Keeping Encouragement Flowing

Stories to encourage and strengthen – Wycliffe World Day of Prayer 2021

Story from Wycliffe Global Alliance prayer team 

In memory of Dorothea Kirkendall who joined her Lord in glory 21 July 2021 – prayer warrior, encourager, servant of many in the Bible translation movement, most recently in her role as Americas prayer coordinator for the Wycliffe Global Alliance 

Although the Bible translation movement is spread around the globe, God sometimes makes surprising connections across the miles. 

Derick Wellington, Jamaica. Photo: Wycliffe Caribbean

Mrs. Denise Roomes, Wycliffe Caribbean Administrator, regularly forwards the Alliance Streams of Prayer emails to churches throughout the Caribbean. People pray faithfully, but she doesn’t often hear back directly from recipients. Recently, Mr Derick Wellington, a church member in Jamaica, responded with a very encouraging email: 

God is very good to His people and God will honour all those who serve Him,” he wrote. “I encourage you and all those who work with Wycliffe worldwide to be faithful; your labour individually will not be in vain.” 

He continued with a heartfelt prayer: 

“We give You thanks for the ministries of Wycliffe not only in Jamaica, but we give You thanks for the ministries of Wycliffe worldwide. We commit each worker in each office in each country worldwide to You…. Prepare each one to live in Your divine will.  May they rather die than desert You in their walk with You or their services for You. … May each one be spiritually tough knowing that going back in the world is not on the table and it will never be on the table. … Supply each one’s needs for life:, … Let the results of their daily ministries for You last into eternity.  

“Remember the needs of each Wycliffe office in each country as it relates to training for different workers, as it relates to translation ministry, as it relates to the involvement of different churches or organizations, as it relates to the weather, as it relates to security, as it relates to finances, as it relates to any other needed areas, we ask for Your divine intervention. … may Your great name be honoured and glorified. Let each country where there is a Wycliffe office be better off as a result of Wycliffe ministries.… Put a great hunger in the heart of each Wycliffe worker worldwide for Your divine will to be their only reason for being alive.”  

Denise forwarded Brother Derick’s email to Dorothea Kirkendall, then serving as Americas prayer coordinator for the Alliance. Dorothea in turn shared it with others onf the Alliance Prayer Team. 

Gwen Davies, who serves as prayer team editor, told Dorothea: “I find it interesting that God led Mr Wellington to write this email in March in Jamaica, which Denise from Wycliffe Caribbean shared with you in the US in May, which you passed on to Jo[1] in the UK, which in turn landed in my inbox just when I needed that encouragement. I love how God arranges those things! It came at a time when I was not feeling like the tasks I was doing were very ‘spiritual’ in value. It was good to be reminded that even our daily tasks are part of a bigger purpose. Mr Wellington also challenged me to recalibrate my focus on God himself as the centre of our work in the Bible translation movement. I felt like I was being spiritually mentored from afar.

“I was so inspired by this email that I recently shared some parts of it when I spoke at one of my partnering churches here in the US. People seemed to resonate with it, both in terms of personal spiritual encouragement and for suggestions about how to pray for Bible translation work. It was a good way to give the church a glimpse into how God works through diverse members of his Bible translation movement around the world, to encourage and pray for each other.” 

Dorothea emailed Denise to tell her how Derick’sDerik’s email had multiplied encouragement to others far beyond Jamaica. “You sent some encouraging words about the prayer bulletin to me. I passed them on to Jo. She passed them on to Gwen. Gwen wrote [these reflections]. So, I hope you are encouraged too, because you reached out to encourage us!” 

Denise had just spent some days having to push hard on preparing for a workshop due to delays. She felt discouraged, wondering if the workshop would be effective. “I could not have seen your encouragement at a better time,” she said.  “I am so happy that all the way up/down the line hard-working members of the Wycliffe [Global Alliance] family have been encouraged and/or strengthened in their journey of service. Thank you so much.”

As Dorothea said in her email to Denise, “Proverbs 11:25 says, ‘He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.’” Indeed, the refreshment had come full circle.  

[1] Jo Johnson, who serves the Alliance as Consultant for Prayer Advocacy

 

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