24 Feb Swartz Family Leaving Australia
Steve and Beverly Swartz have been missionaries with Wycliffe since 1975. They spent most of those years in Australia working on the translation of the Bible into the Warlpiri language, a task which was completed in 2001 with the publication of the Warlpiri Bible. Now, they have decided to move on to something else, and away from Wycliffe. Steve explains:
“Since the Warlpiri Bible dedication in October 2001, I have continued on in my administrative and consultative roles within the Branch, but in all honesty it has been more out of a sense of duty/obligation than of call, at least not such a call that saw us come into Wycliffe in the first place in 1975 and then to Australia and the Warlpiri people in 1978. Perhaps we missed God’s signal to move on to other things in late 2001, but regardless of that, Bev and I now feel that it is God’s time for us to move on from Wycliffe and into something new.
“What does this mean for us? Wycliffe Australia has graciously allowed me six months leave commencing December 1, 2003, and I have appreciated the time thus far to get some extra R&R. However, beyond that, it is our intention to take formal Leave of Absence (LOA) from Wycliffe at a time not yet determined, but which may be in March or April of 2004. We cannot be certain of the future, but our current intention is to eventually resign from Wycliffe. LOA leaves the door open for a return to full service within five years should Bev and I choose to do so. Once we move into LOA status, we are allowed to receive support donations for a further three months from the commencement of LOA.
“In addition to this, after a brief and intense job search, I found and accepted a position at Yirara College (the same place Bev has worked as a tutor) as Executive Secretary to the Principal, the Business Manager, and Assistant Principal. I commenced work on January 19 and am confident that the Lord has opened up this job for me and that I can both handle and thrive in it in the long term. At the time of writing this letter, I completed my first full week of work and thoroughly enjoyed the job and the people I work with.
“It is not at all easy to write these words to friends and family who have prayed for and supported us, who have struggled our struggles and dreamed our dreams, who have laughed and wept and rejoiced with us and the Warlpiri people for these last 25 years that we have lived and worked in Australia. We owe each and every one of you more thanks and credit than we can ever give or repay. We know for certain that anything we have accomplished for the Lord here in Australia has been your accomplishment as well, and we praise and thank God for you all.
“Bev and I stepped out in faith in 1978 when we first came to Australia, and we have tried to walk by faith since then. Now, once again, we step out in faith into something quite different and unknown. But we do so stepping out into the hands of a faithful God.”