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Lawyer turned Bible general counsel

By December 23, 2015
(Photo Courtesy Wycliffe Bible Translators USA) The Heidelman Family.

(Photo courtesy Wycliffe Bible Translators USA) The Heidelman Family.

USA (MNN) — [Part 1 of our 2-part mini-series on the unique roles in Bible translation] Josh Heidelman and his family had the American dream. Josh, a lawyer, worked at a big law firm in the center of Chicago. His family was healthy and happy. Then something changed.

“Over the course of [a few years], I began to get an urge that I just couldn’t shake: to be more directly involved in the advancement of God’s Kingdom in one way or another. As an attorney, it’s not obvious how that should look,” says Heidelman.

The Heidelman family began looking into different positions where God could use them. They looked as far away as Uganda and as close by as Chicago. After knocking on some doors, an opportunity opened in a rather unexpected way.

One day, Heidelman has a “chance” encounter with someone he had known years before–someone involved with Wycliffe Bible Translators USA.

“It led to a conversation and a couple of e-mails and some time spent together. The next thing you know, here we were: joining Wycliffe and leaving everything behind that we had done before,” explains Heidelman.

As always, God’s place and timing are perfect. Heidelman joined Wycliffe as its General Counsel, transferring many of the skills he used as a lawyer.

“I handle all things legal that an organization like ours faces. And when you’re as big as we are, it’s a significant amount. So in some ways, the skills transfer directly. In other ways, they’ve been shaped,” says Heidelman.

If Heidelman, a lawyer from one of the world’s largest law firms in Chicago, can transition into mission work, so can you.

Photo Courtesy Wycliffe Bible Translators USA via Facebook.

(Photo courtesy Wycliffe Bible Translators USA via Facebook)

“It really does take one body in many parts. And so we need people in a place like Wycliffe. We obviously need people who have linguistics training and who know how to translate the Bible. We also need people who have H.R. experience because we have more than 3500 missionaries around the world. We need people who do I.T. work because there are systems required in order to keep those wires connected and make systems work,” explains Heidelman.

For those who feel God’s pull on their heart, Heidelman says to trust it, pray, and be persistent.

“We prayed for almost five years… I determined by the end to just keep knocking on doors and allowing God to either open them or shut them, keep them closed, or swing them open. When it came time for His timing to show up, the doors flung open for the opportunity I had here in ways that they hadn’t anywhere else,” says Heidelman.

Now, Heidelman is asking prayers for Wycliffe. Please pray that Wycliffe will find the open doors it needs to find. Wycliffe serves the Church by bringing the Gospel to language groups without Bibles. But it can’t do so without the partnerships with many different people, agencies, and organizations all over the world.

Since Wycliffe Bible Translators USA is a non-profit mission organization, the Heidelmans income is based on partner support from average people.

To donate to the Heidelman ministry, click here.

To get involved with Wycliffe Bible Translators USA, click here.

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