Archive for March, 2008

Thanks for your prayers for my ministry at Fellowship Bible Church in Fort Gratiot, MI.  I enjoyed getting to know Angela Frederick’s (from Mt. Calvary in Greenville, SC) parents.  On Saturday night we watched a good movie entitled “Beyond the Next Mountain.”  It’s about a missionary who went into the hills of Burma and sowed the seed of the gospel, which led to the salvation of a man who sent his son to schooling to translate the Bible into their language.  It was an encouragement to see how the Lord worked in behalf of these previously head-hunting tribe.

On Sunday I enjoyed Easter breakfast with the small group of believers.  Then we went to the “Upper Room” (of what used to be a schoolhouse) for the worship service.  I believe the Lord blessed that time in the Word.  The people were very attentive.  I’m very thankful for the generous gifts that I received from those believers.  The man who stocks their library let me take whatever books I wanted.  I ended up taking two missionary biographies.

Speaking of blessings, I was surprised with a HUGE blessing this afternoon.  My uncle is moving away from the small town in IL where he grew up and then returned to after retiring from missionary service.  He is dissolving the small church that met in a nursing home.  Here’s the blessing…  He said that small church wants to give $7500 of its remaining funds to me!!  What a gracious provision from the Lord!  Now I have plenty of money for schooling this summer as well as other expenses that will come up.  Thanks for praying for those needs!  The Lord has already provided. 

Please pray for my Syntax professor.  He has had to cancel some classes to help his wife who was dying of cancer.  I found out this week that she did finally pass away.  They are Catholic, so I’m not sure where she is now.  I’ve heard that the funeral will be in Tanzania.  (Another professor has stepped in to finish the semester with us.)

Check out the “Translator’s Page” if you want to read some cool stuff about linguistics.

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Please check my “praise/prayer” page for updates.  If you are linguistically inclined, you might want to check out my new post on the “Translator’s Page” where I discuss classifying the world’s languages.  Even if you’re not linguistically inclined, you will gain an appreciation for how complex God made the world’s languages at the Tower of Babel incident.  I’d love to hear your comments.  It might be better to post your comments on this page, since the “Translator’s Page” isn’t quite set up for that (since I’m trying to make my blog work like a web page). 

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I had the privilege of ministering at Trinity Baptist Church in Imlay City, MI, yesterday.  The church is pastored by Dan Lashley, so I enjoyed seeing his son Jason, who was a former student of mine at BJU.  It was encouraging to see how Jason has been pouring his energies into his father’s church.  I enjoyed seeing the VBS curriculum that he had created himself, using all the various skills he had honed in college. I also appreciated the opportunity to teach SS (using my from-French-to-English lesson), showing my DVD in the AM service, and preaching in the AM and PM services.  I believe the numbers were higher in the PM service, but in both the attendance was probably around 25-30.  I think the people really caught a burden for my ministry, because they showed great interest duing the Q/A time, and they had very positive comments when they spoke with me personally. I was able to deal with issues of the Preservation of Scripture as well.  I touched on them during my sermon, but during the Q/A time, we were able to get into greater depth.  I continued to go deeper as I saw the “green light” from the pastor and sensed the interest of the people.  I know the pastor really appreciated the discussion, and I think the people did too.   Thanks so much for praying! 

Speaking of prayer, we definitely need prayer at Bibles International.  Though we are headquartered in the States, I can assure you that we are fully engaged in mission work.  I say that simply based on the opposition we are facing from Satan (though I could give many other reasons as well).  I just found out this morning that one of our consultants, who is currently in Asia, experienced loss at his home in the States because of fire.  Two other consultants have been sick lately, and one lost a relative prematurely.   A manager has been struggling with health issues that have kept him out of the office multiple days.  A translator who is at the office suffered from one of his worst bouts with migraines last Friday, delaying him from finishing the formatting of the Quechua NT.  We are definitely engaged in a work that Satan hates!  Of course, we don’t know for sure how much Satan is involved in these difficulties, but we know he is against our work and does have the ability to do these things.  Regardless, please continue to pray for us! 

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The Lord has graciously protected me in all of my travels this winter, a winter that many here are saying has been exceptionally high for the snow fall.  This past Thursday I experienced my worst travel difficulty so far–a flat tire.  Thankfully, the flat tire was in the rear.  I was able to pull over and change it without any difficulties.  I’m thankful that the Lord gave me such a mild day (around 50 degrees and no precipitation) to have a flat tire, and I’m also very thankful that I got off better than the deer that was “laying” not more than about 50 feet from where I stopped. Right now I’m heading to eastern MI again for the rest of the weekend.  I’ll be staying with Brian Collins’ family in Ortonville, but I’ll be ministering tomorrow at Trinity Baptist Church in Imlay City, MI.  I will be speaking in SS, the AM Service, and the PM service.  I will do my typical SS lesson where I teach from my French Bible.  In the AM service, I’ll be showing my DVD and then preaching “It’s All Hebrew to Me.”  In the PM, I’ll preach “The Book Unlike Any Other.”  Please pray for a blessed ministry to this small church.  I hope to be a real encouragement to the people, especially the pastor.

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Thank you for your prayers for my deputation meeting at Maranatha.  The Lord definitely answered.  Yesterday was the second part of Maranatha’s (Flint, MI) two-Sunday missions conference.  On the first Sunday Pastor Donald Albright directed the people’s thinking about missions particularly in relation to their church.  Yesterday, the Michael Carlyle family and I presented our ministries and challenged the people about missions.  The people were extremely welcoming, promised their prayer support, and gave a generous offering to help our ministries.  Though the church can’t take on new missionaries at this point, I was thankful to form good relationships with the people and to gain their prayer support. Maranatha is very missions-minded, and it shows by the way they are reaching into the darkness that surrounds them in Flint, a city that ranks #3 in the country for crime.  The Sunday paper boasted that they actually had no homicides for the first two months of the year.  Definitely not the norm for Flint! 

The Lord also gave me a special blessing at the house where I stayed.  The host is a retired pastor (of a church in OH) and now heads the deacon board at Maranatha.  He wanted me to have some of his books that he doesn’t use much any more.  I was able to find 9 books that I can use, one of which is an expensive Greek grammar that I’ve wanted for a number of years.  What a blessing to have more tools for the ministry!

Next week I head to Imlay City, MI, to minister at Trinity Baptist Church. 

By the way, school started back up this week at MSU, but it was hard to tell that because the campus was still pretty barren this morning.  Many of the students apparently decided to extend their spring break one more day.  Some may have been detained because of the terrible weather in the Midwest, but I doubt that explains all the absences!

Also, the guy from visitation didn’t make it to church yesterday.  Apparently, his sister hurt herself, and he had to take her to the emergency room.  Definitely a legitimate excuse!  Satan is very much at work to keep him from coming.  We need to keep praying!

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Why am I still here?

You would ask that question too if you had died of a heart attack and then were brought back to life.  That’s the situation of a guy I met on visitation this morning.  I was able to spend more than an hour trying to help him see that God brought him back so that he could make things right between him and God.  He believes that he’s basically a good person, so God ought to let him into heaven.  He’s been through many rough things throughout his life, but his greatest need is to find peace with God through Christ.  He wants to come to church tomorrow to check things out at Westside.  Please pray that he will come.  I’ve been asking the Lord to send us someone whose life gets transformed by the gospel and then because of that fresh experience of grace in salvation encourages us to be more zealous and also reaches out to his/her lost friends with the Word of God’s grace.

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I’ve finally converted.  I’m now an official resident of MI.  Which of the two above terms I should use is a matter of debate.  Regardless, I now have my blue-and-white license plate, and the other stuff is in the mail.  I was putting it off because I knew I would lose money in the deal.  Sure enough, combining what I save in registration and what I lose in auto insurance, I will be paying $70 more per year here in MI than in SC.  But at least I can cast my conservative vote in November. 

I head to Maranatha Baptist Church in Flint, MI, this weekend.  Pastor Donald Albright and his church are already faithfully supporting Bibles International, but they want me to come for their missions conference to tell them more about this ministry.  I will be showing my DVD, giving a testimony, and preaching two messages–“It’s All Hebrew to Me” and “The Obligation of Blessing.”  Both messages touch on the ministry of Bible translation.  Please pray for a blessed trip. 

Please keep praying for upcoming financial needs–tuition at UND and travel costs.  The Lord has been answering.  A church gave a very generous Christmas offering last month.  Praise the Lord!

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