The Bible in the language of
Local woman to serve with Wycliffe outfit in Africa
By Rebecca Bunch
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
— A little girl’s dream of becoming a missionary is about to
come true for Holly Emmerich of Edenton.
On Oct. 2 Emmerich
will be at the airport in Raleigh ready to start a journey
that will take her to work as a full-time site coordinator
and volunteer recruiter with the Wycliffe Bible Ministry in
the African nation of Cameroon.
Emmerich, who is
perhaps best known for her performances in Rocky Hock
Playhouse productions written and directed by her parents,
Jeff and Gloria Emmerich, has also spent the last few years
working as a supervisor at a group home for mentally ill
She gave her final
performance in a Playhouse production last month in “Jacob,
Prince of God.” Emmerich described the experience as
“It was a big part
of my life,” Emmerich said of her 13 years with the acting
troupe led by her parents. “I knew I wasn’t going to be in
any more shows — at least for a while — that I was beginning
a new chapter in my life, and that one was coming to an end
For her parents,
too, there is a sense of joy in the work their daughter will
be doing — but it is clear they will miss her.
“I’m trying to
imagine what it will be like standing at the airport on
October 2 saying goodbye,” Gloria Emmerich said.
Gloria Emmerich, who
described her daughter as a precious gift from God, said
that her children — Holly also has a brother, Ben, who lives
in Minnesota — are the center of her and her husband Jeff’s
“Ben lives a long
way from us,” Gloria said. “But having Holly fly halfway
around the world to work in Africa is harder to come to
grips with. Knowing she is in God’s hands is what will get
Jeff Emmerich noted
that Holly was no stranger to mission work, as he and his
wife had served in the mission field as well.
“Holly grew up
traveling with us when we were ‘road’ evangelists,” Jeff
said. “She went with us on ministry trips to Australia
multiple times, as well as to New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii,
Puerto Rico, Barbados, St. Croix, England and to American
military bases in Spain, Italy, Belgium and Germany. I think
the traditional culture shock most missionaries experience
will be minimized (for Holly) because of all that foreign
travel and experience.”
Emmerich, who earned a bachelor’s degree in special
education from Elizabeth City State University, said that
all that travel and varied experiences so early in her life
had led her to have an adventurous spirit and to be
resourceful and creative, as had participating in her
parents’ theater productions.
vice-president of recruiting for Florida-based Wycliffe,
said that as a site volunteer coordinator, Emmerich would be
responsible for identifying new service opportunities to
strengthen Wycliffe’s network of translators and partners
already at work in the field.
“In a brand-new
role, Holly will act as onsite recruiter, reaching remotely
from Cameroon to assist, support and encourage new staff in
America as they prepare for long-term assignments in
Africa,” Bartow said.
efforts, Bartow said, doors will be opened that will result
in expanded relationships and a more timely completion of
about 80 unfinished Bible translations in native dialects in
this highly strategic location.
Holly said that
while French is the common language that those in Cameroon
share, the goal of putting a Bible in their own dialect is
one that has a deeply personal meaning for her.
“In America we take
it for granted that we can have a Bible,” Holly said. “We
don’t have to worry about being killed just for owning a
Bible. My passion is to get Bibles into the hands of all
those want one so much that they are willing to risk their
lives to have one.”
Her parents say they
believe Holly is equal to the challenge.
Holly’s middle name,” Gloria Emmerich said, noting that
during middle school and high school Holly raised thousands
of dollars for humanitarian organizations such as Operation
Smile and the Children’s Miracle Network.
“Gloria and I have
been stunned more than once by Holly’s boldness,” Jeff
Emmerich added. “She seems so quiet and shy. But a passion
for the Lord drives her.”
Holly’s new life in
mission work also offers people in the local community the
opportunity to be a part of the effort. To live and work in
Cameroon for the next two years, Holly will need $2,128 per
month in ongoing financial support. Anyone interested in
supporting her work is encouraged to visit
and make a donation to Holly Emmerich’s
ministry account #M10622.
about her approaching journey and the community’s
opportunity to support her in this important work is
available on the Rocky Hock Playhouse website. Holly
Emmerich may also be reached by phone at 482-7446.
She said that she is
stepping out in faith to make this journey and believing
that those who read her story will be moved to help her
reach her goal. She likened her effort to the Bible story of
Jesus multiplying the fish and loaves given to Him by one
little boy who offered the Lord all he had.
“Jesus asked the boy
to give Him what he had,” Emmerich said, “and in the end, it
was enough. He just asks us to give what we have, and He
uses it to bless people. I believe that God will use my work
to bless others.”
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