Rick and Cindy Gray, missionaries serving through Wycliffe Associates and sent by Echo Church, are passionate about unleashing the Word of God into the heart language of people living in the unreached areas of the world. Because millions of people in these war-ravaged nations are still waiting to read the Scriptures in the language of their heart, Rick and Cindy are working hard to help accelerate the translation of every verse of God’s Word into every tongue to change every heart.
While living in the shadows of the rugged Caucasus mountains (a region north of Iran) for the two-plus years, Rick served as Director of a translation center; a platform from which more than 60 national staff, mother tongue translators, consultants and media technicians work. It was his task to stabilize, secure, and guide the center’s development in order to achieve the goal of beginning the translation of God’s Word in every Caucasus language that needs it by 2025. Cindy used her graphic design skills to assist the language teams in developing relationships in the minority communities.
The experience and knowledge gained while serving in the Caucasus, as well as the relationships that were built, proved beneficial as Rick stepped into his present position of service. As COO, Rick leads and manages the worldwide operational services of a subsidiary organization of Wycliffe Associates. This new organization was created to accelerate Bible translation in the unreached areas of the world where the structure or use of the Wycliffe name is problematic. Continual unrest and military upheaval, inaccessible geography, intense religious traditions, and complex political bureaucracy inhibit Christian representatives to live long-term in these regions. Therefore, the desperate need for God’s Word continues, as the New Testaments for these people groups remains unwritten.
Rick’s responsibilities include keeping the work of Bible Translation safe from harm in closed countries opposed to the spread of the gospel; strategically prioritizing and implementing the services of Wycliffe Associates’ subsidiary organization worldwide; developing long-term goals; establishing and maintaining effective relationships with various entities; traveling to unreached world areas to evaluate ministry effectiveness and efficiency; bringing encouragement; assigning and managing Operations’ staff; and providing vision, motivation and spiritual leadership.
Cindy continues to serve as a graphic artist for the project teams in the Caucasus, as well as those in the Asia Region. She has had the privilege of working on projects such as a book of proverbs, several alphabet posters, a children’s book entitled “The Lamb”, cultural booklets, scripture calendars, and etc.
When asked why they chose to continue this path at this particular time of life, they said: “As we weighed how we would invest our time, talent and treasure in the upcoming years, we saw this mission as the best way to invest all three for the most powerful, long term results.”