My turn now.
This is Jackie. I haven’t read many blogs so I don’t really know what I’m doing, but Rich told me to just jump in and start, so I am.
I’m 83. I can’t believe I’m that old! I sure don’t feel 83.
I was born in Huntington Park, California, and I lived in the LA area until I was through college. I was a psych major. I worked as a secretary to put myself through school.
I heard about an organization called Wycliffe whose goal it was to get at least the New Testament translated into every language of the world that didn’t have it. I thought that was the greatest goal. I wanted to be a part of that worldwide effort.
So I went off to a training program in the jungles of Oaxaca, Mexico. It was three months long, and quite the adventure for this city girl.
Had to build our own cook fires and get water from a river. We built our own shelters out of branches and poles and big leaves. We had to go on survival hikes and things like that.
I came back to the US and went to Seattle to teach a course on phonetics. There I had a student who was named Skip, and to make a long story short, he became my husband!
Skip and I got married and very soon after we had our first child, a daughter.
Skip was part of Wycliffe, too (that’s why he was in the phonetics course). We both wanted to do translation work overseas. So when our baby was only two months old, we got on a ship and crossed the ocean to New Guinea.
That’s where we worked for the next 18 years. We did a translation on the island of Bougainville. It didn’t take us the whole 18 years. We had a couple of furloughs back in the states, and Skip had some admin positions he had to fill, which totaled about 3 years. So it probably actually took us 12 or 13 years to do the New Testament and collateral materials.
Skip and I finished that project, and came back to the US for a year, then went to Vanuatu for six years. We served in an admin position there, coordinating the translation work and overseeing about six translation teams working on the various islands in the country.
We finished up that service term and came back to the US to work in the home office. Within a month after we got back, Skip was diagnosed with an aggressive, inoperable brain tumor. With radiation, he lived for seven months, and then he died.
Five years later I met Rich, after his wife Karis had died of cancer. I was 62. It didn’t take us long to figure out that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, and we got married. That was 20 years ago!
I can’t believe it has been that long!
When Skip died, I didn’t think I would remarry. I just didn’t think there would be a man out there who would be interested. I will always love Skip, but Rich is my new love now.