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The Poverty We Don't Talk About

To be in poverty is to be in a state of insufficient resources needed to live. We can imagine a lack of food, or fuel, or health care or housing. Few people imagine a lack of the Word of God. Bibles are everywhere. You can download one for free. But what if there were no Bibles printed in English? What if our language had no written form at all? There is such poverty in the world today. Today there are at least 2000 language groups that do not have the Bible in their native tongue. The mission of Wycliffe Bible Translators is “To see a Bible translation program in progress in every language still needing one by 2025”

I rejoice to be able to say that our church is a partner in this vital effort to

eliminate poverty—the poverty and famine of the life-giving Word of God in every language. We are a partner church in supporting the missionary work of Bryan and Joan Wussow. We support them with a $1000 from our general fund every year.

Bryan and Joan love God’s Word. They fell in love with the scriptures through the ministry of Calvary United Methodist Church in Flint. God used it to transform them. And before they were married, they were amazed to learn that Bryan’s engineering skills were needed in missions. They began serving with Wycliffe in 1991.

Today Bryan leads the Language Software Development team in Waxhaw, North Carolina. Tools they develop are in use by 1500+ Bible translation projects worldwide to translate Scripture and create Scripture audio recordings, Scripture apps for smartphones, and locally translated booklets for literacy programs. Joan’s artistic and hostess skills are put to use in ethnic and museum-quality displays, hospitality, ethnic meals, and in the past - illustrations in literacy primer booklets in Papua New Guinea.

In the words of Amos 8:11 there is a severe famine in many parts of the human family. It’s not a famine of bread nor a thirst for water but of hearing the words of the Lord. Every gift you give to Highland UMC is a powerful act made to relieve human suffering. I thank God for Bryan and Joan and how they link us up to a world-wide movement of compassion. Peter once said to Jesus, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68) It warms my heart to know I’m part of a community that shares the precious words of Christ with those who’ve never been able to read them. Thank you for supporting Bryan and Joan. You can connect with the Wussows online at

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