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Bill-the long version

You really want the long version of how I got into missions? Okay...

My birth certificate actually says. “Peter William Dyck” But mom always called me Bill, and so do most of my friends. I grew up in Winnipeg, Canada and can’t remember a time when I didn’t believe Jesus was my savior. At age 8, I began to feel myself drawn to missions. My home church was very active in sending out missionaries all over the world and I thought that I would be missing something if I wasn’t a part of the action.

After high school I attended Moody Bible Institute to prepare for missionary service. I met Sally and we were soon married. God led us to return to Canada after finishing my Bible Theology diploma program. I studied diesel mechanics at Red River Community College as a way to prepare for a career as a support missionary.

On receiving my journeyman mechanics license Sally and I signed up with Wycliffe Bible Translators, believing that the work of Bible translation is fundamental to carrying out the commission Jesus gave to make disciples of all nations.

Our direction changed again as we were led to consider becoming Bible translators, rather than working in a support role. So we attended the University of Texas to study linguistics. By then we had two children, Loris and Ondrej.

While pursuing linguistics, I finished the Bachelor Degree at Moody Bible Institute and began graduate studies through Azusa Pacific University. Sally and I both progressed well in our classes and in two years we were moving to Costa Rica to study Spanish. While in Costa Rica, Laura was born.

From Costa Rica we went to Peru and began studying the language and culture of the Amahuaca Indians of the Amazon rain forest. A year later Jonathan was born. All our Indian friends were delighted to have us live with them and share a bit of their experience as we hunted, fished, and studied their language together.

During our first four year term, we began to move toward computer support. I managed to squeeze the rest of my Masters Degree in Human Resources Management into the corners of my spare time.

One of my primary roles was to prepare the Amahuaca manuscripts that other linguists had completed. This experience would prepare me for our next two terms when I was asked to manage the print shop, and later, the publishing department. My responsibilities were to facilitate all the activities that would bring a manuscript through the desktop publishing process. I was to oversee the computer resources, the offset press, collator, binder, and paper cutter--the equipment and supplies side of publishing. I was also responsible to do the layout on computer, and to see the manuscripts through the editorial cycles and the printing processes.

My role now is primarily managerial as the Publishing Coordinator for all of Latin America. There is a steady flow of communication over my desk of all the Scripture portions and New Testament in some stage of publishing.

Sometimes people ask me what it’s like to raise a family in the jungle. I look back on it glad to be a part of a significant work. And I see my children making responsible career choices. Some of their growing up activities might seem a bit unusual to our friends in North America. Making a rope swing 70 feet out over the lake, or midnight alligator hunting sound exotic. Their insect collection is amazing and their adventures remind me of television fantasy. But they got to see what bringing the Good News of God’s love and salvation means by our example. And that makes life worth living.