Dallas International Alumni
Life Transforming Words
During Ruth’s senior year of Bible college, she learned there were over 800 languages in Papua New Guinea. God used this lesson, combined with Scripture’s impact on her own life, to move Ruth toward cross cultural service. In April 2003, she attended TOTAL It Up (TIU) in Illinois. Later that year, while searching online for a full-time linguistics school, Ruth found Dallas International and decided to study there. Not long beforehand, Ruth had also heard Dallas International’s first president, Dr. David Ross, share about Dallas International and his own cross-cultural service.
When Adam registered late for classes at North Greenville College, his only elective option was an introduction to missions course. Throughout it, Adam was moved to tears by what he was learning, especially the fact that many people couldn’t read the Word that had transformed his own life. Later, he attended a conference, where a Wycliffe recruiter told him, “I’m a Christian because someone came and translated the Bible into my language!” He informed Adam about TIU, which Adam eventually attended in Pennsylvania, where he learned about Dallas International. At his Dallas International work-study job in the library, Adam met Ruth, who was also working there. Two years later, they were married! Eventually, Ruth (December 2006) and Adam (June 2007) both graduated with an M.A. in Applied Linguistics with a Bible Translation concentration.
Now Adam, Ruth, and their four children serve with SIL in the Central African Republic (CAR) among the Gbaya and Bhogoto people. Ruth is a homeschool mom and the CAR Branch of SIL children’s care and education coordinator. Adam is a translation consultant in training, helping with scripture translation checks, training translation teams, and conducting other linguistics projects such as grammatical analysis and dictionary work.
After hearing Genesis in her own language, one Bhogoto woman exclaimed, “I learned that when our crops do well, it’s because of God!” Adam explained, “Basically her whole cosmology was shifting . . . toward a more Biblical reality and actual faith in God as the Creator and the continuing ruler of this world. She was realizing that Someone Else—(not the spirits)—was in control of her whole life . . . and she was excited about it!”
Ruth and Adam shared that all their Dallas International courses prepared them well for their current ministry, especially Theory and Practice of Translation and Second Language and Culture Acquisition. They also enjoyed deep friendships with various cross-cultural workers on-campus and fellow students.
This summer, while on furlough, the Huntleys look forward to welcoming their baby daughter! Afterward, they plan to travel back to CAR and move their belongings from a village to the capital city, Bangui. There, they will work with three teams to finish their New Testament translations and submit them for typesetting before the year ends.
Please pray for a safe delivery, for all the Huntleys as they move to Bangui, and for the CAR translation teams. Also, let’s pray God’s peace over CAR, where there is much poverty and political instability.
HEARING AND UNDERSTANDING
As an elementary school teacher in California, Gretchen gradually realized that she had unused language gifts and that she didn’t belong in her teachers’ community anymore, where a focus on salaries over students reigned. After a trip to Guatemala and a Wycliffe workshop, Gretchen began to think, “Maybe God wants me to leave this wealthy area and go into something that has eternal value.” Befriending one of the workshop speakers, she soon learned more about cross-cultural service.
Two summers later, Gretchen started taking SIL linguistics classes. They were very intense, but Gretchen loved the teachers and the other students and began viewing linguistic problems as puzzles, which she enjoyed doing. Afterwards, she joined Wycliffe, and completed the Certificate of Applied Linguistics in 1982 (“Texas SIL” back then).
Gretchen prayed, “Lord wherever it is . . . You know I don’t like to be alone; I’d like to have a good friend to work with.” So, God led her to Nancy Haynes, who complemented her personality and abilities well; together, they served the Yemba people in Cameroon. Gretchen collaborated with locals to create a primer and a post primer for Yemba literacy, and she and Nancy trained locals in Bible translation and literacy work. Also, Gretchen and two Yemba men transcribed local folktales, added illustrations, and taught local teachers how to use these books for literacy.
Traditionally, the Yemba practice ancestor worship, seeking advice from seers regarding the sacrifices deemed necessary for their life problems. One day, a member of Gretchen’s translation team overheard a Yemba man say, “I used to be a seer and get a lot of money, but I can’t anymore, because people in the church are hearing the Bible in their own language and are understanding it too well!” Praise God for His life-transforming Word!
Training to be a translation consultant, Gretchen has returned to Dallas International to finish her M.A. in Applied Linguistics. Cultural Anthropology and Introduction to Orality and Storying have been especially helpful to her. Gretchen’s thesis explores a Yemba oral art form, burial ceremony lamentations, and the possibilities for incorporating scripture into them instead of messages of hopelessness.
Let’s pray for God’s peace between the Yemba translation team and a local sister organization. Also, please pray for God’s wisdom over Gretchen as she writes her thesis and for his use of the Yemba New Testament, dedicated in 2017, to bring transformation!
IMPROVE LEARNING EXPERIENCE – $6,805
Technology for Classrooms:
•We need five kits at $550 each (computer $430, microphone $25, speakers $70, laptop bag $16) for use by students as they participate in the new oral translation course.
•We need videoconferencing equipment at a cost of $600 for three World Arts courses to be offered via synchronous learning to students from countries around the globe.
•We need ten tablets at a cost of $120 each to promote active learning in the classroom and improve classroom experience for our BA students in the College of International Studies.
Training Materials for Library:
•We need the three volumes ($335 each) of Syntax – Theory and Analysis: An International Handbook. Syntax (arrangement of words) is a major subfield of linguistics which is the foundation for good Bible translation.
•We need to buy at least 25 new books at an average cost of $50 to prepare for our new Human Migration course of study equipping students to serve refugee communities around the world.
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