Jack & Jo Popjes 0002



Jack was born in the Netherlands and Josephine was born in Saskatchewan. Nineteen years later, they met as students at Berean Bible College in Calgary. They joined Wycliffe in 1965 and served in Brazil as pioneer Bible translators among the Canela people for 24 years. They have three married daughters and eight grandchildren.

Jack and Jo researched and wrote descriptions of Canela linguistics, organized a local literacy program, and translated a partial Bible. For six years, Jack also served as chairman of the Brazil executive committee of SIL, Wycliffe’s key field partner, and of the biennial conference and was interim branch director for six months. They completed the translation program in 1990, leaving a growing, Bible-reading, indigenous Canela church. More recently, Jack prepared the script for the Canela “JESUS” film.

Following their time in Brazil, Jack and Jo were loaned to Wycliffe Associates of Canada and spoke as recruiters and fundraisers at hundreds of banquets, churches, schools and other events in nine provinces across Canada. They were then loaned to Wycliffe Associates USA, where they spoke at scores of banquets mostly in California. They also served on the staff of Quest, Wycliffe Canada’s orientation program for new staff, for several summers as trainers and interviewers. In 1994, Jack was appointed as CEO (now called president) of Wycliffe Canada and served for six years with Jo as his executive secretary. After that, he served as CEO of Wycliffe Caribbean for three years. He was then loaned to Wycliffe Associates USA again, and for about 10 years spoke at hundreds of banquets, churches and other events in nearly every state of the U.S., while Jo served in the human resource department of Wycliffe Canada.

During his nine years in Wycliffe leadership, Jack wrote a weekly blog post on missions and Bible translation. These were so popular, that Wycliffe U.S. published three 52-column books: A Poke in the Ribs, A Kick in the Pants, A Bonk on the Head. Since then, Jack has self-published A Tickle in the Funny Bone and is self-publishing Hansje, the boy who kept his guardian angel busy, the first volume of his autobiography as a book of children’s stories. He is writing the rest of his autobiography, as well as weekly blog posts promoting cross-cultural missions, and speaks at churches and other venues. Jo has retired, but Jack, at nearly 80 years old, continues to communicate about Bible translation and is currently an engagement team speaker.