Archive for September, 2008

Trip to IL and WI

I traveled almost 2,200 miles and presented my ministry at 5 different churches in IL these past few weeks.  My first meeting was in Pekin, IL, where my parents grew up, met, and got married.  I wasn’t able to present my ministry at the church where they got married, but maybe I’ll get that privilege in the future.  From what I’ve been told, it’s still a solid church.  At the time of my parents’ marriage, my father and his family were attending there, but my mom and her family were Catholic.  Praise God for the work He’s done in my family since then.  I still have some relatives (my stepgrandmother and her daughter and family) in the Pekin area, so I enjoyed getting to see them again. 

My travels also took me up to the Chicago area where I was able to stay with my sister and her new husband and my uncle and his new wife (my aunt passed away around 6 years ago).  Both couples were married this past summer.  I appreciated the opportunity to get to know my new relatives better.

I was also able to attend the Netcasters Evangelism Training Seminar in Menomonee Falls, WI.  The one-week intensive course taught me much about how to present the gospel, the power of the Holy Spirit in evangelism, and the victory in sanctification that we can gain as we look to Christ with the eyes of faith.  We praise God for the 42 salvation decisions that were made as we went out for evangelism three different times during that week.  It was exciting to see the power of God working through the gospel. 

The Lord greatly prospered my meetings with the churches in IL.  The gifts exceeded all of my expenses, and I was able to see God burden hearts for my ministry.  It looks like there are some very promising possibilities for future support as a result of this trip.  I praise the Lord that my support has risen to 31% now, as a couple in IL took me on recently. 

I head out this Saturday for a trip to WV, PA, VA, NJ, and SC.  I’m looking forward to being in the PA area for the change of the season.  I’ll travel about 9 hours this Saturday to a very pretty place in WV.  In addition to the meetings and missions conference that I will be attending, I hope to make contact with numerous pastors in the area.  Please pray that all of this will go well. 

During my visits with churches, I will also need to prepare for my trip to Papua New Guinea in November.  We are looking into the possibility of translating the Bible into the Pidgin English.  Though there are two translations currently in that language, the Baptist pastors in our circles are not satisfied with them.  One is too paraphrastic and the other is translated from the KJV.  Dr. Bernard, the regional coordinator, and I will be meeting with the pastors to see if we can team up to do this translation.  Pray that we would have wisdom as we prepare and present.

I will also need to find time to prepare for my first consultation work in Haiti in December.  Daniel Telfort is translating the OT into Haitian Creole, and I am appointed to be the main consultant.  At first I will be a trainee learning how to consult as Dr. Bernard mentors me. 

I will be away from Grand Rapids from this Saturday until mid January.  I plan on spending Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years with family and friends in Greenville, SC.

Please note my updated itinerary and prayers/praises.

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The Lord gave us a very profitable Consultant Seminar last week.  Thanks so much for your prayers.  We discussed numerous different issues: successful translation questionnaire, Scripture-in-Use, translation philosophy, collaboration on the internet, wikis, visions and values, literacy, mentoring, Bibleworks, etc.  Now we need the Lord’s grace to implement these ideas, and we also need the Lord to send us more workers to help.  I feel overwhelmed whenever I think of all that needs to be done, but I’m thankful that the Lord is more concerned about this work that any of us.  I’m thankful that He has already sent us more laborers.  There were four of us “consultants in training,” and a couple and a young man expressed their desire to begin the application process to join us.  In addition, another consultant, Ashley Anderson, was accepted into BMM last month and will join us after she gets married and finishes some more schooling.  So we praise the Lord for the help He is giving, but there are still many needs, especially here in the office.  The director, Dr. Bernard, is greatly overwhelmed by the many responsibilities that have fallen upon his shoulders, since we have a couple of open manager positions.  Please pray!

After the seminar I enjoyed a long weekend in the New York City area.  It was good to set aside the responsibilities at Bibles International to enjoy some rest and relaxation.  I enjoyed making new friends and seeing the sites of NYC.  I was able to take a bus tour on Saturday through Manhattan, and I got to see Ground Zero and the Museum of Natural History on Monday.  I am so thankful for the opportunity to present the gospel to a Muslim from Ghana on Saturday.  What a joy it was to share Christ with him at the intersection in a very busy city!  Please pray for him.  He gave me his phone number, so I plan on calling him eventually.

Now I begin the transition back into full-time deputation.  I’ve actually not been involved in that very much yet, since I’ve also been trying to keep up with linguistics courses at the same time.  But we’ve decided that the bulk of my linguistics training is behind me at this point (Is it really possible that I don’t have to be a student any more?!!!), so now I can concentrate on raising support, except for the occasional trip overseas (to PNG in November, to Haiti in December, to ?? in Jan-Feb).  I will be in IL for the next three weeks and then back to Grand Rapids for a week.  Then I head to the eastern US for meetings that will take me into Jan. 09. 

Please pray for safety, grace to overcome sin and to be effective, and provision.  Praise the Lord that my support is now at 30%.  Pray that it will increase quickly, because there is so much to do in the ministry, but I can devote so little time to it.

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