Bob and Katie Van Zyl

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Since 1977, Bob and Kate have worked in Colombia, first translating the New Testament (published in 1991) and Old Testament portions into the Camsá Indian language and then as consultants in Bible translation (Bob) and literacy/Scripture Use (Katie) with members of over 40 people groups in the region. Currently, Bob is the Americas Regional Director for SIL’s Global Sign Language Team (GSLT). He and his staff provide consulting and training services for 15 different sign language translation programs in the Americas including the Colombian Sign Language Translation project. Bob also assists three Colombian indigenous teams, the Ette, the Guambiano and the Katio, in their Bible translation projects. Katie serves as the literacy team coordinator for the SIL Americas Area Scripture Engagement (SE) Core Team, working alongside various indigenous and Latin Christian leaders to develop new SE strategies and facilitate discipleship and training activities.

Bob and Kate reside in Bogota, Colombia, but because of their consultant roles travel frequently to other countries especially in the Americas region. An important part of the vision God has given them is to train nationals to assume responsibility and leadership for their Bible translation projects. In the past year Bob has assisted sign language translation teams in Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Chile, Brazil, Cuba, Argentina, Paraguay, El Salvador, Mexico, Uruguay, Italy and the Netherlands. Bob and the deaf leaders of the Colombia Sign Language Translation project are also working closely with IMB (International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention) to produce the StoryOne 555 evangelism and discipleship DVD’s.

Bob and Kate have two adult daughters, Amy and Katie Anne, and three granddaughters, Isabella (7), Laura (6) and Sofia (3).

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