For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen. (Romans 11:36 NLT)
Dear Beloved Friends and Family,
As the year draws to a close, we have been encouraged to send out an end-of-year financial report to you and to invite you, our partners in Bible translation and training, to further walk alongside us as we seek to see God’s Word translasted into undocumented and underdocumented languages throughout the world. This is a longer email, so we’d be very grateful if you would grab a cuppa and walk with us through this. We are so thankful for your commitment to Bible translation and it is our privilege to serve in this cause with you as God enables and guides us.
We praise God that he has used you and people like you to keep us in ministry for over 18 years. By God’s grace and your prayers, encouragement and financial support, we have given our lives to train, pastor and mentor those that God has sent us to in the US, Indonesia and Australia. This year, the Lord moved us to Kangaroo Ground, Victoria for Graham to transition into the role of the Principal Executive Officer of the Summer Institute of Linguistics Australia (SILA), which is Wycliffe Bible Translators Australia’s training and implementing partner organisation. As of January 2018, we are formally assigned to SILA, for the purpose of this important leadership role in the Bible translation movement!
We are uniquely qualified and called to SILA leadership.
- We have been in teaching and training roles since 1995, and so have many years of experience in educating others in various and diverse contexts.
- Our pastoral work with the Cantonese church has been formative in helping us understand long-term and project planning, and in preparing us to encourage and nurture others as they seek to follow Jesus. So Graham becoming SILA’s Principal Executive Officer earlier would have been premature. God had to prepare us, bring the right team together, and enable us to leave the church in a good place as we built infrastructure, grew leadership, and developed resources.We praise God that we recently heard from the YES! leadership that they believe this was the smoothest pastoral transition the church has ever experienced, and they are grateful that we left in such a loving and good way.
- We know SILA well. With the Cantonese church’s blessing, we have come down to Kangaroo Ground to teach in the SILA summer school program every year since 2009 (and 3 times before that too). So Kangaroo Ground is already another home to us. Most of the SILA team already knew and respected us, and we already highly valued them.
- Our past cross-cultural ministry experience in Indonesia has been vital in helping us understand the training needs for Bible translation, literacy and language development work, and has grown our ability to build relationships with people from diverse backgrounds.
- God has blessed us with an amazing team. Our team is talented, diverse, and dedicated to the vision of seeing cross-cultural workers well trained for their ministry.
- We have the support of the Wycliffe Australia leadership team and the SILA Board. Our heart is to see disciples of Jesus growing through the Scriptures available in their own languages and to train, equip and support people for this end…together.
- We are committed to lifelong learning, continuing to work towards PhDs in biblical studies and ministry, and have postgraduate qualifications in Linguistics and Ministry.
- We believe we are living God’s dream for us – Graham is enjoying this role much more than we anticipated, others continue to affirm us and express gratitude for our ministry, and we have felt God’s smile on us in tangible ways as we are faithful to his leading.
SILA, Kangaroo Ground – Our ministry in the heart of this beautiful community has an impact right around the world.
Kangaroo Ground, Australia, is like no other place on earth. SILA is housed on the Wycliffe Australia property here. This is a fairly rural location that lives up to its name – we really do have kangaroos in our backyard. The property is used for offices, training, retreats, student accommodation, furloughing field members, emergency housing, and some of us who are based here full-time. We rent one of 40 units on the property, and we have a guest room waiting for you. In many ways this is an idyllic location for training – not too far from an international airport and other infrastructure, but rural enough to be nourished by God’s creation, quiet enough for study, and large enough to create and enjoy Christian community.
With your help, at SILA, we train intercultural workers to serve and work alongside minority language communities worldwide through language development activities including Bible translation. SILA’s summer program, called Launch, trains people from a variety of different organisations to work cross-culturally and learn another language.
Being based in Kangaroo Ground also enables us to encourage and connect with Wycliffe personnel travelling through from various parts of the world. We love hearing their stories, finding out what training would further benefit them, and how God has used the training they received at SILA. And their stories enable us to encourage you too!
In his new role, SIL Australia sends Graham to various conferences and meetings around the world. This enables him to connect with other training and field organizations to share vision and strategic direction, assess training needs, and encourage others leading translation and language development work throughout the Asia-Pacific area. This travel inspired Graham to lead SILA in hosting a training conference on the topic of partnership this year, and to support an accredited training option for national Bible translators to further develop their skills and qualifications.
What will it take?
Opposition awaits. We recently learned that SILA needs to make new accreditation arrangements for the start of 2020. This has nothing to do with the quality of training SILA provides, which is acknowledged to be excellent. It has nothing to do with the quality of our staff, who are highly qualified and experienced. It has nothing to do with the satisfaction of our students, who routinely evaluate our subjects positively. This situation has arisen due to some federal pressures on our current accrediting organisation. We want to assure you that Graham and his team are committed to finding a new pathway for accreditation next year.
There are other challenges too. Student numbers for summer school 2019 are exceptionally low, so low that we’ve had to turn away some staff who had already made plans to come and serve. We are still praying that SILA will find a Business Manager and an Administrator, positions that have been difficult to fill. We are concerned that so many of our Australia-based staff are underfunded, and we want to find ways to encourage them and see us all fully funded. Most of the SILA staff are Wycliffe members, and, as for all Wycliffe members, are volunteers who rely on the gifts of God’s people to sustain them and their ministry. With your partnership, these are challenges that we hope to address in the immediate future so we can continue to fulfill our roles in God’s work through Bible translation, literacy, language development and other cross-cultural ministry. Thank you for upholding us in prayer.
What have we done in 2018?
By God’s grace and with your support, our goal has been to equip and support 100 people to make and grow disciples of Jesus through Bible translation, literacy, cross-cultural ministry, training and consulting by February 28, 2022.
We’ve equipped people by:
- delivering quality training through SILA, which is currently accredited and recognized (and we are committed to ensuring continual accreditation and recognition of our training)
- getting motivated and well-qualified volunteers to staff SILA
- running or sponsoring other conferences, seminars, and workshops as needed or requested by our stakeholders
We’ve supported people by:
- encouraging, caring and praying for staff and students
- extending hospitality and sharing meals with staff, students, alumni and other key stakeholders
- creating a positive learning and working environment, seeking to ensure all stakeholders have what they need in order to do their work
- being available to solve problems as they arise, cast vision, walk alongside in decision-making, and meet with stakeholders
God is so good. By his grace, and with your support, he has already enabled us to, in some way, equip and/or support the 100 people we had hoped to by 2022.
This year we have begun to equip at least 15 students who plan to be directly involved in Bible translation or literacy work, 7 other students involved in other cross-cultural ministries, and at least 25 others through the additional training we’ve offered.
We have individually fed and prayed for more than 60 staff, students, alumni and stakeholders. In addition, many have found encouraging Graham’s improvements to working and study conditions as he has had air-conditioning installed in all of the staff offices, overseen the common room kitchen renovations, introduced monthly SILA community meals for students and staff, seen plumbing and drainage problems fixed, a new community garden installed, furnished offices with new equipment, and positioned new picnic tables around our facilities. He has had countless meetings with stakeholders, and has connected with partner organizations at conferences in 4 different places around the world. This is all because God has worked through you and us through prayer and faith. Thank you!
With you and the Lord, we will continue to equip and support as many people as God enables us to in the Bible translation movement. Now, our goal is to do what we can to see Bible translation projects started in at least 10 more language groups by February 28, 2022.
Will you give financially to join us in equipping people so that we can see at least 10 more Bible translation projects started by 2022?
We have given our time, savings and finances to train, equip and support others in cross-cultural ministry over the years. We have been living simply, and putting off some important expenses in order to give all we have to this ministry. Balancing time and energy is challenging, and the stress of working underfunded sometimes takes its toll, but we’re completely sold out to this vision.
We give thanks to God that as of the start of December, we have received 90% of our support quota for this year. Your generous giving has enabled us to survive 2018, and we are so thankful to God for you! We praise God for his provision for you, and trust that he will bless you and continue to enable you to contribute to the Bible translation effort in 2019. We anticipate some additional expenses next year, and so we invite you to prayerfully consider our financial support needs for the coming months.
With your help, our goal is to raise our current level of financial support by an additional $15,000 in 2019.
Our Financial Goal Breakdown:
60% – will be used to help us meet our additional living and ministry costs in 2019. This would enable us to be fully funded, freeing us to meet our financial obligations and allowing us to stop ‘putting things off’ that need attention.
10% – will be assessed for Wycliffe and SILA administration fees. This enables Wycliffe and SILA to cover their overheads.
25% – will be put towards travel costs. We would so love to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of Ellie’s parents with family in the US in June 2019. There is also a conference in New Zealand on missional theology that we would love to attend and contribute to in July, and we would also love to be able to attend the Society for Biblical Literature conference in Adelaide in November. This would cover our passports, visas, travel insurance, tickets and other travel costs.
5% – will be used for fundraising. This would help cover the cost of maintaining our website, training, postage, and other communication.
In addition to asking God to provide for us, there are 3 ways you can help:
1. Monthly Support – Set up a recurring monthly gift for us via Wycliffe.
We would love to see God raise up 8 new monthly financial partners to help with our daily ministry costs by January 31, 2019. Will you give monthly to support us? We invite you to ask God if he will enable you to join our monthly donor team and respond as he empowers you. Our current monthly pledges range from $20-$450 monthly, and we welcome new monthly pledges of any amount. The average monthly gift is $100.
2. Special Gifts — Give us a Christmas gift, yearly gift, or year-end donation.
In addition to our monthly financial partners, we would love to see God enable 25 partners to contribute an additional one-time gift by May 31, 2019. Will you or your business assist us with a special gift? We invite you to ask God about giving us a year-end gift, and respond as he enables you. One-time gifts we’ve received range from $100 to $5000, and we welcome gifts of any amount. The average special gift is $1000.
3. Increasing Your Regular Giving — Give us a raise next year.
For those of you who already give regularly, we would love to see God enable 8 of you to increase your giving next year. We’ve already seen God enable 8 supporters to do so this past year, and it is so encouraging to see how God provides for you! Will you prayerfully consider sharing your yearly raise with us?
Thank you so much for your prayerful consideration. Together, we believe that God is doing something so important for the world and for his church as we give to the cause of Bible translation.
There are 7000+ known languages in the world. When we started serving with Wycliffe 18 years ago, there were 2,798 languages that had some Scripture, and only 518 had complete Bibles. Thanks to you, now 3,350 languages have some Scripture today, and 683 have complete Bibles! Praise the Lord! Active Bible translation work is taking place right now in 2,659 languages. This leaves speakers of 1,879 known languages and 284 known sign languages that are still waiting to hear God speak to them through the Scriptures in their own language.
While there has been good progress in the Bible translation movement, there is still much more to do. And people require quality training to equip them to work alongside these language communities. That’s where we come in.
Thank you for praying for the people we are serving, and the people they are reaching.
Liking what we post on social media and sharing the encouragements we send you is another way you can help.
Want to volunteer? Arranging a gathering for us to present our ministry and inviting Christians you know to join our team are other ways you can help! If you are gifted in administration or business, please pray about volunteering your life for the cause of Bible translation and consider joining the SILA team.
Thank you for helping us train, equip and support the next generation of Bible translation specialists, literacy workers, language development workers, and cross-cultural ministers. Thank you for helping us bring God’s Word to the 2,000+ people groups that are still waiting to hear the great news of Christ’s love. Together, may we see God use us to do what we can to get 10 more Bible translation projects set up by 2022.
Many of you have been reaching the world with us for the past 18 years. We are beyond thankful for you!
Graham and Ellie
P.S. If you have any further questions on what we are doing, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We know you want to sow wisely into the Kingdom, and we’d be happy to answer any questions or handle any requests you have.
giving from anywhere in the world:
Monthly pledges also can be set up at https://wycliffe.org.au/member/graham-ellie/
Australian cheques can be sent to Wycliffe Australia, 70 Graham Rd, Kangaroo Ground, VIC 3097, with a note that it is for “Graham and Ellie Scott.”
check in the USA: Wycliffe Bible
Translators P.O. Box 628200
Orlando, FL 32862; include a note that it is for us, ID#281522.
Donate online through Wycliffe USA — copy and paste this info: Graham and Ellie Scott ID#281522 into the Give to the Ministry of My Wycliffe Missionary page.
For US-based monthly automatic giving, you can set up a Bill Pay through your bank by providing Wycliffe’s name and address: 11221 John Wycliffe Blvd; Orlando, Fl 32862 – and put as a reference our ID #281522 Graham and Ellie Scott. Or call 1-800-992-5433 to speak to a Wycliffe representative.
Or donate through any Wycliffe organisation worldwide—just include a note that it is for us, Acc.#281522
For partnership information/inquiries: Wycliffe Australia
70 Graham Rd, Kangaroo Ground, VIC 3097 email@example.com (03) 9712 2777