Philip and Heather Saunders

An affiliate of Wycliffe

Unleash the potential of God’s people everywhere by bringing Scripture to those who don’t have it in the language they understand best.


Philip and Heather Saunders have been part of Moira Baptist church since July 2006. For thirty years before that, they worshipped at Brooklands Gospel Centre, Dundonald. Heather grew up in Lurgan, and she and Philip have known each other since the age of fourteen. They have three married daughters – Joy, Rachel and Hilary – and six grandchildren.


For twenty years, they were involved in the translation of Scripture into the Kouya language of Ivory Coast. Before they arrived in 1983, this language was unwritten. The Kouya team produced an alphabet, a short dictionary, reading books and literacy materials, portions of the Bible, and eventually a New Testament published in 2002. Philip also wrote up a comprehensive Grammar of Kouya. Over the years, Philip and Heather have worked together on all aspects of the language project.

Since 2002, Philip has become a translation and linguistic consultant, travelling to different parts of Asia and Africa to help linguists and translators with their assignments. For ten years, Heather taught English to foreign nationals in N Ireland (ESOL), and trained teachers for this task. Since 2015, they have joined forces as translation consultants in Western Zambia, working simultaneously on two New Testaments –Kwamashi and Kwangwa. Both are close to completion. Philip also continues to check the Tanôsy translation of Madagascar. Since Covid, these translations progress through a combination of trips to Africa and Zoom sessions from Belfast.



In her spare time, Heather loves meeting up with friends and family. She relaxes by taking walks through the country’s many scenic spots, and by giving tender loving care to her pot plants. She happily enters into the latest passions of her grandchildren, and keenly applies her faith to current trends in the world.

Philip likes drinking coffee in exotic places, or anywhere else for that matter, and meeting up with old and new acquaintances at rugby matches. He was formerly an enthusiastic player of many sports, now he mainly spectates or dreams about playing. Writing, and encouraging others to write, has become a favourite pastime.

Philip’s writing

Philip Saunders

No Ordinary Book

Philip has also written the story of the Kouya New Testament translation project, under the title No Ordinary Book. The 2nd Edition of this was published in 2013, and both Kindle and hardback versions are available on Amazon. link in graphic below.

For those who like to listen, he has recorded some poignant and amusing tales from Africa, to be found on his YouTube Channel. 

Tha Fower Gospels

An interest for both Philip and Heather was to help local translators produce Scripture in Ulster-Scots. But that’s another story! Tha Fower Gospels are published, and are available here:- see graphic links below.

Finishing Lines

Finishing Lines is a fascinating account by Philip of his visit to Ivory Coast in March 2012 for the dedication of the Kouya New Testament. read Finishing Lines.

Ramblings of an Irishman

Ramblings of an Irishman is Philip’s latest book, which provides readers with snapshots of the many countries he has lived in, told with cultural insight and humour. see graphic links below