Howard and Deidre serve under a cooperative agreement between MTW and Wycliffe. Howard has degrees in Christian education and linguistics, and Deidre in Bible translation.
For 20 years the Sheldens served in a strategic Indo-Pacific country that has gradually become more closed to missionaries. They translated Genesis and the New Testament into the language of a religiously divided people group. The work was finished in 2002, along with other projects designed to benefit refugees as well as nurture and sustain the local churches.
The Sheldens spent the next 10 years at Wycliffe’s international headquarters in Dallas, Texas, using their experience to advise and equip other translators.
Nationals eventually resumed translation of the rest of the Old Testament. When speakers of six neighboring languages wanted the Bible in their languages too, a resource network was assembled. Currently about a dozen organizations contribute to Bible translation and church growth, each in their particular area of expertise.
In 2012, the Sheldens joined this network, consulting in the fields of linguistics, Bible translation, and literacy. Advances in technology make it possible for them to provide most of their input at this stage over the internet. Please pray for the Sheldens as they serve Christ in this vital role.