aka JAARS   |   Waxhaw, NC   |  http://www.jaars.org


The JAARS Vision Our vision is that people’s lives and communities are transformed as they experience God’s Word in their own language. The JAARS Mission Our mission is to make Bible translation and language development possible, especially in the most remote and difficult places on earth. We do that by enabling locally appropriate and sustainable solutions in transportation, technology, media, and training.

Ruling year info



Mr. Woody McLendon

Main address

PO Box 248

Waxhaw, NC 28173 USA

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Formerly known as

J.A.A.R.S. (Jungle Aviation and Radio Service)



NTEE code info

Christian (X20)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (S12)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (X12)

IRS filing requirement

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Nearly 600 million people speaking roughly 5,000 languages still have little-to-no Scripture in a language they can fully understand. And when they can’t understand what they read or hear, the life-transforming power of the gospel is stopped in its tracks. We’re here to do something about that.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Media Solutions

Sixty percent of the world’s population are oral learners with everyday lives based on spoken communication, not written text. Yet, in many areas of the world people increasingly turn to the Internet for information, including God’s Word. Such vastly different needs present unique challenges to our Bible translation partners—and to us as we seek solutions to make God’s Word accessible to all.

Experience shows our partners that God’s Word is most powerful for an oral people group if they hear it or see it. Providing heart-language Scripture in audio or visual form—the form most engaging and useful to the people—ensures that they’re more likely to study, understand, and share it. Videos and solar-powered audio players can make all the difference.

The expanding use of computers, netbooks, or mobile devices to access the Internet poses a very different challenge. Worldwide, for the 3.5 billion people who have Internet access, websites and mobile phone apps are critical features for encouraging the use of Scripture. Developing these media advances takes studios, training, equipment, and plenty of innovation.

We work with our partners worldwide to determine their top media needs—and then plan great solutions.

Media solutions JAARS provides include: Audio Scripture Players and SD Cards, Scripture Websites in Heart Languages, Audio-Visual Scripture for PNG, and Audio-Visual Production for Scripture Engagement.


Population(s) Served

The work of Bible translators is never easy. But having the right tools for translation can lighten their load and remove many barriers that hinder and delay progress.

The days of shoe boxes filled with index cards are long past. Computers, specialized software, reference libraries, and online backups now enhance everyday translation work. With Internet access, translators in remote locations can consult with linguistic specialists faraway for help with difficult translation issues.

Our partners need reliable hardware, electricity, Internet connectivity, and technical support to advance their work. They need to be able to work off -the-grid and still have access to power, to information, to colleagues, and to experts. Without these tools, work stoppages and slowdowns are common—and precious translation work leading to the sharing of the gospel can be lost or corrupted.

JAARS works with each partner and each project to figure out what translation teams need most—and then develop great solutions. These include IT Training in Africa, Internet for Translation Teams, South Asia Information Systems, and Audio-Visual Scripture for PNG.

JAARS currently provides technology support for specific Bible translation and language development partners in 22 countries with outreach to more than 52 language groups.

With reliable connections and power sources, regional centers work more efficiently and offer a broader array of services: backup and recovery services for files, online training, access to research and training materials, voice and video conferencing.


Population(s) Served

Skill, knowledge, experience: These key elements can make all the difference for those approaching missions in a challenging setting like Bible translation. Focused, specialized training that supplies those key elements is a vital resource.

Our Bible translation partners have distinct training needs. Their staff who will work overseas with diverse teams of colleagues in countries with unfamiliar cultures need spiritual, emotional, and practical preparation for the challenges they will face. Their pilots and aircraft mechanics need specialized skills to operate safely in remote and difficult places.

Their regional translation organizations need skilled, well-trained IT specialists to keep their Internet, network, and other systems running smoothly—and solve technical problems when they occur.

Translators and language workers whose projects require water transportation may face travel via an overcrowded, ill-equipped local watercraft. For them, reliable water safety gear and training in how to use it is essential.

With over 70 years of experience in the field of Bible translation support, JAARS is uniquely equipped to provide a wide range of proven training. Types of training include: Aviation Training, Water Safety and Boat Operation Training, Land Vehicle Driver and Maintenance Training, Learning and Development, and IT Training in Africa.

Hundreds of missionaries have depended on our training solutions for help as they prepared for or go about their demanding, sometimes risky work overseas.


Population(s) Served

Steep, endless mountain ranges. Dense rainforest. Ocean waves as far as you can see. What do these areas have in common? Besides great beauty and evidence of God’s creative hand, they are where the remote, often forgotten people of the world live. And they are all geographical barriers to Bible translators who desire to reach those people with God’s Word.

Much of today’s Bible translation takes place in these remote, rural areas where paved roads and public transportation are nonexistent. Other realities endanger translation work: washed out bridges, unreliable commercial boats with a history of capsizing, political strife that makes travel unsafe. Translators working in these settings don’t have ready access to tools and travel solutions that can get them where they need to be—safely, securely, and able to work. Tools like aircraft, boats, motorbikes, or four-wheel-drive vehicles.

That’s where we come in. No single solution is right for every travel situation, so we collaborate with our partners—to do research, develop plans, and provide effective solutions. To help translation workers overcome the transportation barriers that keep them from reaching communities hungry for the Word of the Lord and enable them to focus on translation.

We work with our partner organizations to implement transportation solutions that target the specific challenges each partner faces.


Population(s) Served

Since 1948, our mission has always been to make Bible translation and language development possible, especially in the most remote and difficult places on earth. We do that by enabling locally appropriate and sustainable solutions in transportation, technology, media, and training.

Our mission isn’t changing. But the world of Bible translation—like most of worldwide missions—is being fundamentally transformed by technology, missiology, politics, funding, and multiple other factors.

We are transforming to meet the challenging needs of the future as they emerge by:
• Embracing requests to operate international transportation solutions in new and bigger ways, to serve our partners and put the gospel within reach of the most remote people on earth
• Increasing the flexibility of our solutions, so we’re not locked into a need that changes or locked out of a bigger need that emerges
• Developing operational commitment models that speed solutions to our global translation partners while posing less risk to the precious resources of people, time, and funding that God provides for our use.

This transformation requires that all the resources of the JAARS Center—more than 500 people, 552 acres, 49 buildings, and 4 airstrips—be prayerfully committed to the support of our passionate, committed partners. Plus, it requires the investment of prayer, energy, advocacy, and funding by numerous gospel patrons standing with us.

We depend on our CORE Mission Operations to provide this exceptional inflow of people, prayer, and financial resources. It also covers the ongoing tools and support services we provide to our Bible translation partners here and around the world:
• Strategic planning and program/solution design
• Research and development, project management, and training
• Communications, fundraising, and mission housing/healthcare/hospitality support services

This CORE work is the foundation of the Solutions we offer our partners around the world—transportation, technology, media, and training. Hundreds of missionaries each year—many thousands in total—depend on these solutions to have a sustainable impact when they are working in the field.


Population(s) Served

When our global partners don’t have the resources to respond to emergency or unexpected opportunity they face delay or even postponement of their Bible translation work. That’s when they reach out to JAARS for assistance.

As we respond to requests for help, we rely on our flexible, hardworking Where Needed Most fund. We do the research and apply its funds to the most urgent, strategic, and impactful needs globally, including within CORE Operations at the JAARS Center. Timely support from this fund often makes all the difference for projects that otherwise might be delayed, put on hold, or even cancelled.

The fund covers:
• small projects that we can fund right away, so teams aren’t slowed down
• opportunities that need capital immediately to succeed
• urgent, unexpected emergencies

Your gifts to Where Needed Most provide the essential resources needed to respond to such requests.


Population(s) Served

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability - Member 1989

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Why We Serve
Roughly 600 million people still have little-to-no Scripture in the language they understand best.
Bible translation is about giving people the best resource for knowing God—in a language that speaks to their minds and hearts. That’s the simple answer. Translation impacts people in many ways, and it looks different for every community. Everything we do goes back to making Bible translation possible in the world’s most remote and difficult places to reach.

The Bible Matters
It’s the whole story. From Genesis to Revelation, we see the full picture of God’s love, holiness, and redemption of humanity. We can’t understand its depths by reading short excerpts, or by relying on someone else to tell us about it.

Language Matters
It’s more than a set of sounds, symbols, and syntax. Language shapes how you see the world. It’s intimately tied to your culture, history, and identity as a person. And throughout your life, it dictates what information you can and can’t understand.

Communities Matter
Bible translation is usually part of a much bigger package. A translation team typically creates a writing system, starts literacy classes, and improves education. They might also tackle other pressing needs, like health, agriculture, income, or clean water.

How We Serve
We work closely with our partners to make Bible translation possible all over the world.

Many places lack the basics required to support the translation and dissemination of God’s Word in local languages. We provide a range of strategic solutions and problem-solving in logistical areas that would otherwise slow down or stop Bible translation: transportation, media, technology, and training.

Tiny islands. Roads so flooded, water reaches the windshield. Villages in valleys where only a helicopter can land. Many of the last communities without God’s Word live in the hardest places to reach. We help our partners get there safely, so language groups can finally experience the transformative power of the gospel.

Today, Bible translation is inseparable from technology. Computers, specialized software, reference libraries, and online backups are part of nearly every day’s work. But many of the last languages live in places without the infrastructure to use these tools. We provide specialized equipment and training to close that gap.

In most communities still without God’s Word, writing and reading are rare. Oral communication is what people rely on. Audio players, apps, websites, videos, and more are the best way for them to experience Scripture. Creating these takes training, equipment, and plenty of innovation, all of which we provide for our partners.

Training is critical—especially when the ability to thrive in dangerous, remote, and complex situations is a daily mandate. We get our partners the training they need for a sustained technical and spiritual impact. Key programs include intercultural communications, aviation, IT support, off-road driving, and more.

CORE Mission Operations
Our core work at the JAARS Center—with more than 500 people, 552 acres, 49 buildings, and 4 airstrips—makes it possible for us to reach out and overcome critical logistical barriers for Bible translation partners all over the world.

What We Do
From pilot training and mission aviation services to remote technology and communications support, we provide off-the-grid logistical solutions that help make Bible translation possible.

Mission Solutions
JAARS prayerfully and strategically focuses on developing and delivering solutions in four primary areas.

- Conducting transportation needs assessment and specifying appropriate and sustainable equipment, upgrades, and support
- Supporting mission flight programs in eight countries (currently) with a combination of operational and safety protocols
- Providing specialized pre-field and recurrent pilot and mechanic training for multiple field aviation partners to ensure safe and effective flying in remote and difficult environments
- Recruiting pilot and mechanic candidates for JAARS and multiple partner organizations around the world
- Providing maritime solutions and equipment for inland and open-water translation environments—along with water safety training and equipment
- Providing land-based equipment (4WD, motorbike) and training to enable national translators and consultants to overcome terrain, weather, and infrastructure obstacles

- Providing off-the-grid language development and Bible translation projects with hardware, electricity, and Internet connectivity—to advance their work through reliable tools and real-time collaboration with experts and colleagues

- Enabling oral cultures to comprehend the gospel earlier via accessible audio and video media
- Providing recording space and equipment, handheld Scripture audio players, training for heart language website development, and more

- Providing training, a key element in ensuring that solutions are effective and sustainable
- Giving pilots and mechanics the head and heart skills to fly in virtual isolation through the world’s most remote and difficult places
- Training national translators how to care for and extend the useful life of expensive assets like motorbikes and computers
- Providing pre-field intercultural communications training and mentoring to new and/or re-assigned mission staff—equipping them spiritually and emotionally to work effectively and sustainably in unfamiliar cultures with a diverse set of colleagues

Additionally, we provide a range of core solutions on-site at the JAARS Center in North Carolina
• Solution assessment, design, and program management
• Cross-cultural preparation for personal, family, and team effectiveness and sustainability
• Fundraising to support field and core programs and commitments worldwide
• Recruiting and training programs
• Great Commission engagement and training programs for groups
• Internships and short-term missions opportunities
• Pre-field and furloughed staff care (housing, food service, child care, youth ministry, health services, counseling)
• Purchasing, shipping, and receiving support for mission teams in more than 36 countries
• And more

In 2018:

JAARS Aviation Training in the Americas
Number of:
150 - Individual courses
102 - Pilots and/or aviation maintenance personnel trained
13 - Different mission organizations served
8 - Countries served

Media (recording studio) in Asia
Number of:
3 - Audio New Testament portions recorded (with more than 4 million speakers)
3 more - JESUS film dubbings
Hundreds - New worship songs composed in songwriting workshops

Technology in Africa
Number of:
58 - Language projects
12 - Countries impacted by technology solutions



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

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  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 5/14/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Andrew Hood

Financial Services/Regional Supervisory Director, MassMutual

Andrew Hood


Bonnie Nystrom

Wycliffe USA

Michael Graham

The Law Offices of Michael A. Graham, LLC

Lee Bramlett

City of Olathe KS

Deborah Carter

(Retired) Department of the Treasury

Dan Dugger


Grace Goreth

JAARS Ambassador

Liz Thomson

SIL Anglo-Lusophone Africa Area

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No