United States (MNN) — We never know what God will ask of us. But when we obey His call, He takes care of us, even if our lives look different than expected.
Two challenges from God
Wendy and Derwin Penson have served at Wycliffe USA for a number of years. During this time, they’ve learned a lot about Bible Translation and about God’s Word, and they continue to be passionate about what they do.
But recently, God presented them with two very big challenges.
First, he asked them to adopt children. Three children, in fact. And then, God asked them for another huge step of faith — He called them to leave their paid staff positions and trust Him for their income.
Derwin says, “Trusting Him in that endeavor was all faith, and trusting Him as we move towards a membership to become missionaries here, that too is another step of faith […]. And it’s just trusting Him in all things and we surrendered that part of our life to Him completely.”
So now, not only are the Pensons learning more and more each day how to be parents to these children they’ve adopted, but they’re raising support so that they can become stateside missionaries.
Passion for Scripture
The knowledge that there are people out there without Scripture in their language is what drives the Pensons.
“When I have challenges of my own, it’s a source of comfort to have God’s Word in a language I clearly understand,” Derwin shares, “It helps me to put things into better perspectives. It’s not the end of my world, it’s part of His perfect plan, and to know that He loves me unconditionally.
“I feel everyone deserves an opportunity to hear His name, to know what He’s about, to know they’re forgiven, to know they’re loved, to know there’s grace, to know there’s mercy.”
Working at Wycliffe headquarters provides a glimpse of how the Gospel completely changes lives.
“It is exciting to hear the stories, to see what God is doing around the world, letting everybody know He loves them, and He can be their God too, and He’s there for them. That is the blessing we’ve experienced working at headquarters in Wycliffe USA,” Wendy says.
Anyone who’s ever tried to raise support as a stateside missionary understands the difficulty in that task. People tend to be interested in supporting missionaries who are going overseas. The Pensons face an additional challenge. Wendy explains, “Historically, African Americans have had a harder time in the partnership development.”
Despite the challenges, Wendy says it’s been a great time for them to share with believers the importance of all ministry workers. She compares Bible translation to a tree.
The tree of Bible translation
The fruit of the tree represents lives transformed by the Gospel.
The branches holding up the fruit are the translators of Scripture.
The trunk is support — workers who take care of the logistical side of things.
The roots represent ministry headquarters.
Wendy says, “We’re able to help bring in resources to send up through the branches to help bear the fruit.”
And finally, there’s the soil. For the tree to grow, it must have rich soil. This represents everyday people partnering with Wycliffe.
What it means to serve at Wycliffe
Derwin and Wendy have found that working with other believers helps to strengthen their own walk with God.
Wendy explains, “I have learned more about the Word of God. I have learned more about depending on the Word of God. I have seen God alive and active in my life personally more than I ever have before.”
The amazing thing about ministry is that trades of all kinds are needed. Doctors, accountants, lawyers, administrators — any skill can be used to spread the Gospel.
And so Wendy encourages you to consider where you might fit in:
“He might be calling each of us to do something different, but I believe we all have a part to play. We all have something to contribute. Prayerfully ask God, ‘How would you have me get involved.’ And then be obedient. And I believe in that obedience, you will be blessed beyond anything in your wildest imagination, because I can say for a fact that we have been blessed in that way.”
To learn about opportunities to serve, click here.
Maybe you don’t feel called to serve at Wycliffe, but you want to support the work they’re doing. You can partner with the Pensons in their ministry through prayer, donation, or encouragement. Click here for their profile page.
You can pray for the Pensons and for Wycliffe, too. If you want to know more about support opportunities, click here.