In a rocky job market, there is one field that has thousands of openings waiting to be filled.
Wycliffe Bible Translators, the world's largest organization of its kind, is looking for workers with a range of skills to assist in the translation of the scriptures into the last remaining languages.
"Of course, a large number will go into translation," said Chuck Michaels of Wycliffe to Mission Network News. "But for every translator team we send out we need three support personnel: people who are pilots, IT personnel, teachers that will teach missionary children, managers that will help us in our administrative work, government relations officers, and a whole host of other areas."
The Bible translation organization estimates that 25,000 more workers are needed over a period of 10 years for its Vision 2025 effort that seeks to start translation in every language by the year 2025. Wycliffe aims to recruit 7,000 people from the U.S.
Some 200 million people, making up a third of the world's language groups, still do not have the Bbile in their own "heart language."
The goal of Wycliffe's Last Languages Campaign is to provide literacy and life-saving health information along with the Bible to all the world's small language groups in need of language development by 2025.
Besides Wycliffe, other mission organizations have also referenced the troubled economy in their missionary recruitment efforts. World Gospel Mission president recently reported that "the job market for missionaries has never been brighter."
He noted that young adult Christians are showing increased interest in serving in the mission field on a short term basis. There has also been an increase in full-time missionaries.
Currently, Wycliffe is in the process of creating a financial support system to help families pay their bills between the time they commit to the translation project, or to full-time missions, and when they actually begin serving.