Dallas International alumna, Lynette Wilson and her husband, Michael

God gave Lynette a heart for nonbelievers and languages, even from an early age. Later, as a high school student, she remembered hearing about Bible translation from missionaries at her church, then thought of a fellow student who was an atheist. “My heart broke for him,” she recalled. “I knew then that I wanted to use my love of languages to share Christ with others.”

After completing her B.A. in math and Spanish, Lynette studied linguistics with SIL at the University of North Dakota. When she joined Wycliffe, her supervisor encouraged her to go to Dallas International. In December 2010, Lynette graduated from Dallas International with her M.A. in Applied Linguistics. About her training here, Lynette said, “I can’t think of a class that did not help prepare me for this work.”

Now Lynette works as a translation assistant in Northern Territory, Australia. There, she serves with Aboriginal translators in a cluster of related languages called Yolŋu Matha. After the translators draft their work, Lynette helps them edit it and organize community checks for it. She also trains people to produce back translations, find uninitiated native speakers (people unfamiliar with scripture) for consultant checks, and provide linguistic input throughout the entire process. This past year, she worked with four of the Yolŋu languages on the Gospel of Mark.

Malŋgi, a woman on the community checking team for the Dhuwaya Mark translation, told Lynette and her colleagues, “When we were reading those words in my language, they went straight to my soul. I didn’t even eat any food for the rest of the day.”

The translation of Mark in Dhuwa Dhaŋu’mi, another language from the Yolŋu Matha cluster, combines four clans that have had conflict with each other. In November 2017, each clan sent representatives to the dedication of this translation! A pastor from one of them, Dr. Reverend Djiniyini, said, “Now with this translation of Mark into Dhuwa Dhaŋu’mi, reading it for the first time in my own dialect, it is like bringing it home. It just opens up the whole thing. This is mine! . . . I pray to God in this language. This is the language through which I hear Him speak. So this translation has convinced me, ‘Yes, God, you speak Dhaŋu too.’” Praise the Lord!

Please pray for God’s continued wisdom and power over Lynette and Michael and their team. Also, let’s ask Him to draw many more Yolŋu speakers to Himself through His Word!