Ilene Foote

Serving with JAARS

Ilene has a strong missionary background and served with Wycliffe Bible Translators and SIL International for 17 years in Congo and in resource development and recruiting at the SIL international headquarters in Dallas. For the last 4 years, she has been assisting JAARS, a sister organization of Wycliffe and SIL, as a part time grant writer. JAARS provides the necessary logistics for the accelerating global Bible translation movement and for missionary teams now working in 2,195 languages in 130 countries. Most often the unreached people groups are in remote, isolated places. Ilene has been asked to take on a full time director role and lead a new initiative. She is now raising her monthly support and the funds to move to JAARS’s headquarters in Waxhaw North Carolina. She will open the new foundation relations office for both JAARS and SIL to establish new foundation relationships and find increased grant funding for the expanding needs and necessary growth of JAARS and SIL. We need to keep up with all that the God is doing in missions and in the hearts of peoples who are receiving the Word of God in their own languages!

What is JAARS?

JAARS provides missionary logistics and training. This includes transportation of all kinds for the linguistic, literacy, and translation teams working where there is rough terrain, mountains, and no established roads. They need four-wheel drives, motorbikes, airplanes, and helicopters. Some teams need boats, ships, and safety gear where they can only reach peoples by water. JAARS provides training for aviation, maritime, and media use for Wycliffe, SIL, and many other partnering mission agencies. JAARS also provides IT connectivity and training, using satellite and solar power to access computer operations where there is no infrastructure, access to translation consultants, and use of software and media developed by SIL for language and translation development and Scripture engagement in churches and among those still unreached with the Gospel.

Why is this mission so important?

Making God’s Word accessible to all people groups in their heart language is a way I can and our church can fulfill Christ’s Great Commission of reaching the lost with the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There are very practical ways we can be part of what God is doing to touch lives, and assisting JAARS in their work is a good way to serve and engage in what God is doing through their work.

Here are some facts about languages and people groups on Planet Earth:

  • 7,000 known languages are in the world today
  • 531 languages have a complete Bible
  • 1,329 languages have a New Testament
  • 700 languages have scripture portions available on You Version
  • 844 languages have audio scripture available through Faith Comes by Hearing
  • 2,195 languages now have Bible translation projects started and in progress in 130 countries
  • 1,860 languages are still waiting for Bible translation to begin

What does it mean that you are being “sent out” by VCL?

I started worshiping at VCL in 2000 and have been able to serve through multiple involvement in what we do as a congregation to reach out to the communities around us, to learn from Scripture and its teachings, and to grow our own faith. VCL has been my home church for 15 years, and I have loved every part of it. I am proud to be sent by VCL to do mission work around the world through JAARS and through language development and Bible translation.