2014 Seth Wilson Outstanding Alumni Award:
Steve & Rhonda Hayward
Steve was born in Joplin on January 13, 1956 and Rhonda on February 15, 1957 in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Steve came to Ozark in the fall of 1974 and fell in love with Greek. His love for Greek was soon surpassed by his love for a girl who wanted to be a missionary. Steve & Rhonda were married on December 29, 1979. Steve earned a Bachelor of Theology in New Testament and Rhonda earned the Bachelor of Christian Education degree.
After spending three years at Pioneer Bible Translators linguistics school in Dallas, Texas, Steve and Rhonda left in 1982 and began serving in Papau New Guinea. Over 800 languages are spoken on PNG. Steve & Rhonda's goal was to learn the one language in their Tay village and then translate the New Testament into the Tay language (spelled T – A – Y, yet pronounced like "Thai" with no relation to Thailand or her people).
The culmination of 30-plus years of translation ministry was realized this past fall when the first few of a thousand Tay New Testament’s were published. Printed in India and shipped across the ocean to a special little village 4500 feet up in the mountains, we can only imagine the sense of joy they felt when they held a copy in their hands!
Steve & Rhonda will be traveling back to PNG July 17-18 for the dedication of the Tay New Testament.
OCC President Matt Proctor congratulates our honorees: "Steve and Rhonda, the Word of God is truly living and active, and your thirty-year labor to translate the New Testament for the Tay people in Papua New Guinea has allowed the Word of God to now live among them in their own language. To devote yourself to learning the Biblical languages, leave your country, say goodbye to family and friends, move to the other side of the world to live without all the modern conveniences, immerse yourself in another culture, become fluent in their language, and then take on the sacred and painstaking task of translating Scripture line by line, day by day, year by year is a monumental labor of love. It is also an echo of the Incarnation, so thank you for living out the gospel as well as translating the gospel. Your sacrifice, your heart for the Tay people and your ministry of the Word are to be commended."
Congratulations Steve & Rhonda!