Our Ministry

Our mission is to use our God-given skills to enable overseas missionaries on the front lines to do their jobs easier, more efficiently and faster without sacrificing quality.  Krista and I are not gifted in translation or literacy skills.  I am not a pastor nor am I an evangelist or a church planter.  I am a professional engineer and have been for my entire working career of over 30 years.

God Uses Ordinary People

For many years all the missionaries I heard of were in traditional roles: church planters, evangelists, doctors, pilots, construction people, and teachers.  Since I was not in one of those roles, I figured the only way I could help was to make money and give it to missions and to pray.  Then in 1996 the Lord showed Krista and I that we could in fact be involved in missions work by using our skills behind the scenes as support workers.  My strengths are in computer technology and administration and Krista’s are in hospitality and organizational support.  One of our themes is that "God uses ordinary people".

Finding Our Fit

Our prayer card from 1998 when we began our journey
When God called us to use our skills in full time Christian service, we felt that somewhere there was a mission struggling with the use of computer technology where my skills could be put to work.  When we found Wycliffe, we knew this was the organization that the Lord was directing us to.  There were huge needs for all types of computer specialists, both in the USA and overseas.

Initially we assumed that we would serve overseas.  Krista and I both wanted to go where the need was the greatest.  Certainly we thought, that would be in another country, since we assumed that Wycliffe could find lots of people in the USA to meet the local technical needs.

As we learned more about the needs though, we found that the US offices needed staff just as urgently as field sites.  In fact my experience with large networks in the corporate business world was a direct fit for the needs of the US headquarters office.  At that time Wycliffe’s largest foreign office in Papua New Guinea had adequate network administration staff, so the Lord closed that door and opened the door for us to serve in Orlando, Florida at Wycliffe’s US headquarters.

Our Work in Orlando

Shortly after we began our assignment in Orlando, the planning for Wycliffe’s new headquarters campus began, and subsequently site preparations and construction commenced.  I had the privilege of
Wycliffe headquarters offices
being involved with the design of the network for the new campus, a large undertaking with space in the main office building, shown at right, for 700 staff with 2,100 network/phone connections.  I supervised the installation of the network cabling and connections as the building was constructed and I installed new network equipment in the communication closets.  When the move took place from the temporary offices to the new site, I led the move of the computer room equipment.  By God’s grace and with much help from computer staff in Orlando and from our coworkers at other US sites, the move was successful and our computer room was online again within 24 hours!  This was just one of numerous projects that I was assigned in my role there.

While in Orlando we hosted numerous missionaries and volunteers in our home which had two guest bedrooms.  Krista's role in this hospitality was cooking, cleaning, transporting and looking after these missionaries that were new to the area.  She enjoyed being hospitable for families in need.  After a few years Wycliffe built apartments right on their campus so the need for additional housing drastically decreased but we still enjoyed providing a room for occasional visitors.  In the office, my team grew from three to eight staff over the years and along the way I was asked to lead the team as the Technical Services Manager.  This was challenging as I lacked leadership training but the Lord provided a great team of people to work with and He graciously led me to make good decisions.  I had the opportunity to be involved with implementing a lot of new technology as Wycliffe looked at new ways of providing services to missionaries, donors, and partner organizations in the Bible translation movement.

Transition to JAARS

JAARS LSC/IT building where Hank works
In 2006 the Lord led us to change our assignment from Orlando to a new assignment in North Carolina at Wycliffe’s International Technical Support center, JAARS.  The IT - LSC building where I work is pictured on the left.  This moved me one step closer to supporting the front lines of Bible translation and literacy.  Before taking on the new assignment at JAARS we again investigated the needs overseas, but the Lord kept that door closed once again and opened the door to work at JAARS.

This proved to be a great move for our family!  Not only do I thoroughly enjoy my work but Krista, Amanda, and Nick also found our new location to be a good fit as they made new friends and took on new interests.  Krista now manages the Housing Department at the JAARS center, as a ministry to missionaries and volunteers who need lodging when they are in the area for assignments or training programs.  The housing department provides 99 housing units and operates like a normal hotel business, but with the focus of providing lodging to those involved with the support work that enables global Bible translation.

God's Provision

While serving at JAARS we are still Wycliffe missionaries, just assigned to the JAARS entity (technically Hank is assigned to SIL, Wycliffe's major partner which provides global language development, linguistics, translation consulting, and technology support.)  People and churches donate to Wycliffe where the funds are processed and passed along to us after a ten percent Wycliffe assessment is deducted along with taxes, health insurance and retirement plan costs.  We do not receive a normal salary but trust the Lord to provide for our needs.  He does that through the gifts of financial partners: individuals, families, and churches who the Lord has led to pray for and financially support our ministry.

While we have weathered numerous monetary shortages over the years, the Lord has faithfully supplied for our needs.  Does that sound contradictory?  Notice that I said that He has provided for our needs, not our wants, and this is what He promises in His Word.  We are blessed to have a very consistent team of financial partners; many who give sacrificially so that we can serve the Lord here at JAARS.

Making a Difference

My role is to lead the Development team in the Global Technology & Information Services department of SIL.  So I am a Wycliffe missionary who works at the JAARS center and reports to SIL which is the international organization that coordinates Bible translation and literacy work.  Confusing, huh?!  The Development team is composed of about 25 people which make up two sub-teams: Application Development, and Field Systems Engineering (primarily Power and Internet systems for missionaries working in remote places).

These teams work together to research and implement new technology
New translators receiving software training
to enable our global staff and those in partner organizations to translate the Bible more effectively.  The Application Development team designs computer systems to meet our enterprise needs.  But many missionaries work in very remote locations where power and Internet infrastructure does not exist.  Computers are used extensively in the translation process, and in every phase of support work related to translation and literacy.  Therefore, it is critical that people have reliable power and the ability to communicate to carry out this work.

For me it is very satisfying to help meet these needs!  I get to work in a Christian environment with a great team of committed experts and put my skills to use.  We are working with cutting edge technology which is challenging but fun!  Most importantly the work we are doing is of eternal significance as people can get God’s Word in their language sooner rather than later!

Want More Info?  Check out the Updates button at the top of the page and the Newsletters section for more details on prayer requests and updates about our ongoing work.

Thanks for your interest in our ministry!