It’s a great privilege to have helped organize this first Lutheran Missions Fest. Missions work is work that should be celebrated. Lutheran culture is also something worth celebrating. We hope to do this every year, because events like these inform us of where there is need. They inform on how we as Christians can meet this need. May this event also be a source of encouragement. God, please bring missionaries and church people together here today. Show us how to build relationships and join hands in fulfilling Christ’s Great Commission.
My name is Daniel Bidulock. I am a Web Developer and Wycliffe Bible Translator.
Events like these aren’t unique to the missionary world. In my professional life as a Web Developer I attend high-tech networking events regularly. Industry people, from investors, to programmers, to designers, and everyone in between get together and discuss their ideas and build relationships. I recently attended one of these events here in Calgary. One presenter shared about recent trip to Silicon Valley for a Google Hackathon. A Hackathon is an event where those gathered are given a problem and a limited time in which to solve it. He described Silicon Valley as a place where no matter where you go, everyone you meet has a billion-dollar, world-changing idea. Whether you’re in line for coffee, or you’re at the dog park, if you strike up a conversation you are likely speaking to an expert in some field who has every expectation of reshaping some aspect of life or business. In the words of the presenter, Silicon Valley expects big vision. You wouldn’t be there if you didn’t have a billion-dollar world-changing idea.
We’re here at the first ever Lutheran Missions Fest with big vision and a mandate to change the world. God himself has called us to change the world. All of us. Everyone here today… imagine having no fresh water. Imagine having no school for your children. Imagine not knowing how to read and write. Imagine not knowing that Jesus died on the cross for your sins. We’re all here today because we have big vision, handed down by God. Missionaries change the world. Big or small, we are all called to be a part of God’s world-changing work. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
Wycliffe has big vision and we are changing the world. Our mission is the same as that handed down to all Christians by Christ himself. We call this the Great Commission. Wycliffe’s role in the Great Commission is in writing the Bible in the languages that have no Bible. Of roughly 7,000 languages spoken in the world today, roughly 2,000 are like these. 2,000 minority language groups have no access to the written Word of God… the Good News. The Good News changes the world wherever it goes. The Good News changes lives. Bible translation changes lives. But even before God’s Good News can be written down, people need to learn to read and write. Wycliffe impacts real lives in ways that are impossible to quantify or contain.
Still to this day, there are many living languages that cannot be written down. The impact of introducing literacy and its basic tools to a minority or indigenous culture is world changing. Christ gave Wycliffe its big vision… He sent us out to change the world. Bible translation changes lives and adds value everywhere it goes. Bible translation introduces education, economy, and equality.
As a Web Developer, I have been called as a missionary to direct my full focus to Bible translation. It is a tremendous blessing and privilege. There’s a job waiting for me when I raise 100% of my financial support.
My first assignment with SIL-Wycliffe will likely be ScriptureForge. This is a sensible fit, as ScriptureForge is a Web application and I am a Web Developer. I write software for delivery over the World Wide Web. This application allows native speakers to provide feedback to Bible translators, so Christ’s truth can be most fully expressed. Every language, no matter how many people speak it, is fully capable of expressing God’s truth.
No matter who you are, or where you go to church, you already have a responsibility. Not everyone is going to serve in India. Not everyone will translate Bibles. But we all have a role to play in carrying out the Great Commission, and this is where I have something to offer you. Partnering with me and Wycliffe allows you to participate directly in an expectionally worthy cause. I bring an opportunity to honor the Lord with your sacrfices. This is an opportunity to be blessed.
I, like all Wycliffe missionaries, can only do our work through your generosity. Serving minority language groups requires generosity. When you give to me through Wycliffe or Patreon, you are investing in Kingdom building work. You are sacrificing to God. Money by itself cannot share the Good News. Money by itself cannot bring literacy to a minority people. God takes your money and returns things money can’t buy.
Ask God how you are to serve. Ask Him where to invest your time and money. As a Wycliffe Bible Translator, I bring an investment opportunity. By investing in my work, you are investing in eternity. You are inviting an opportunity to be blessed by God.