John and Bonnie Nystrom have served with Wycliffe as linguists for over twenty-five years for various language groups in Papua New Guinea.
Bonnie is the daughter of missionary parents and was born in Peru while they were serving with SIL International.* She grew up in Florida and knew from a very young age that she wanted to be involved in Bible translation. Bonnie earned a degree in computer science and systems analysis from Taylor University in Indiana, with the intent of using her computer skills to serve in translation. She also wanted to follow in her parents’ footsteps by working with SIL.
John hails from Illinois where he earned his undergraduate degree in biblical Greek and Hebrew at Wheaton College. It was during that time that John felt God call him to Bible translation. He went on to receive his MA in New Testament from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, but not before studying at SIL’s campus in Grand Forks, North Dakota. It was there that he first met Bonnie in the summer of 1982. They married the following year, and finished their training at the SIL school in Dallas, Texas
John and Bonnie sought God’s direction together about where they should serve as translators. They agreed that God was calling them to Papua New Guinea, and excitedly followed as He led them to Arop village in the northwest region of the country. They landed in August of 1987, beginning what would be the greatest and most challenging adventure of their lives.
The Nystroms now live in Florida and have two grown children. They continue to work on Bible translation projects from their remote location, making periodic trips to Papua New Guinea to work with the translation teams face-to-face. Bonnie also serves on the SIL International board of directors.