Roy Eyre had always pictured himself as a leader, but it was through InterVarsity that he first got to practice leadership and appreciate the leadership skills of others. He is now moving into the leadership of Wycliffe Bible Translators of Canada, after serving the past two years as director of Leadership Development for Wycliffe Bible Translators USA in Orlando, FL.
Roy remembers one of his early leadership decisions involved “Joe,” a guy who had hung around the InterVarsity chapter at Georgia Tech for more than four years. Joe accumulated several degrees, played sports with the InterVarsity students and enjoyed their fellowship, but couldn’t get serious about God. “We were all working on him,” Roy said. “And then one day it all connected, and he finally decided to put his faith in Christ.”
Despite the fact that Joe had just committed his life to Christ, Roy took a chance on Joe’s long history with InterVarsity and invited him to lead the Large Group meeting the next Friday night. “He did such a great job, I just stepped out of the way and let him lead it from there on,” Roy said. Joe had fresh faith and a fresh fire that we took advantage of that year.”
Like a lot of college students, Roy was dissatisfied with how his freshman year ended. He was commuting from home and felt isolated from campus life. As a sophomore he decided to make some new friends. When he got involved in InterVarsity, he found a lot of friends.
“A couple of people really went out of their way to welcome me, to try to get me plugged in,” he remembered. “That was what I was craving at the time, people who genuinely cared about me.”
Focused on Missions
Roy heard a missionary talk about the need for graphic designers to work with missionaries and decided to change his major from engineering to graphic design. Since Georgia Tech did not have a graphic design major, he transferred to Georgia State. But Georgia State did not have an InterVarsity chapter at the time, so Roy continued to participate in the Georgia Tech chapter.
Sophomore year he had met Becky, another member of the Georgia Tech chapter who later became his wife. She was also interested in missions. They attended Urbana 93 together and checked with every missions organization in the exhibit hall to see if they had job opportunities for graphic designers and chemical engineers. They were disappointed by what they heard. “We really were wondering, where is God going to lead us, because it doesn’t seem like those two jobs are done in the same places,” he recalled.
Finding a Good Fit
Roy and Becky traveled with a dozen other InterVarsity members to Guatamala for a spring break project with Wycliffe Bible Translators and connected with Wycliffe again at Urbana 96. This time they asked different questions, questions that were related to how God was working in their lives, and they discovered Wycliffe was a good fit.
They joined Wycliffe in 1997 and moved to the Canada office in 1998. Roy had been born in Canada, even though he has lived in the U.S. for most of his life. They moved back to the U.S. office four years later, and eventually Roy left graphic design for administration. As he moved into leadership Roy realized his Small Group and Large Group experience with InterVarsity had prepared him for this next phase of his life.
“Student ministry helps you to be open handed with your leadership,” he said. “That philosophy worked its way deep inside of me. I try to get people involved, even to give them something small that they can earn and be a part of running, and have an opportunity to grow that into something bigger if they end up being good in it.”
Roy has maintained relationships with a number of InterVarsity staff. And now he’s looking forward to strengthening the relationship between Wycliffe Bible Translators of Canada and Canadian Inter-Varsity.