Dear Family and Friends,
Oksana and I hope to become certified biblical counselors, but so far we haven’t made too much progress. We may not get very far until after deputation. But I’m thankful for some of the reading I’ve already done. Robert Smith’s The Christian Counselor’s Medical Desk Reference was particularly helpful. In reference to a Christian and illness, Smith said, “Getting over the illness should not be the primary goal.” Later he said, “Getting well is not necessarily the best thing.” As believers, our focus must always be on glorifying God, even if that means having to endure illness for a long period of time.
April was filled with meetings at churches in PA, VA, and NC. We had two more in IN in May and will have another in IL later this month. In July, we will hit the road to present at churches in MD, PA, and NJ. We now have around 80% of our support, since our home church, Grand Valley Baptist Church, voted to double their support. THANK GOD for that and PRAY for more increases!
(Picture is of Oksana’s first visit to the Atlantic Ocean–Virginia Beach, VA)
We will also be attending the BMM Candidate Seminar for Oksana in July. We praise God for how He enabled Oksana to pass her oral doctrinal exam on May 19. God kept her nerves calm and gave her the remembrance of all she studied. She memorized everything in Russian but had no problem articulating her beliefs in English. PRAISE God!
In addition to the language obstacle, she also had to keep from being distracted by a family tragedy—the loss of her 17-year-old nephew. The Lord provided funds for her to make a one-week trip to comfort the family in May. What makes this loss so difficult is that we are uncertain of the nephew’s eternal state. PRAY for God to use this death to draw family and friends to salvation and for comfort for the believing family members (Oksana, sister, mom). How certain, eternal, and sometimes sudden, death can be!
In late May, I began conducting the Haitian Creole OT workshop at the BI office. The translator has been quite occupied with complications from the birth of his third child, who has Down syndrome, so he wasn’t able to provide enough material to keep us busy for two weeks. So, we finished the work in seven days and also made last-minute corrections to the upcoming publication of the NT with Psalms and Proverbs. PRAY for him and his family as they adjust to the new child, and PRAY he can get enough material done to hold a workshop in Haiti in November.
In August, Oksana and I will travel to Eurasia for another workshop on the Metanoia NT. They have already submitted revised portions of Mark and James. PRAY for Oksana as she produces an interlinear in English from the Russian interlinear, and PRAY for me as I check the English with the Greek.
We at BI are thankful that Gary Walton, our Stewardship Manager, has agreed to be our interim director. PRAY for wisdom as he leads BI while also trying to keep up fundraising efforts. And PRAY for God to provide a full-time director soon. PRAY also for my former administrative assistant, Terri Fiebig, who has been told that she has only a month to live. PRAY, too, that we would find a new administrative assistant, especially with the Consultant Seminar coming up in August. I need help on the many details involved with that! Our new Indian consultants were unable to get visas to come to the USA, so PRAY for us as we provide in-house training.
For the cause of Christ,
Troy (for both of us)