Serving the Community

Information about Bill and Sandra Callister

There is a lot of variety in the job. We look after about 125 language teams in PNG, from about 18 different languages, working in 190 languages (so some obviously are teamed up with several languages at once) - this includes not only translators, but literacy and scripture use workers as well. We also supervise the language services section, which includes about 20 more people who help others as consultants in the areas of sociolinguistic survey, anthropology, linguistics, literacy, translation etc.

We oversee the development of strategy in the language area in particular, and also of partnerships with universities and we are doing a lot more in the area of church engagement (helping PNG churches to realize the value of vernacular languages in ministry) and training PNGns to work with and through their own communities to see God's word available in all the languages that people speak. We have about 300 more languages to go in PNG. Bill and I on a daily basis interview all the language teams as they come back from furlough, talk with those who have special issues, respond to emails from both inside PNG and outside the organisation (people looking for information, etc), and work with the other directors to plan and direct the whole operation here.

Partnership and Training are the main focus for our work in the next few years, and the development of Comprehensive Plans as a result of the strategy and vision casting that we have been emphasising recently. Where are we going? What resources do we have? How do we recruit for more people? Who do we work alongside? Those are some of the questions
we are trying to answer.