We joined Wycliffe in 1981 and were married in 1984. In 1985 we were invited by another mission to lead a team into Mozambique, and because Mozambique had been a closed country for many years and our organization had no work there, we agreed to work with them. While that mission prepared a team to send, we left the US in 1986 to go to Cameroun for Wycliffe’s Africa Orientation Course and to Lisbon to learn Portuguese.
In 1987 the door opened for SIL (an affiliate of Wycliffe) to send a team to the Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo, Mozambique, and because the Lord had led us the way He did, we were available to accept that invitation. After spending 6 months in Kenya doing a linguistics survey internship, in July of 1987 we moved to Maputo. John taught linguistics at the university and we worked hard to build favor with the then-Marxist government of Mozambique. And the Lord gave us that favor — at the end of our time in Maputo, the government granted SIL NGO status, which allowed others to come into the country freely to do linguistics and translation.
Derek and Hannah joined our family in 1993 through adoption, in answer to many prayers. We lived in Beira, Mozambique until they were 8 years old. While we worked on the Sena New Testament translation, they started school at a small international school, played on the beach, and enjoyed family vacations in neighboring Zimbabwe.
Our journey took some interesting turns after that — through Amherst, Massachusetts to Waxhaw, North Carolina.
John was invited to join the staff of The Seed Company, another affiliate of Wycliffe, to serve in Nigeria as a translation consultant. He is currently working on two New Testament projects there, traveling three times a year to meet with the teams in person. Barb is also on staff with The Seed Company, serving in the area of linguistic analysis.