Robert and Verna have been members of Wycliffe Bible Translators, Wycliffe Canada, Wycliffe USA and SIL International since 1983. Verna grew up in southeastern Manitoba and Robert in Goshen, Indiana. They were married in 1973 and have two grown sons.
Robert and Verna served with SIL, Wycliffe’s key field partner, in Papua New Guinea (PNG) from 1984 to 1995 as accountant, teacher, computer operator, and as Bible translators. Since returning to the US in 1995, they have been involved in developing exegetical and computerized tools for Bible translators at the International Linguistics Center in Dallas, Texas. Verna spent seven years as a professional counsellor to missionaries.
Currently, Robert is a writer and editor for the Exegetical Summary Series. Verna is the Dictionary and Lexicography Services Co-ordinator for SIL International.
Verna recalls first learning about Wycliffe at her home church, when she was only 10 years old. A Wycliffe representative shared that there were people in the world who had no Bible.
“I remember thinking, What’s the problem? Let’s just buy them some Bibles,” says Verna. “Then the speaker went on to say that there were no Bibles available in these languages. Someone has to translate them first.”
At that moment, Verna decided that’s what she wanted to do when she grew up. It hasn’t always been easy, however. Robert and Verna were almost killed during their time in PNG but they never considered quitting.