DIU prepares students to exercise global leadership as humble partners, seeking to cooperate with other leaders of local communities. Alumna Elizabeth Marti (’03), the director of SIL International’s office in the Central African Republic, exemplifies this partnering spirit. “We in SIL are often like a match that sets a whole community on fire by showing that it’s possible to have God’s Word in their own language,” she says. But once the spark has caught, she and her SIL colleagues want the community to be the driving force that makes it happen.
Global leadership, for Elizabeth, means connecting with local communities, inspiring them to action, and supporting their initiative.
An important part of Elizabeth’s job is maintaining good relations and communication between two Bible translation organizations: her own SIL Central African Republic (SIL CAR) and the Central African Association for Bible Translation and Literacy (ACATBA). This local organization outnumbers SIL CAR staff five to one, managing all 18 of the active Bible Translation projects in the Central African Republic. Elizabeth and her team joyfully support ACATBA’s initiatives however possible.
For example, SIL CAR provides translation consultants, linguists, and technical support that ACATBA requests for their projects. Elizabeth herself supported projects as a translation consultant for many years. Kaley did the same by facilitating a phonology workshop.
But, Elizabeth shares, supporting ACATBA also means “mentoring and training others in the same skill sets.” This way, “our impact will reach farther than ourselves.”