JAARS, Inc.

Making Bible translation possible

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

Mission

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

2019

President

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)

EIN

56-0818833

NTEE code info

Christian (X20)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (S12)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (X12)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

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

More than 70% of the world’s population are oral learners—which means even if the Bible is translated into their language, they aren’t likely to pick up the book. Audio and video Scriptures are the answer, and we’ve seen time and again how they can draw people of all ages right into God’s story. We help our partners get:

- Recording studios where teams can create high-quality audio Scriptures, videos, worship songs, and more
- Portable equipment to use right in remote villages Scripture websites and apps to make the translated Word accessible, even when a language group is persecuted or scattered geographically
- Audio Scripture players built to last in rugged environments

Learn more at www.jaars.org/media.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples
Adults
Children and youth

When we first got started, Bible translators kept their notes on index cards in shoeboxes. But we’ve been quick to explore how each new wave of technology can make their work easier—from prototyping personal computers with a team from Cornell University in the 1970s to setting up “electronic mail” at translation centers in the early 1990s. Today we work with dozens of partners to make sure translators have the tools they need to work anywhere on earth. We provide:

- Key equipment such as laptops, solar power, and satellite internet
- Technology infrastructure for regional translation centers
- Ongoing support for local IT teams
- Annual training to help IT staff throughout Africa sharpen their skills
- Mission transportation software with an initial focus on FlightSpan, an iPad app that helps mission pilots plan routes, track changing runway conditions, monitor flights, track cargo, and more

Learn more at www.jaars.org/technology.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples
Adults
Children and youth

More important than any tool are the people God has called to be his hands and feet on this earth. We help them prepare for ministry in challenging environments through our:

- Technical training in aviation, off-road driving, water safety, and IT
- Intercultural Communications Course, a month-long course that equips new missionaries to serve the Lord in multicultural, multigenerational teams, whether overseas or stateside
- Learning that LASTS, a virtual course designed to train those in Christian ministry with skills that enhance learners’ retention and application of content
- Team development workshops and spiritual vitality retreats for our mission partners around the world, offered on location or remotely

Learn more at www.jaars.org/training.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth
Indigenous peoples

Many of the last language groups without God’s Word are the hardest to reach. Picture endless miles of rainforest and rugged mountains—with unpredictable weather, no support system, and airstrips carved out by hand.

Flying safely in these environments is one of the toughest jobs on earth, and it’s at the core of what God has called JAARS to do. Today we play many different roles, sharing our decades of expertise with other mission aviation organizations around the world. We offer:

- Aircraft funding, procurement, outfitting, shipping, and repairs
- Specialized training for pilots and mechanics
- Aviation technical support ranging from getting a new location off the ground to troubleshooting, special parts and equipment orders, insurance, and on-site inspections and maintenance
- Custom part design and fabrication
- Pilots and mechanics on loan
- Subsidies for flight and operational costs
- Many other special projects

Learn more at www.jaars.org/transportation.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples
Children and youth
Adults

In many places, flights aren’t an option—but Bible translators still need a safe, reliable way to reach villages that might be spread across hundreds of miles. Just imagine what our brothers and sisters in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are up against: 98% of their country’s roads are unpaved, and rainy season lasts for half the year.

Tough as it is, translation simply can’t happen without travel. Visiting the whole community is the best way to get input, test drafts, help churches, and start literacy classes. That’s why we work to give our partners crucial tools like:

- Motorbikes for individual Bible translators and pastors
- 4WD vehicles for larger teams
- Safety equipment such as helmets, winches, and tow bars
- Off-road driving and maintenance training, both in the field and at our headquarters

Learn more at www.jaars.org/transportation.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples
Adults
Indigenous peoples
Adults
Indigenous peoples
Adults
Children and youth

In some places, especially the Pacific, parts of Africa, and the rainforests of South America, boats are the best or only way to reach a remote village. But the trip can be harrowing: crowding onto rundown boats, often with no safety equipment, and plying rough waters far from any hope of help if something goes wrong. We’re privileged to serve partners around the world with:

- Specialized vessels, including outfitting, delivery, and repair
- Logistical and financial support for boat programs
- Safety gear such as life jackets, marine radios, shark bags, signaling devices, and emergency satellite beacons that we continuously manage
- Water safety training, both on location and at our headquarters

Learn more at www.jaars.org/transportation.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples
Children and youth
Adults

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.

Transportation
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.

Technology
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.

Media
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
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.

Transportation
- 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


Technology
- 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


Media
- 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

Training
- 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

Financials

JAARS, Inc.
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Operations

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

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JAARS, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 05/11/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Andrew Hood

Retired – Former Financial Services/Regional Supervisory Director, MassMutual

Andrew Hood

Retired

Bonnie Nystrom

Wycliffe USA

Lee Bramlett

Good Dads KC

Dan Dugger

Fractrade

Grace Townsend Goreth

JAARS Ambassador

Liz Thomson

SIL Anglo-Lusophone Africa Area

Dan Ribb

Retired

Nydia García-Schmidt

Wycliffe Global Alliance – Americas

Marita Eden

JAARS

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.

  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/11/2022,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Gender identity
Male

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data