3 years in the “Himalayas” with Wycliffe – Make a Difference

In October 2010, this lovely young woman – Stephanie Eichentopf (www.stepswithstephanie.com) is going to leave the United States and travel to South Asia and be gone for 3 years. She will be gone for 3 years straight. 3 years. That’s a long time!

Stephanie is going to be working with Wycliffe ( www.wycliffe.org)  to serve people in a country I cannot name. She will be teaching, loving, serving and doing her part to see that the locals can eventually have a copy of the Bible in their own language.

Stephanie is doing this because she has heard the whisper of God. She thinks that God has called her to do this.

I  know..I know.. She thinks she heard from God? For some of you, that sounds like crazy talk. Check out my post here to read my thoughts on hearing from God. Scroll down a bit until you see the tin foil.  www.stevenshomler.com/2010/08/01/westward-journey-prologue-before-fall-2004

Stephanie and I are both are part of the same faith community – Bridge City Community Church (www.bethechurch.net), however that is not what drew me to check out her story for myself and eventually decide to wholeheartedly support her.

The first thing that drew me to her crazy journey was – Lake Titicaca – The world’s highest commercially navigable lake in the word, located between  located between Peru and Bolivia . http://en.wikipedia.org/Lake_Titicaca

Let me explain. In the 70’s and I was in grade school and I attended His Family Christian School. School had started and a few months into the school year, Charlene and her brother Steve began attending my school. I developed a big crush on Charlene, and I thought that Steve was a cool guy.

Their family worked with Wycliffe Bible Translators and they were back in the United States on “furlough”. The cool thing was that they were living and serving on the shores of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia, working to make it possible for the locals there to have a Bible in their own language.

Now the stories Charlene told us at school about fascinating topics like piranha, were incredibly engrossing. However it was equally cool to be able to attend a conservative Christian school and be able to say the awesome word “Titicaca” out loud. Here let me spell it phonetically for you –  TIT-E-CAW-CAW. Wow! what a name for a lake!

Hearing that Stephanie was going leave the US to work with Wycliffe,  was like a blast from my past! I had to hear more..if nothing else, to honor the crush I had had on Charlene.

The other thing that drew me to check out her story was that she telling people that she was going to move across the globe to Make a Difference, because God had called her to do so.

I completely get that. I have moved my family across the country twice to Make a Difference , because I thought that I had heard from God.  So to my way of thinking either Stephanie was a nut or  she was the real deal.

Take it from me – Gayla and I have spent time face to face with Stephanie, listening to her share her heart and talk about her calling – Stephanie is the real deal!

Gayla and I are sponsoring Stephanie and I plan to occasionally post updates here about how Stephanie is doing. Now let’s talk money!

You can Make a Difference – I want to give you an opportunity to support Stephanie. When you work with Wycliffe you have to raise you own money. Now prayers are nice (and wanted by Stephanie), however I am after cold hard cash. she needs to have about $1,800 a month to cover her expenses each month for the next three years. She has about 60% of that raised so far. I invite you to consider agreeing to sponsor her and giving monthly  ($10 a month, or $100 a month – any amount works) to support her mission and calling.

Stephanie’s mission is one worth supporting!

To Support Stephanie – go to this link and click on the pray or give button www.wycliffe.org/Partnership.stephanineeichentopf

What is Stephanie going to do for three years?

If you are curious – Stephanie will be working in language work as a language surveyor.

Here is some info from Wycliffe on what Stephanie will be doing for the three years she is overseas –

Language Work translation can take place, people need to study a culture and survey its language. For a language that has never, a written form must be developed and taught (in cooperation with the community) before the Bible can be translated. Out of respect for cultures, Scripture-use activities are developed so people can encounter the Bible in a way that is most meaningful to them, whether this means using indigenous music, drama or other forms of traditional communication.

Language Surveyor Of the more than 6,900 reported languages in the world today, a little less than half still need to be studied by language surveyors. Put simply, language survey is hands-on language research.

This step is foundational to translation work and shows where the need is most critical. Surveyors travel to towns and villages, listening to and recording different languages and their dialects.

By working in small groups, surveyors are able to tap into each of the talents needed to accomplish the task. Teams also provide the diverse perspective needed to understand unfamiliar languages and cultures.

Himalayas?

Stephanie cannot specifically say which country she is going to. Wycliffe says that she is going to South Asia. Well it turns out that Stephanie is going to one of the many countries that border or cross the Himalayas.  To me going the Himalayan region of the world sounds really cool!

Since Stephanie really is going to one of the many countries in the Himalayan region of the world , I use that term to refer to where she is going, instead of saying Southeast Asia.

Bottom Line, given Stephanie’s situation I think it is better marketing to say she is going to the Himalayan region of the world, than saying she is going to Southeast Asia. Both term are accurate.

Go with me to this Himalayan region on a short term mission trip in late 2012.

Hopefully sometime late 2012, I will be able to go with a small group of people on a short term mission trip to see Stephanie, bring her some care from home and spend a week or two ministering with Wycliffe and Making a Difference in that far flung country. If that kind of trip sounds good to you, please let me know!

Again, to support Stephanie go to www.wycliffe.org/Partnership.stephanineeichentopf

God Bless,

Steven Shomler

Note on Making a Difference

Make a Difference is the 3rd Primary Element to The Good Life. For more on The Good Life and to see the other two Good Life Primary Elements go to  www.goenjoythegoodlife.com

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