My desire to be a missionary began at a very young age. My Mom had spent part of her childhood in the Philippines, and she developed a heart for missions as a result. She never had the chance to go on the mission field herself, but she did the next best thing, which was to teach her kids about missions. We read lots of missionary stories growing up, and as I heard those stories of God’s power, I knew that I wanted to serve God and see His power in my future career.
In high school, I read the book Bruchko about Bruce Olson, a young man who went to the Amazon as a missionary. He was captured by an Indian tribe that no one had been able to reach. He used his linguistics skills to learn their language. After he had learned the language, he discovered that they had a myth that a man with yellow hair would bring them God’s Word on a banana leaf. Bruchko began translating the Bible for them as a result. When they read God’s Word for the first time, they were filled with joy. I knew that I wanted to be a Bible translator and bring God’s Word to those who do not yet have it.
In order to fulfill this calling, I attended Moody Bible Institute and graduated in 2008 with a BA in linguistics. I continued in my education and graduated in 2012 from the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics with an MA in linguistics. During my senior year, I joined Wycliffe Bible Translators.
During the time that I was attending the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics, I met and married Daniel Unseth. Though Daniel and I intended to continue in missions, it became clear after we were married that the role he would have been placed in was not a good fit for him, so I resigned from Wycliffe so we could reevaluate our direction. During this time, I learned that I had to submit my dream of becoming a missionary to God as much as I would have submitted my life to Him while I was on the mission field. After a few years, Daniel joined the military. I discovered through Pioneer Bible Translators that I could work from the United States as a linguistic consultant for teams that were translating the Bible in various parts of the world. I was so happy that I could continue to serve God using the gifts that He has given me with Pioneer Bible Translators.
At this time, another calling was added to my life. In August of 2013, my daughter, Jamie, was born. My first calling is to my family, and I love to see Jamie growing not only physically, but also in her understanding of Jesus.
However, in the midst of this happiness, Daniel was injured in his military training and went through some very dark times emotionally and spiritually. The result was that he had an affair and asked for a divorce. Through a long process and much prayer, I saw that the divorce would meet biblical standards, and felt that God was releasing me from my marriage. I thought and prayed about how this change affected my call into missions. In the end, I saw God’s affirmation of my call to be a linguistic consultant for missionaries working in Bible translation. Pioneer Bible Translators also confirmed this calling, and I continue to feel God’s blessing as I am able to fulfill my calling while living in the United States where I can best care for my daughter as a single mom. I am currently based in Fond du Lac, WI, which gives me the opportunity to bring God’s Word in fresh ways to people in my community as well. I am excited to see how God uses me in this ministry and continues to display His power in my life!