan faculty and student leaders were trained and then went on to train...

20 more students plus 3 members of the Suba translation team

83 pieces of safety equipment delivered


Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Undisclosed Country, Australia

In a continued partnership with Faith Comes by Hearing, we provided laptops and headsets for seven new oral Bible translation projects. This innovative approach helps oral communities hear God’s Word much more quickly—by training local people to create voice translations that undergo the same rigorous checks as a written translation. Read more.

Thanks so much for all of your work on FlightSpan. … One pilot was just telling me AGAIN last week how much easier FlightSpan is making it to plan complex flights to several airstrips all with different takeoff and landing penalties. So thanks again!

—Brian Lillie, pilot for SIL Papua New Guinea

Solutions For Asia And The Pacific

7,000 flights a year now use our FlightSpan™ app.

“The translated Psalms have helped me a lot. Sometimes it feels like the enemy has a strong grip on me and wants to drag me down. But the words of the Psalms are able to pull me out of the downward spiral and release me.”

—Fiafia Awaken, Misima Bible translator in Papua New Guinea whose translation project relies on our Kwadima II boat


55 new websites

216 new apps

3,905 websites and apps created since inception


Indonesia, Papua New Guinea

This year we continued to build our software development team and launch new features for our FlightSpan™ app—which helps mission pilots plan routes, track changing runway conditions, monitor flights, track cargo, and more. We currently provide the app and customized support for both YAJASI and SIL Papua New Guinea, with more flight programs on the way. Read more.


Our machinists designed and fabricated new rock guards to protect the underside of YAJASI’s aircraft from rocks and debris that are kicked up by the wheels on gravel runways. Read more.



Your support enabled our Bible translation partner to continue running two recording studios despite the challenges of the pandemic. After reading the part of Jesus in an audio New Testament, one local man wrote: “I believe this audio will be a great instrument in winning people’s souls. … I want to thank JAARS for their partnership and vision to make God’s Word available in my heart language.Read more.


Papua New Guinea

A dedicated team of Papua New Guinean men continues to record audio Scriptures, songs, and other materials on remote islands, thanks to the generosity of people like you. One night as they played the JESUS film in the Kandas language, an elderly woman began crying and said, “I can finally understand the story so clearly!Read more.


Papua New Guinea

With generous gifts from people like you, we provided two rugged 4WD vehicles to a newly established YWAM base to jumpstart their work on a worldwide YWAM initiative called End Bible Poverty Now. Their vision is big: to provide at least 1,000 languages that don’t yet have Scripture with 30 key passages in both written and audio formats. Read more.



For the last 11 years, we’ve sponsored a media organization that trains people to create Scripture websites and apps—which are especially important in areas where printed Bibles are banned. And people are hungry for the truth: during a Christmas campaign in one sensitive country, more than 50,000 people watched the Bible videos online! Read more.



Translation software, data backups, solutions for computer problems—whatever the need, Bible translators in this sensitive country can get expert help in three languages, thanks to the ongoing generosity of people like you.


Papua New Guinea

Through a collaboration with Living Water Mission, the Kwadima II boat we provided back in 2007 continues to supply safe, reliable transportation for Bible translation work on remote islands. Read more.


This year we also sponsored the work of Yachts for Life—a small but passionate team that travels among the outer islands of Fiji to distribute Bibles, offer Christian education, and improve the quality of life for islanders.

Jeff Johnson takes passengers on helicopter ride in JAARS' Robinson R44 helicopter around the JAARS center in Waxhaw NC. This very R44  helicopter was orginally in service in Cameroon.
Africa Translators

Solutions For The Americas

“Having this aircraft deployed to Peru is paramount for us to continue serving the local and missionary communities with aviation service into very remote areas of the Amazon rainforest.”

—Craig Gahagen, program manager, SAMAIR Peru



In a cascade of events that only God could orchestrate, we were blessed to send a completely refurbished Cessna 206 to our partner SAMAIR Peru.

As the only mission aviation provider in the country, they desperately needed a new plane when theirs was destroyed in a violent storm. Our team of mechanics and avionics technicians worked diligently to get them a replacement in just over a year, with updates that included:

  • new engine and wiring
  • new instrument panel, autopilot system, transponder, Garmin G5 radio, and v2track system
  • a stormscope to avoid lightning storms
  • custom paint to match their fleet

Read more here.


Brazil, Peru

Six JAARS pilot families are currently on loan to mission aviation partners Asas de Socorro and SAMAIR Peru in South America—where they support Bible translation and Scripture engagement work in incredibly remote areas. This year we also concluded a three-year collaboration in which we loaned a helicopter pilot family to Ethnos360 Aviation. Read more about our partnership with Asas de Socorro.

Brazil, Haiti

We sent aircraft mechanics to help Asas de Socorro and Mission Aviation Fellowship with short-term maintenance needs.



Along with three other U.S. mission aviation organizations, we are advising and partnering with Asas de Socorro to start an advanced training center for Latin American mission aviators.



Last year we prepared and shipped over 50,000 pounds of vital supplies to our partners around the world. Shipments ran the gamut from missionaries’ belongings to rugged tires, computer hardware, aircraft parts, and even the proverbial kitchen sink.

Helicopters Make a Difference

Rejoice with us as we welcome a new Robinson R66 helicopter into our fleet! This aircraft will be used to train mission pilots and aviation maintenance specialists for service in the most remote parts of the world.

Core Mission Operations

Our global impact is possible only because of the work that happens every day at our headquarters in Waxhaw, North Carolina. If you’ve ever visited, you know what a special place it is: more than 500 people, 551 acres, 68 buildings, and 4 runways, all here to support Bible translation in every corner of the world.

  • God blessed us with a new Robinson R66 helicopter—a critical tool for training helicopter pilots to fly safely in some of the harshest environments on earth.
  • To ensure a safe, reliable, and effective training fleet, our team is completing the refurbishment of our last Helio Courier. This will complete a multi-year effort to upgrade our aircraft here at JAARS.
  • We launched the maintenance version of the JATO (JAARS Assisted Take-Off) program to give new aviation maintenance specialists mentored support to prepare them for mission aviation service around the world.
Courses held in off-road driving, recovery techniques, and motorcycle driving and maintenance
Mission aviation organizations in 9 countries who received our aviation training
Emergency satellite beacons managed for water safety in 17 countries
People received training in intercultural ministry, leadership, or spiritual vitality

Financial Summary

Looking back at 2021, we celebrate and give thanks that JAARS has remained in a strong and steady financial position. We are deeply grateful for God’s provision through generous partners like you!

“When prioritizing funding missions, supporting the work of Bible translation is one of our top choices. Add to that the option to fund practical items like motorcycles, trucks, and airplanes, and it just doesn’t get any better.”

—David and Laurie Post, JAARS donors

Numbers for Income and Expenses are in thousands of U.S. dollars.


Cash Contributions $4,960
Non-Cash Contributions $8,065
Program Activity Revenue $1,389
Investment Income $65
Other Income $88
Total Income $14,567


Program Services $11,553
Management and General $978
Fundraising $1,287
Total Expenses $13,818
Ending Net Assets $11,533
Total Gain from Operations* $749

* Excludes depreciation expenses of $663 thousand included in our audited financial statements.

Amounts in this report represent the financial activity of JAARS, Inc. for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2021. The results reported here are a summarization of our full financial statements. Complete financial statements, audited by Capin Crouse LLP, are available here. Non-cash contributions include a labor grant for supported staff—supported by the financial and prayer contributions of friends and churches through Wycliffe Bible Translators—plus donated labor from volunteers; both are also recognized as expenses.

Steven Posai dubbing the parts of Jesus


Board of Directors

Andrew J. Hood, Board Chair
Retired – Former Financial Services/Regional Supervisory Director, MassMutual

Bonnie Nystrom, Vice Chair
Translation Advisor, Wycliffe USA

Michael A. Graham, Treasurer
Partner, D’Alberto, Graham & Grimsley

Lee Bramlett
Director, Good Dads KC

Dan Dugger
President, Fractrade

Grace Townsend Goreth
JAARS Ambassador

Dan Ribb
Retired – Senior Software Architect/Developer, Fluor, Intel, Accela, and others

Nydia García-Schmidt
Director, Wycliffe Global Alliance – Americas

Liz Thomson
Director of Language Programs Services, SIL Anglo-Lusophone Africa Area

JAARS Officers

Woody McLendon

Brian Anders
Vice President of People

Steve Biggerstaff
Vice President of Engagement

Allan Courtright
Vice President of Facilities and Services

Johannes Rehm
Vice President of Global Initiatives

Craig Russell
Vice President of Transportation Services

Denise Shockley
Vice President of Finance / CFO

Stephen Sweeney
Chief of Staff

Craig Whaley
Vice President of Engineering, Corporate Secretary

Kathy Andrews
Assistant Corporate Secretary

“Indeed, God’s message will go forward— and no restrictions, no lockdown, no one can stop the gospel from being proclaimed. … We express countless thanks to JAARS for their support and their vision to speed up God’s kingdom.”

—Bible translation consultant in South Asia, writing about the audio New Testaments recorded during the pandemic in the studio supported by JAARS

Image altered for security.