Significant Service     

Professional Considerations     

Issues to Consider


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Significant Service

Do you have experience in the planning, design, construction or maintenance of buildings? Are you licensed or a journeyman in carpentry, plumbing, electrical and other construction trades? Are you a handyman? Can you manage facilities or work crews, or have experience in contract management?

Many locations where Wycliffe people work have infrastructure issues. In many places, there are few or no trained people to adequately build and maintain the facilities needed for translation and support workers to live and work. In some locations, vocational training is part of the ministry, and Wycliffe needs qualified instructors to teach national students. There is a need for people who have a knack for building and fixing things. There is also a need for people at the various Wycliffe organizational headquarters in the USA and other countries.

The large centers overseas can be home to several hundred people and include hundreds of homes, offices, maintenance shops and school buildings. Internal roadways, electrical generation and distribution, and plumbing systems must all be kept in operation. Each of these center are home to language and support staff families that have individual needs for maintenance and repair, many times in places where commercial services are non-existent or very expensive.

Other centers may have only one or a few buildings, but these too must be maintained. There is a need for these types of services in most of the 99 countries where Wycliffe personnel work.

Professional Considerations:

If you have a gift in this type of work, there is most likely a role for you. Sometimes professional or trade credentials are necessary due to the level of work, government regulation, or in order to obtain work visas. There are many other places where your handyman skills alone can allow you to fill a critical need in everything from tool and appliance repair to village house construction to facility management.

Operations workers continue to work in their area of expertise for years. Others find that they can take on increasing responsibility to manage and train others. Some find other ministry paths as they live and work among the rest of the local team and see opportunities they did not know existed. God’s gift of skills, talent, and willingness to serve are not wasted.

Issues to consider

Personal preparation and development are key elements to a successful cross-cultural ministry. How do you prepare? The issues we see most frequently contributing to failure to launch or failure to succeed while on assignment are at the link below. Please count the cost now and prepare well! We are praying for you and would love to walk with you on this journey. 

The technical operations support fields often present some challenges to those used to working in the USA. The time equals money is a western paradigm that sometimes does not translate well into other cultures. Are you flexible and able to live with uncertainty? Are you adaptable, and able to adjust to and mitigate for local cultural and economic realities that are not part of western culture? Can you improvise to mitigate budget issues? Most importantly perhaps, can you learn from local co-workers and adapt yourself while getting the job done?

There is opportunity in the world to create a legacy in the form of well-designed, well-constructed, and well-maintained and managed buildings, roadways and infrastructure. These are good things, but consider that these things done in support of Bible translation can create an eternal legacy in the form of transformed lives and cultures by helping plant God’s word in lives and cultures.

Nuances of the job in different areas of the world

In the Pacific region:

In Africa:

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