Volume X, Issue 9
On the Cutting Edge!
Can you imagine not having even one verse of God’s Word in your heart language? According to the Wycliffe Global Alliance (2016), for over 160 million people, speaking about 1,700-1,800 different languages, this is the case. Many of these languages have not even been written down; these cultures primarily use oral communication.
But God is using people like GIAL alumna Robin Ulibarri to meet this pressing need. She currently serves with Faith Comes By Hearing (FCBH) as Director of Oral Bible Strategies. Render is a new oral Bible translation (OBT) software that merges Bible translation with audio Bible recording so that people do not have to wait for their language to be written down in order to receive God’s Word in their heart language.
“God had given me a love for travel, culture and language since childhood,” Robin shared. “I received the call to missions during prayer when I was 18, but it was some time before I would get involved with Bible translation.” In 2004, as Robin was seeking where God wanted to place her in the world of missions, two different people suggested that she consider serving in Bible translation. This advice moved her to find an online article advertising a talk at a nearby church by the president of a Bible translation organization. After hearing him speak, she joined that organization. Next, she studied for a semester at the Canada Institute of Linguistics before transferring to GIAL, where she completed her M.A. in Applied Linguistics with a Bible Translation concentration in 2007.
At GIAL, Robin wrote her thesis on her greatest area of interest: OBT. “At that point, my thesis committee guided me to many wonderful resources and helped expand my thinking,” Robin said. “That study was the most helpful in preparing me for my current work.”
Now, God has used Robin and her team at FCBH to develop Render and facilitate and support OBT projects all over the world. “In addition to developing the software, we implement it through partnerships with other organizations doing BT work,” Robin explained. “We provide training, project setup and support, audio editing, and distribution of completed audio Scripture.” Robin manages this team and works in partnership development and advocacy for Render and OBT in general.
Looking ahead, Robin and her Render team hope to expand their training strategy to help partner organizations launch more OBT projects. “Our most immediate goal is to hire a training coordinator who can help develop our strategy,” Robin said.
Join us in praying that God would bring the right person for this training coordinator position, that He would continue to give the Render team unity, and that He would enable Render’s partnerships to thrive in a spirit of collaboration. Also, please pray that the Father would bless ongoing and new Render projects with success—as Robin put it, “that the technology works well, that people remain healthy and dedicated, that God’s Word comes forth and transforms lives”!
FOLLOWING WHERE HE LEADS
Having grown up in Brazil as the children of missionaries, Tim Bachmann and his siblings eventually decided to follow in their parents’ footsteps. Responding to God’s leading, Tim studied at Word of Life Seminary in Brazil.
After completing seminary and marrying Von, a Brazilian he met there, Tim worked with his family in northeastern Brazil for several years, helping lead their church into a passion for missions. Tim and Von also took the basic linguistics and Bible translation (BT) training at the Brazilian Wycliffe mission headquarters. Finally, through AMIDE, Tim and Von’s mission organization (which, when translated, means “Missional Cooperation for the Spreading of the Gospel”), their church sent them to Guinea Bissau, where they served the Jola-Felupe people for 12 years. They planted a church, discipled church leaders, and trained mother tongue translators (MTTs), who are now almost finished with the Jola-Felupe New Testament!
Some of Tim and Von’s friends recommended they obtain a scholarship with The Seed Company Organization (TSCO) to take the Master of Arts in Biblical Exegesis and Linguistics (MABEL) program at the Dallas Theological Seminary and GIAL. After many challenges along the way, God provided the scholarship and entrance into the program and he came to GIAL in 2015.
Tim has spent the past year in Brazil serving as an intern with TSCO. He worked as the coordinator of three Brazilian gypsy teams. The teams are working on an oral translation of the book of Genesis using a new oral Bible translation (OBT) software called Render, developed by Faith Comes By Hearing. Tim has now returned to Dallas to resume his studies, planning to complete the MABEL program in 2019.
One of the GIAL classes that Tim said helped prepare him for his current ministry is Oral Tradition and Literature, taught by Professor Pete Unseth: “I recommend [this class] to anyone who works in any area of BT, especially with OBT. It opened my eyes to the rich diversity of oral tradition in all cultures, helped me be able to identify the four main genres in a given culture, and how to apply them in ministry. And it’s all the better because Unseth is fun and creative!”
After finishing the MABEL program, Tim plans to return to Guinea Bissau and work as a BT consultant, assisting several MTT teams and training new MTTs in both traditional BT principles and OBT techniques and resources.
Pray for God’s wisdom for Tim as he tackles the difficult MABEL program and for discipline to fulfill his other responsibilities: BT consulting, reviewing the Portuguese translation of Translators’ Notes, and reviewing his father’s translation of his book into Portuguese (called “Married to Brazil”) regarding his parents’ life in missions. Also, please pray for God’s strength and courage for Tim and his family as they pursue God’s will for their lives: their two daughters are also walking the missions path, and their son plans to serve the Lord with his mechanical engineering skills, wherever He leads.
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The Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and masters degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of The Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics.