Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Learning the Value of Internships

*This post from the Wycliffe blog is about my sweet friend, Leah Doty, whom I met at training in November in Orlando, Florida. She will be serving the Lord in SE Asia as soon as she reaches 100% with her financial partnership.

Leah's family
Bible translation is in Leah's blood. It began with her grandparents, long-time translators in Southeast Asia. And it continued with her parents, faithful administrators and translators in Kenya, Thailand, the Philippines and the Solomon Islands.

 Then it came time for Leah to decide what to do. She studied at Houghton College, knowing that she wanted to work in Bible translation, but she was unsure of how or where.

Leah turned to internships with Wycliffe and SIL (one of Wycliffe's primary partners) to help her figure it out. Her first internship took her to Dallas, where she served the Language and Culture Archives department, helping former linguists archive their untapped resources.

"It was good to get perspective on what happens there," Leah recalls. "The resources we're producing need to be made accessible, (but I learned that) archives is not my life's calling."

Next Leah signed up for a internship that took her to Northeast Thailand, where she worked in Scripture engagement, facilitated workshops by assisting local Rit people in developing curriculum.

"(There) I got to contribute to the literacy of the Rit people, lending skills that were in demand," leah recounted. "It was great."
Leah's extended family 

But as the internship came to an end, Leah wasn't ready to finish her linguistics work. She was finally sure of what she wanted to do in Bible translation-linguistics in Southeast Asia, where her family has worked for generations.

"I'm excited to take and interest in peoples' language in order to communicate love and value to them-primarily, to see communities transformed by the work we do," she said.

Now, Leah is headed back to a country where she grew up, and the internship process was critical to finding her own place in missions.

"(The internships) kind-of exemplified two different sides of what Wycliffe and SIL do," Leah said. "There's a diversity of work that we do and it was good to see a couple different perspectives (of that."

Now, more than ever, Leah feels connected to a purpose bigger than herself- and, besides her family, she has her internships to thank for that.

Leah Doty 
"I want to see the message of the gospel transform society, change the world."

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