About

My name is Nora.
I’m a missionary to missionaries.

Nora McNamara's headshot

I coach missionaries and other people who want to learn a new language, equipping them with techniques to help them communicate with the people around them.

I have been a member of Wycliffe Bible Translators for over twenty years. I have a BA in Linguistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana, and taught bilingual third grade and Reading Recovery/Descubriendo la lectura in Texas before I joined Wycliffe.

“She uses fun methods with her teachings that make it easier to learn.  Her strong relationship with God helps her to encourage and challenge others in their current roles.”

For three years I lived in intentional community in France to prepare me for the eight years I lived in West Africa doing Bible storying. If you would like to know more about storying in West Africa, click here for posts about that. If you’re interested in storying in general, check out OneStory. For stories in a ton of different languages, try OneStory-Media.

My stuff is mostly in Indiana, but I live at O’Hare airport since I currently travel quite a bit for language learning and storying workshops.  I love telling stories and mentoring people. A friend who helped me write this bio said, “She uses fun methods with her teachings that make it easier to learn.  Her strong relationship with God helps her to encourage and challenge others in their current roles.”

I have a nifty new title:  “Storying Facilitator.”

Talk to me for more than 3 minutes and you’ll probably get me going on why I love storytelling.  Erwin McManus says it better than I do, though:

“The beautiful thing about film, and I think storytelling, is that it’s not really trying to give you the answers, but it’s trying to help you reflect and ask the right questions.”  (Here’s the rest of the interview.)

Being a guest in a culture that is not my own and having all the answers is not really my thing.  I’m much more comfortable helping people hear God’s story in mmm-BELLY-may and listening as they reflect on the answers that God’s Spirit brings to them. 

About a month ago, I tested the story of the first time people disobeyed God with an old man who said he had never set foot in a church. This was the first part of God’s story he’s ever heard.  Already an amazing honor for me to be part of that!

The story ends with God telling the people all the hard things they’ll have to experience because they disobeyed. It’s pretty harsh. Not a happy happy feel good story at all.  After it was over, I asked the man some questions to see if the story was well crafted and clear. When I asked him why God made clothes for the man and the woman, he said, “Because God loved them so much that he just couldn’t leave them the way they were.”  Wow.

Read more on the blog.

Contribute to support my work

If you would like to know more about me and how I got into this work, this 43 minute talk at a music festival in 2006 more or less captures that story.

I am the unbiased auntie of two perfect nieces, and enjoy Sacred Harp shapenote singing in my spare time.

The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent Wycliffe Bible Translators.

%d bloggers like this: