Jaars Center

From The President

Dear Friend of JAARS,

Christ commanded us in Mark 16:15 to “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” All the world … whole creation. While this seems a daunting task in geography and ethnicity, this has always been the scope that William Cameron—“Uncle Cam”—Townsend had in mind.

When our organization was formed 75 years ago in 1948 as Jungle Aviation and Radio Service, it had been a dream that was already 20 years in the making. In 1917 when Cam was a young man in college, he felt called to go to Mexico with a friend to preach the gospel and provide Bibles. By the time America entered World War I, Cam had been released from service to realize his mission dream, this time in Guatemala. While distributing Spanish Bibles in local communities in Guatemala, Cam was sometimes asked why God spoke only Spanish, and not Cakchiquel, the local language of the people.

Realizing that Spanish Bibles had little benefit for people who didn’t read, write, or speak Spanish, Cam felt compelled to learn Cakchiquel himself and provide God’s Word to them in their own language. Thus began one of the greatest Bible translation movements in the world. Cam made good on his promise and by the mid-1920s had produced portions of the New Testament in Cakchiquel, and eventually he completed the entire Bible.

By the late 1920s, Cam saw that the methods he learned could be taught to others and had grandiose ideas about how to reach the most remote people on the planet with the most advanced technologies—including airplanes. He drafted concepts to create a summer institute to train linguists, provide a method for their financial support, and develop an organization to transport and supply them. This was no foolhardy dream. God had given him the vision. In 1932 he founded the Summer Institute of Linguistics, now SIL International. In 1942 he founded Wycliffe Bible Translators, now a major global conglomerate of organizations, and in 1948 he founded Jungle Aviation and Radio Service. In Cam’s lifetime, he realized Bible translation and literacy operations for literally hundreds of language groups worldwide representing millions of people—most of them in remote jungle and rainforest areas. All the world … whole creation.

Today we continue Cam’s legacy and celebrate our 75th anniversary. As rich as our heritage is, the task is not complete. When Cam started, he thought there were several hundred languages to be translated but quickly realized there were over 2,000. While the work of SIL, Wycliffe, JAARS and their partners has added hundreds of ethnic groups to those who possess God’s Word in their own language and has given them the gospel, more than 600 million people speaking roughly 5,100 languages still have less than a full New Testament in the language they value most. We have much work ahead, but the task is achievable. The Lord of the Harvest has ensured it.

JAARS is entering a new chapter in our quest to ease burdens, reduce barriers, and deliver God’s Word. To emphasize this work, JAARS has made a slight adjustment to the name to incorporate our 75-year heritage—Jungle Aviation and Relay Service. As we strive to maintain an operational focus, we do so by relaying the Word, the missionaries who translate it, the people they minister to, and the supplies they need.

Why do we do it? For the same reason that you give—to participate with us in Christ’s great calling. The same reason we as a body of Christ support one another. “For they gave according to their means as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints—and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us” (2 Corinthians 8:3–5 ESV).

For 75 years we have taken seriously the stewardship of your generosity and have done so with commendable accountability as recognized by Ministry Watch, the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, Guidestar, and the EFCA. Your continued partnership will enable us—together—to equip the next generation of saints to finish the task.

Steve Russell
JAARS President


“JAARS is entering a new chapter in our quest to ease burdens, reduce barriers, and deliver God’s Word.”

—Steve Russell

2022 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.


“We say thank you to JAARS, because thanks to this organization, the computers were able to reach the destination using the motorcycles financed by JAARS.”

—Freddy, the director of CITBA


Dirt roads that turn into rivers in rainstorms, road-wide potholes, and narrow paths are all a common sight throughout this continent.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

After an Oral Bible Translation workshop held at the headquarters of CITBA, a Bible translation organization, staff members used their JAARS-funded motorcycles to transport the translators’ computers back to their villages nearly 350 miles away.

“We say thank you to JAARS, because thanks to this organization, the computers were able to reach the destination using the motorcycles financed by JAARS,” Freddy, the director of CITBA, said. Read more here.

29 motorcycles

4 4WD vehicles

3 million people impacted


Sometimes driving is not feasible or takes too long. Because of supporters like you, we were able to fund subsidies for SIL Cameroon Aviation, which keeps the cost of air travel low for Bible translators and other mission workers. Read more here.

total aviation hours flown in Cameroon
hours for SIL Bible translation projects
hours for other missions
hours for medevacs

“Today, with technology, Scripture can go everywhere and talk with everybody, even to our persecutors. The Word of God can go and transform lives where no one dares calling Jesus’ name.”

—A church leader said in West Africa


Only 22% of Africa has access to the internet, without which Bible translation slows or falters to a stop.

Thanks to supporters like you, we funded the installation of fiber-optic cables and grounding rods in Cameroon as well as a solar panel system. We provided a Very Small Aperture Terminal in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a back-up system in Ethiopia, training for IT specialists all over Africa, and more.

“The new uninterrupted power supply has made a difference in my peace of mind,” Burje, the IT coordinator for Wycliffe Ethiopia, said. “Every time the power went out, the [Network Attached Storage] wouldn’t make a proper shutdown. This put all the data in danger of being corrupted and put the NAS in danger, too. It could fail anytime, and that would have been catastrophic.” Read more here.


Africa is home to the second-largest number of armed conflicts in the world, and after North Korea, it hosts the most persecution against Christians, making it difficult to distribute translated Scripture.

Western Africa

For some language groups, the best way to distribute Scripture is through the sharing of oral Scripture via technology—apps or websites. This year we continued to provide support for our Scripture Website partner and equipment to Oral Bible Translation workshops conducted by Faith Comes By Hearing. Christians can share Scripture with just the touch of a button! Read more here.


About 80% of the world’s population are oral learners with everyday lives based on spoken communication, not written text.

Togo and Cameroon

Thanks to supporters like you, we provided subsidies for audio and video recording equipment for audio-visual training workshops throughout Africa.

These workshops are for radio personnel, people working with local Bible translation organizations, and workers in other ministries. Participants learn how to design and produce locally relevant Christian media products such as Scripture and dramas, local films, and music videos to share the truth of Scripture in a tangible way. Read more here.

Equipment supplied for 14 Oral Bible Translation workshops funded throughout Africa

628,600 people impacted



There are about 30,000 islands in the Pacific ocean, and there are still about 200 language groups without Scripture translated in their language!


Yachts for Life runs Biblical Education and Leadership Training courses and distributes Bibles on the islands scattered across Fiji, where many people don’t understand how God’s Word applies to them or that they can have a relationship with Christ. With support from people like you giving to Maritime Solutions, we helped Yachts for Life pay for a yacht and its maintenance.

“JAARS has helped us tremendously to keep our yachts afloat and sailing. Vessels are always in need of repair and maintenance, but beyond that, you have also helped us with the purchase of one of the vessels,” Hinrich, the founder of Yachts for Life, said. “We would not be able to do what we are doing without the help of JAARS.” Read more here.

Papua New Guinea

Several Bible translation teams live and work on islands where they have no internet access, and yet they must work remotely with translators or translation consultants. Sometimes, aviation—specifically via helicopter—is the best way to get these teams to the town where they can access the internet and connect with the rest of their team. We’ve been able to continue to offer training, support, and consultations to our SIL Papua New Guinea aviation partner. We also provided a safer, efficient means of water travel through the Kwadima II, the boat we lease to Living Water Mission.


Many people groups in the Pacific still value orality—speaking and listening to stories.

Papua New Guinea

With your help, we again funded the Scripture Media Ministry team, which dubs scripts for Scripture-based films into local languages. They also record Scripture. This year, with the help of JAARS, they distributed MegaVoices and SD cards loaded with the Mandara audio New Testament, children’s songs, hymns and the audio version of the Gospel of John and recorded a section of the Genesis video.

“Wow, I did not know Jesus knew our language and speaks it! I understand clearly what he is saying too!”

—A Mandara speaker of Papua New Guinea

“Reduce barriers and ease burdens for Bible translators … that’s exactly what you do. You did it for me for the years I spent in the village in Papua New Guinea. It would have been impossible to get there without JAARS!”

—A mission worker in Papua New Guinea


“I believe that this audio will be a great instrument in winning people’s souls in my language.”

—The man who spoke the voice of Jesus for the Kirik* audio recording

1 Scripture website created in Southeast Asia
8 language communities impacted by the Scripture website
154 total websites created worldwide


About 40% of South America is covered in dense jungle. Trips on the rivers can be dangerous, and life jackets and other safety gear are often nonexistent or difficult to find.


Our Brazilian aviation partner, Asas de Socorro, gives wings to those who give their lives for the gospel. One people group Asas serves, the Kiriku*, once killed those bearing Scripture, but they have been transformed by God’s Word into a people who love his Word, study it and long to share it with others!

With your support, we’ve provided Asas de Socorro with aircraft parts, staff, technical advice, aircraft repair/refurbishment, training, consulting, and fuel subsidies so they can continue serving people like the Kiriku. Read more here.

* Name changed for security reasons

Undisclosed Country in South America

This year, we provided subsidies so a growing local Bible translation organization could purchase water safety gear like personal flotation devices. The Bible translation teams travel frequently on rivers to test Scripture with a community or participate in training sessions, so this gear is vital!


Among oral communities who don’t have any Scripture, audio Scripture is often the best place to begin to introduce them to Christ.

Undisclosed Country in South Asia

With help from people like you giving to Media Solutions, we were able to continue funding the recording studio in South Asia. Both old and young Kirik* believers sit together to listen to Bible stories and share their experiences. They were excited to record the entire New Testament.

“I believe that this audio will be a great instrument in winning people’s souls in my language,” said the man who spoke the voice of Jesus for the recording. “People in my language love to listen to audio, and I believe listening will help them know the saving knowledge of Christ. I want to thank [the] partnership [of] JAARS for their vision to make God’s Word available in my heart language.” Read more here.

* Name changed for security reasons

John prepares to take off from Strawberry Ridge
Internet and good data storage is vital to this translation team in the Democratic Republic of the Congo



In the next four years, our aviation partners need about 76 more maintenance specialists, pilots, avionic technicians, and more to keep up their current flying schedule.

JAARS helped ease the burden for our aviation partners around the world this year in a number of ways. Thanks to you, we conducted our yearly Pre-Field Orientation, preparing nine aviation mission workers for the field: three aviation maintenance technicians, one pilot, three pilot-mechanics, one avionics technician, and one engineer. Most of these mission workers are at their location of service now, be it Africa, Papua New Guinea, or JAARS. Read more here.

We also began a JATO (JAARS Assisted Take-Off) Maintenance program, transforming our old engine shop into a dedicated place for students to study and improve the areas that they are weak in. Jon Damon, JAARS maintenance training coordinator, and David Kooistra, the JATO program manager, have recently finished helping prepare a maintenance specialist to serve in Africa.

Because of our JATO Maintenance and Flight programs, JAARS aviation staff members can tailor training to a wider range of candidate needs. This increases their capacity to supply our partners overseas with the qualified help they need to reach the ends of the earth with the gospel, and people like you giving to Aviation Training help make it possible. Thank you! Read more here.

When our aviation partners need help due to unforeseen difficulties or a lack of staff, we try to ease their burdens however we can. When Asas de Socorro’s base at Boa Vista was left without flyable aircraft, we sent a JAARS maintenance specialist, Jeyson Braun, who had previously served with Asas for 14 years, to help. Asas flies many mission workers who serve remote people in the Amazon jungle. Read more here.

“I’m so glad you’re here because we need this plane or else we have to leave the village.”

—One mission worker who relies on the aircraft for supplies told Jeyson.

participants trained in Maritime safety
Aviation staff members trained
hours spent in Aviation Training


In many of the countries where JAARS works, it can be difficult to find the right equipment, whether the need is aviation parts or life jackets.

This year, with your help, several new aviation partners began using FlightSpan™–our software tool that helps pilots plan routes, manage cargo, track changing runway conditions and more. FlightSpan is already being used by SIL and New Tribes Mission in Papua New Guinea, as well as our team here in Waxhaw, NC.


Serving in remote and/or sensitive locations comes with all kinds of challenges: physical, emotional, and spiritual.

Here at the JAARS base, we conducted ICC (Intercultural Communications Course) training for mission workers—both adults and their children—who will serve all over the world. They learned how to interact with other cultures and stay rooted in God’s Word. We also provided 4WD and motorcycle and water safety training for those serving in places where this kind of training is vital. Read more here.

“We could have a shared vocabulary with our kids and talk about the same concepts together at the same time.”

—Kurt, one of the ICC participants, said about Teen ICC

“[FlightSpan] makes setting up a flight plan very easy and quick.”

—Gavin Jones, a helicopter pilot with SIL PNG

At the request of YAJASI, our aviation partner in Indonesia, we obtained the required FAA certification for an autopilot system for use in their PC-6 aircraft. Our PC-6 here at JAARS was used for the tests. YAJASI has now begun installing the autopilot in their four aircraft, giving them additional safety while flying in the clouds with no visual reference and on longer flights. Read more here.

Intercultural Communications
Course Training

49 Adults
34 Children
17 Different countries they will be serving in

“[The training] made me realize more what was possible. If you have the right vehicle, it can do a lot!

—A mission worker who took the JAARS 4WD training. She and her husband are using their vehicle and knowledge to minister to children and adults in Guatemala.

Financial Summary

Looking back at 2022, we celebrate God’s provision for keeping JAARS in a strong and steady financial position—through generous people like you! We are humbled and thankful for your partnership in this ministry.

“[They] saved our time and our energy, keeping us healthy, keeping us alive.”

—A Bible translator in Cameroon said about SIL Cameroon Aviation

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


Cash Contributions $4,711
Non-Cash Contributions $8,529
Program Activity Revenue $1,589
Investment Income $23
Other Income ($13)
Total Income $14,839


Program Services $12,478
Management and General $1,174
Fundraising $1,383
Total Expenses $15,035
Total Gain (Loss)
from Operations*
Ending Net Assets $10,481

The net loss of FY22 reflects the mission deployment of net gains from prior years (rather than holding excess reserves).

*Excludes depreciation expenses of $704,000 included in our audited financial statements and non-operating activity of a split-interest agreement $153,000.

Amounts in this report represent the financial activity of JAARS, Inc. for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2022. The results reported here are a summarization of our full financial statements. Complete financial statements, audited by Capin Crouse LLP, are available at jaars.org/stewardship. 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.

(2)2021-09 Simbiti NT - Word from Heaven - AOlson
One of the CITBA staff members uses a JAARS-funded vehicle to take the computers back to the translators' villages
A student at Gethsemane Gardens Christian school who took the water safety training offered by JAARS and then taught the Suba Bible translation team


Board of Directors

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

Bonnie Nystrom, Vice Chair
Translation Advisor, Wycliffe USA

Lee Bramlett, Treasurer
Director, Good Dads KC

Liz Thomson
Director of Planning, Monitoring and Learning, SIL International

Dan Dugger
President, Fractrade

Marita Eden
Regional Partner Relations Representative, JAARS

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

JAARS Officers

Woody McLendon
President (Outgoing)

Brian Anders
Vice President of People

Kathy Andrews
Assistant Corporate Secretary

Steve Biggerstaff
Vice President of Engagement

Craig Russell
Vice President of Transportation Services

Denise Shockley
Vice President of Finance / CFO

Stephen Sweeney
Chief of Staff

Johannes Rehm
Vice President of Global Initiatives

Craig Whaley
Vice President of Engineering, Corporate Secretary

“God has come very close to us in his son Jesus and in the translation of his Word; God’s Word has entered our language and culture, just like we receive and keep the printed Bibles in our string bags.”

—a speaker of the Una language in Indonesia at the recent dedication of the Una Bible