SERVING WITH

LUTHERAN BIBLE TRANSLATORS

Translation

Learn the local language & culture.

Collaborate with the local church on Scripture goals.

Assist national colleagues with the translation process.

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Missionaries serving as translation advisors focus on the process of bringing Scripture into the heart language of the people they are serving.

Before they begin serving a language community, translation advisors study Biblical languages, linguistics, and translation principles. They are language and culture learners to build relationships and gain insight into the community in which they work.

Missionaries help coordinate the translation process from the first draft, through a series of accuracy and naturalness checks, to publication. As they train and empower local people to translate the Bible into their own languages, they often work as exegetical advisors and project coordinators for the partner organization that operates within a language program.

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Literacy

Assist the language program staff in assessing literacy needs.

Empower the community to value literacy.

Train national colleagues to develop literacy programs.

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Missionaries trained with an emphasis in linguistics and literacy serve with one or more language communities where translation is currently underway to encourage use of the mother tongue as the gateway to basic literacy.

We structure our programs to emphasize literacy as a sustainable community value with the ownership of literacy goals in the hands of the people.

Missionaries assist in orthography development, developing literacy strategy with the language program, and identifying and mentoring local colleagues in the production of primers and reading materials, and teaching.

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Vernacular Media

Assess non-print Scripture needs.

Develop a strategy with language programs.

Mentor national colleagues in production skills.

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Missionaries trained with a primary emphasis in vernacular media facilitate production of Scripture resources and tools in non-profit form.

The work ranges from the hands-on process of production to identifying and training national colleagues in production skills, proper user and care of media equipment, and developing strategy with translation program personnel for the implementation of non-print media goals.

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Missionary Kid Teaching

Plan a teaching strategy in collaboration with a missionary family.

Engage and encourage a love of learning for missionary kids.

Provide pivotal support for missionaries in Bible translation ministry.

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Due to the ends of the earth nature of where we place our missionaries, education options for their children can be a challenge. You can play a pivotal role by coming alongside and investing in missionary children’s education.

The assignment may be with a family, a group of families, or at an international school.

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Information Technology

Develop an IT strategy with language program offices.

Mentor national colleagues in IT skills development.

Provide training in specialized software.

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Missionaries with skills in IT work with and mentor local colleagues while assisting in supporting computer systems in language program and national partner offices.

Working with the LBT IT Coordinator, IT missionaries also support part of the computer systems and processes at the LBT international offices.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do missionaries serve in a short-term or long-term capacity?

Missionaries with Lutheran Bible Translators serve in a long-term capacity. After completing pre-field training and partnership development domestically, missionaries relocate internationally to the language program they will be serving. The average international term is three years in length.

These are career opportunities with a salary, benefits (health, vision, dental, life) student loan reimbursement, and professional development.

Although there are not short-term missionary opportunities, there are occasionally internship or volunteer positions available for application.

 

Are there opportunities to explore missions with Lutheran Bible Translators?

Since the work of Lutheran Bible Translators is long-term, we offer individuals the opportunity to explore missionary service with us before making a commitment in the application process. The following options are available:

Concordia Mission Institute (CMI)

The missionaries and staff of Lutheran Bible Translators and Mission of Christ Network hold an annual week-long missions conference for spiritual refreshment, growth in practice and technical skills, and fellowship together in Concordia, Missouri.

With missionaries and experienced staff members as session leaders, mission explorers learn more about the Bible translation process, Scripture engagement, cross-cultural interactions, and much more. This provides an excellent opportunity for explorers to ask deeper questions and to build relationships with missionaries.

Mission explorers can attend CMI at no cost. Lutheran Bible Translators covers the cost of food, lodging, sessions, and childcare. Travel to and from the conference is out of pocket.

Crossroads

For individuals who are more certain that they are being called to serve in international missions, Lutheran Bible Translators offers the Crossroads experience.

Crossroads is an international trip where participants visit one of our field contexts for around two weeks. Mission explorers will have the opportunity to observe Bible translation and Scripture engagement work, interact with missionaries and international partners, and experience a cross-cultural environment.

Fundraising is part of Crossroads so that mission explorers gain experience in partnership development and public speaking.

Internships

On a periodic basis, Lutheran Bible Translators has the capacity to host interns in certain language communities. To inquire about these opportunities, contact recruiter@lbt.org.

What is the missionary application process?

The missionary application is an in-depth process. We encourage applicants to allow six to twelve months to complete the application. The application is distributed in three phases with each element to gauge whether we are a mutual fit. To inquire about the phases of the application process, contact recruiter@lbt.org.

 

Do missionaries raise their own funds?

Lutheran Bible Translators’ missionaries participate in partnership development, which is the prayerful and financial support raising necessary for their ministry.

Missionaries build relationships with individuals and congregations to fund their ministry budget. During their time on the field, missionaries write prayer letters and thank-you notes to their supporters to give updates regarding their partnerships and work. Upon their return for furlough, missionaries visit the congregations and individuals who have supported their ministry to keep building the relationship.

Missionaries must maintain their funding while on the field. They may be asked to write more updates to their supporters if their incoming financial support decreases. If he or she drops below the minimum percentage, they could be asked to return to work on partnership development.