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Filling the Gap

Accountant, dairy farmer, truck driver and Wycliffe volunteer—Tim Geissberger, at the ripe old age of 25, has done it all.

This past year Tim worked nine months at seasonal jobs in accounting and dairy farming so he could spend the rest of his time volunteering with Wycliffe. He was able to use his accounting skills to promote Bible translation in Africa and see the world while doing so.

“One thing that drives me is change and learning,” he said. “I like experiencing all aspects of life, and swerving god in missions is a great way to do that.”

Growing up in a rural area in Ontario, Canada, Tim didn’t know a lot about missions but was always interested in other cultures and travel. “I went to the university with a cousin who was a Wycliffe MK to West Africa and found out about Wycliffe through her,” he said. After college, Tim decided the best way to learn more about mission work was to volunteer. His home church already gave to missions, so they were excited about supporting him.

“I decided to go to Kenya, but there is such a need for accountants that there were several options,” he said. He went to Kenya in September 1999 for four months as a volunteer. There he had a unique opportunity to work with several Wycliffe offices throughout Africa.

Upon his return to Canada, Tim worked nine months with an accounting firm while also helping part time on his family’s dairy farm. Meanwhile, Wycliffe’s accounting department in Orlando was still trying to catch up from the move from California the summer before. Accountants were desperately needed, so Tim went to Orlando in October 2000 for several months.

Working at the U.S. headquarters, he was able to see the backbone of the work overseas and fill crucial accounting need. “Financial stewardship is very important to the donors and also to our members who receive the funds. Getting finances from financial partners all over the world to field locations all over the world can be very complex,” he said.

On Saturdays Tim could also be found driving a truck at the building site for the new Wycliffe center. His roommate Ryan was another volunteer who worked full-time at the site. Volunteers were digging lakes and they needed drivers to haul the dirt, so time stepped in to help.

Tim returned to Canada in January but hopes to go to Papua New Guinea as an accountant in September 2001. He explained, “I go where I’m needed most. I’m just serving God.”

Whatever the service, in the U.S. or overseas, Wycliffe volunteers like Tim contribute much to Bible translation. “The Word of God is the best thing to give somebody, and after missionaries leave, people still have it to help them grow spiritually. That’s why I enjoy working with Wycliffe,” Tim said.

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