The Rings joined Wycliffe in 1975 and, after training, went to Ghana in 1979. They started translation work among the Lelemi speaking people in 1981. This involves learning the language, developing an appropriate writing system, and promoting literacy. Their aim was to help bring God’s word into the languages of communities still without it. Andy says, “We lived in a remote area without modern conveniences and saw malaria and dengue fever take their toll on our neighbors and our own family. After completing the Lelemi New Testament in 1996, we returned as translation trainers and consultants to start work with the four adjacent languages. One of our Lelemi coworkers also became a translator for Avatime, one of four remaining languages in the mountains of the Volta Region.”
What drives them forward in this challenge? Andy says, “Wycliffe’s training has equipped us to bring God’s word clearly, naturally and effectively to people with unexplored languages. God’s truth and message of sacrificial love is the only power that can cross language barriers, conquer the fear of the spirit world, and heal the mistrust and animosity between ethnic groups over past injustices.”
The Rings brought their family back to the USA due to schooling concerns in 2001. For the next 13 years, Andy returned to West Africa for approximately one month every quarter to help complete four New Testaments (dedicated in 2009) and the Lelemi Old Testament (whole Bible dedicated in 2014). He also helped with a 12 language cluster project in Nigeria until 2014.
Since 2014, Andy and Kate have been working with Wycliffe’s affiliate, the Seed Company, as translation consultants for cluster programs in Tanzania and SE Asia. Andy holds a PhD in Sociolinguistics from Georgetown University, and Kate an MA in Social Sciences from Azusa Pacific University. They are the parents of a large family (10 children).
Andy and Kate are available (firstname.lastname@example.org) to share the challenges of Bible translation as well as God’s faithfulness in hardship with interested groups wanting to support the work of Bible translation.