New Leaders are Inspired by Training and Support

Plans for Wycliffe Global Alliance’s New Leaders Orientation conference in June of this year were in place. Arrangements for the venue in Nairobi, Kenya, were complete. Leaders were making plans to attend. But one important hurdle remained: some of the new leaders would not be able to attend due to overwhelming transportation costs.

Remembering JAARS and the support for which we are known, an Alliance representative approached JAARS President Woody McLendon to explore the possibility of financial assistance. Woody saw it as an answer to prayer. He wrote, “I had been praying about providing some support for the Alliance and wondering about their needs and ways our help could be an encouragement.” With funds from the Where Needed Most fund, JAARS responded swiftly and generously with the needed grant.

The Wycliffe Global Alliance includes approximately 100 organizations from more than 60 nations bound by a common goal: translating the Bible with every language group that needs it, so that these communities can be transformed by God’s Word. By providing staff, funds, training, translation, prayer, and support services, Alliance organizations are currently involved in almost 2,000 of the 2,422 languages where active translation work is underway. Dedicated, godly leadership is essential in these global organizations. When new leaders come aboard, a well-designed orientation program provides a vital introduction to new responsibilities, plus an opportunity to meet with colleagues from other nations to share concerns, ideas, and solutions.

In June, eighteen participants representing Africa, Europe, and the Americas joined nine facilitators—also from Africa, Europe, and the Americas—at a New Leaders’ Orientation conference for five days of learning, collaboration, and planning for future development. They had an opportunity to reflection their personal leadership journeys, as well as review the history of Wycliffe over the last 75 years. During a variety of workshops, they discovered new insights, forged new friendships, and prayed for God’s guidance. Most importantly, they experienced kinship as part of a truly global community with a shared mission.

On the final day of the conference, the participants prepared personal and organizational development plans to be carried out during the next 12–18 months. As they implement their plans, they will be bolstered by periodic conference calls with colleagues in their regions. This collaboration will enable them to share progress in their growth plans and discuss topics relevant to their regions.

Back home after the conference, participants shared some of the benefits they gained. Elvis Guenekean, ACATBA, Central African Republic, called it “the best strategic training” he has had. A major benefit for Reuben Dubai, Wycliffe Romania, was building new relationships with leaders around the globe and seeing what God is doing at the other ends of his Kingdom.

Mats-Jan Söderberg, Wycliffe Sweden, commented it was “the best leader training week” he has attended. He found that, as a “new guy,” learning about the history of Wycliffe had strong impact.

So we thank you, our financial partners, for enabling JAARS to come alongside the Wycliffe Global Alliance in this effort. The support you made possible was an important key to the success of the conference.