Sharyn has been interested in discovering new languages and cultures for as long as she can remember. After completing a Bachelor of Arts in French and Linguistics, Sharyn worked in business for a number of years where she developed a secondary interest in accounting. In 1984, she left her job to study theology at Regent College in Vancouver and to explore where the Lord might be leading her next. In the summer of 1985, she enrolled in the SIL summer training course and her interest in linguistics was rekindled. She became a member of Wycliffe Bible Translators in 1986 and was assigned to work with SIL in Burkina Faso, West Africa.
On her arrival in Burkina Faso, Sharyn initially served in a number of support roles, putting her experience in accounting and business to good use by training finance office staff and serving as Treasurer. In 1991, she joined the Buamu language project and served as linguist, exegete and project leader. In 2009, the project transitioned to national leadership and Sharyn continued to work with the team in an advisory role while pursuing further studies in linguistics. The Buamu New Testament was completed in the fall of 2011 and Sharyn began training to be a linguistics consultant.
Following a move to Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, Sharyn became increasingly involved in the administration and leadership of the group. She was elected as Director of SIL Burkina Faso but shortly before moving into that role in February 2014, she was also asked to serve as Director of SIL in Mali as well. In October 2016, the SIL groups in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Niger were brought together into one organisational unit – SIL West Africa. Sharyn now serves as director of this new group and provides leadership for the ministry of Bible translation and language development in Francophone West Africa.
In addition to her leadership roles in SIL, Sharyn also served as a Field Adviser to the board of Wycliffe Canada from 2009 – 2014.
Sharyn’s roots are in Winnipeg, but Vancouver is now her Canadian home.