January 2017: Anna Wivell
“Growing up as a missionary kid in Australia, my parents’ ministry taught me a love for missions,” Anna explained. “I had felt from the age of eight that God was calling me to be a missionary in Africa.” Years later and with much schooling completed, that is exactly what God has led her to do. Anna Wivell (’04, ’07) is serving with Bibles International in the Central African country of Chad. She serves as a Bible translation consultant to national translators as they work to translate the Bible into their mother tongues.
Anna came to Faith and chose a Bible major with a missions emphasis. This would give her greater flexibility to study the biblical languages while in her undergraduate studies. While at Faith, Anna became heavily involved in many ministry opportunities both through her church and through the college. During her junior year, she went on a six-week missions trip to Zambia in Southern Africa. Not only did this trip fulfill her missions emphasis requirement, but it also let her see what God was doing through missions in Africa. Because of Anna’s interests in the biblical languages, one of the missionaries suggested Bible translation as a possible future ministry for Anna to pursue. As she prayed about that possibility over the next year, Anna knew God was leading her into Bible translation work by her senior year at Faith.
Anna knew that pursuing Bible translation ministry would require further training in the biblical languages. She enrolled at the seminary, and before she even graduated, she joined Bibles International and began raising support for her future work.
“I started full-time deputation in 2008, and it was quite a journey to get to the field!” Anna explained. “With a major recession hitting early on in my deputation journey, it was a challenge even to schedule meetings at first. For a long time, I wondered if I would ever reach full support so I could go to the field. But—oh me of little faith!—God provided my needs, though as always He operated on His schedule and not on mine.”
In early 2012, Anna left for language school in France before arriving in Chad on New Year’s Eve, 2012. As a translation consultant on the field, she acts as an editor for the translation works. The Chadian nationals serve as the translators into their native languages, and consultants—like Anna—provide the education and experience to ensure accurate translations. Consulting, coordinating, and overseeing complex projects keeps the process moving, although projects take many years to fully complete. When asked what is the greatest lesson she has learned since being in Chad, Anna simply exclaimed, “Flexibility!”
She has now been serving in Chad for four years, and every day is full of challenges and blessings. Currently Anna is finishing a furlough in the States, and she will be going back to Chad soon. She asks prayer for adjusting back to Chadian life as well as some personnel changes on the field. She also knows there are two projects waiting for her when she returns to Chad, and she asks prayer that those would be completed soon.