Eight years ago, SIL’s Global Language Technology Training department didn’t exist. Sure, there were occasional training events, but they weren't regularly available. We had lots of Bible translators around the world trying to figure technology out on their own or with little help. I (Doug) remember one translator who programmed a whole Microsoft Access database to hold the translation he was working on. If that doesn’t speak to you, it is akin to writing your own income tax software just so you can file your taxes. At the time, I was both amazed at the translator’s ability but also saddened that he felt he needed to do it in the first place. After all, we had good options that he probably wasn't aware of. There was no central way to provide information and training to our thousands of translation teams in the field.
Today, this department is my primary responsibility and is aiming to provide competent trainers and materials to train our linguists and translators around the world. The job is a challenge for our limited staff but we are excited to have two new people join us in recent months:
Robert Clementz is going to be heading up the team that is creating video training materials for our translation software. He and his family live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, giving Robert and I the opportunity to work together this month while P.J. and are in town. The Clementz family has to raise the remainder of their monthly support before they will be able to begin officially, but we pray that will be soon!
Jeff Heath is joining my staff as an International Language Technology Consultant. He is fluent in French and has taught the annual Outilingua workshop with me for several years now in Burkina Faso. He will take on a lot of the French training responsibilities as he and his family are based in West Africa.
The biggest goal for 2017 is to oversee the successful rollout of Paratext 8. That’s right, the development team is still working on it, since it is the most significant overhaul of our translation software in a decade. But the delay is working to my team's advantage as we have a ways to go before the video training materials will be finished.
P.J. recently finished producing a current textbook in formats for Kindle, iPad and the Barnes & Noble Nook. We pray that it will soon be available for distribution so that the linguistics training program can use it to train our field workers. She waits for her next publishing assignment.
One of the joys we experience living 50% of our time in Grand Rapids is that we get to know the special young women our sons develop relationships with better. We met Sara Gagnon back in August 2015, and on August 12, 2017, she'll become the newest Higby to join our clan! We are happy for Kevin and Sara and pray that the Lord would bless their lives in all ways.
Thank you for your continued investment in our ministry! Our ability to travel and work together has made us more effective, even though that privilege has come at an increased expense. As we look back on 2016, we want to give thanks to God for his provision through your financial support and prayers. We pray God's blessings on you all in the coming year!
Partners in the Gospel, (Phil 1:5)
Doug & Priscilla Higby
Praise & Prayer
- Praise God for Robert and Jeff joining the Language Technology Team.
- Pray for Robert specifically as he raises the remaining funds necessary to start to work in the department full-time.
- Praise for Kevin and Sara as they prepare for a wedding on August 12.
- Pray that the Understanding Language Choices textbook will be available in electronic format soon.
- Pray for Doug and Priscilla as they plan out their Spring training itinerary.
Your gifts enable the Higbys' continued ministry with Wycliffe.
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with the memo: "Doug & Priscilla Higby"
Mail to: Wycliffe Bible Translators, P.O. Box 628200, Orlando FL 32862-8200
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Doug & Priscilla Higby are missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Doug is the International Coordinator for Language Technology Use, and Priscilla is serving as E-Pub Manager with SIL International.