Back in April I was involved in a meeting with several of the area communications coordinators to discuss some of what we had accomplished over the last few years and what we needed to do to better reach some of our goals.
One of the outcomes from that meeting was the recommendation to form a new global story gathering team. After a few months negotiating how this could work and finding potential staff members from other teams, we finally had the very first meeting of the Wycliffe News Network – WNN – this month in Austria. It was an exciting week to dream together about what God would have us do in this next year.
The Wycliffe News Network is a small team of Wycliffe journalists that gather stories about what God is doing worldwide through Bible translation and language development for Wycliffe participating organizations worldwide to use in their publicity.
I’ve been asked to lead this team for at least the next year in order to give it a solid structure and purpose. We have a lot of work to do to make this really work. The team we’ve put together is photographer heavy, and we don’t yet have a single full-time writer. However, this is the team God has provided, so we’re thinking about strategies to make this work and how to leverage our strengths well including continuing to utilize volunteer writers.
You might be wondering what this means for my work in Africa. It’s interesting timing how this came together. My desire from the time Jeff and I moved to Kenya was to find someone from Africa to take my responsibilities so that an African could represent communication in Africa.
Just a couple of months ago, Florence joined the Africa area in order to work in communication. She previously served for many years in communications with a Wycliffe organization in Kenya. She’s taken about half of the job that I was doing — the portion related to consulting and training in communications in Africa. I’ll probably continue to take part in some of these things at times on her request. However, her taking this role left me free to focus on story gathering.
The WNN team has responsibility for gathering stories about Bible translation worldwide, joining with some of our other offices who also do some of this. I’ll also be providing leadership for this team’s global story gathering, but as WNN’s primary liaison for Africa-related stories, I will continue to stay closely connected to Africa.