Archive for July, 2009

The Lord has provided me with a place for hi-speed internet, so I can give a short update about my time here.  I had a good trip over, especially since I was able to stay for free at a hotel in Morocco.  I also got a free lunch.  It was great to have a place to wash up and rest some as I adjusted to the new time zone. 

My suitcase came a day late, so we ended up losing almost two days of work time.  But the Lord has really blessed the workshop anyway.  I wanted to check Titus, Philemon, 1 and 2 Peter, and Jude, while here.  We will finish all of those tomorrow morning and start on Galatians.  So I’m very thankful for how well things have been going.  The Lord has given me a good working relationship with the translator and co-translator, and He has really given us wisdom as we work through difficult translation issues.  We really need to get a good bit done, because we are planning only one more workshop with this project.  The translation team wants to finish the NT by the end of the year.  I doubt we will get everything done, but hopefully the bulk of the work will be done. 

I begin the trip back to the States on Thurs.  I will take a bus to Lome in the south.  On Friday at 2:40am, I fly to Morocco and then on to NY, MN, and finally MI.  I will arrive late in the night on Friday. 

Please continue to pray for wisdom in doing the work, grace to work well together, safety and good health.  I’m thankful for how the Lord has given all of those so far!

I also praise the Lord for how He has increased my support to 50%!  Calvary Baptist Church in Geneva, IL, has committed to begin giving in August.  I’m very encouraged to be teamed up with this church!

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July Prayer Letter

Dear Family and Friends,


I like to read missionary biographies to keep my heart aflame with a passion for the lost. Borden of Yale ‘09, by Mrs. Howard Taylor, accomplished that goal. I wanted to pass on to you an encouraging poem to from this book.  Would you keep it in mind as you pray for me and my ministry?

The weary ones had rest, the sad had joy

 That day, and wondered “how?”

A ploughman singing at his work had prayed,

“Lord, bless them now.” 


Away in foreign lands they wondered “how”

Their simple word had power.

At home, the “Gleaners,” two or three, had met

To pray an hour.


Yes, we are always wondering “how?”

Because we do not see

Someone, unknown perhaps, and far away,

On bended knee.


As I mature in my Christian walk, I’m beginning to realize more and more just how dependent I am upon the prayers of others. I used to wonder how a person could say, “I know someone must have been praying,” but I don’t wonder any more.  Thanks for all your prayers and support! 


Over the past three months, my deputation schedule has taken me to Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Though my support dipped down some, I’m thankful for a new supporting couple and the additional support of another individual. I’m still at 45%, but I’m encouraged to hear of another family that has prayerfully decided to take me on for support. It’s such a blessing to see how God’s people continue to give through monthly support and love offerings. In the next few months, I have only one meeting, but my deputation activities will pick up once again in the fall.

My back continues to heal, though I still experience pain, especially at 3:00 a.m. each morning. It’s so nice to be out of my back brace and exercising once again. Please pray for continued recovery, especially as I will no longer be able to enjoy the comfort of my own bed in SC.


Though I won’t be involved in deputation activities over these next few months, I will be heavily involved in ministry activities. During the first full week of July, I’ll be attending Baptist Mid-Missions’ annual conference. I look forward to rubbing shoulders with missionaries from around the world and being challenged and encouraged by the workshops.

On July 14 I head to Togo, West Africa, for a two-week translation workshop to check portions of the Kabiyé NT. I’ve spent numerous hours preparing for this workshop over the past few weeks. The Togo team sent me a back-translation of the texts in very literal French. It’s been challenging to piece together the French and then compare it to the Greek NT. Please PRAY as I continue to prepare and then as I conduct my first workshop by myself and in French for the first time. PRAY that I would have wisdom and grace to help this project. PRAY also that I would have great facility in French in the workshop and with other ministry opportunities. I’m excited to get back to the continent where I spent two years of my life. I’m also thankful to help the Kabiyé churches gain access to the precious truths of the NT. There are over half a million speakers of this language, so the need is great!

As soon as I return, I will begin preparing for the BI staff retreat and consultant seminar in late August. I look forward to catching up with the staff on various issues, since I have been away from the office since mid-April. I have almost weekly meetings with the director and another manager, but there’s nothing like face-to-face conversations. PRAY for wisdom as I meet with various people, especially the consultants. The seminar is a very crucial week because it’s the only time in the year in which most of the consultants can gather together in one room to discuss various matters and chart out the next year.

PRAY also as we bring 11 Scripture projects to completion in Chad, Ghana, India, Myanmar, Peru, and Venezuela. We still have to raise $140,000 and to finish much detail work to get these projects ready for publication. We have faced many obstacles in this last stage of the work, and no doubt many of them have been satanically engineered.  PRAY for the Lord to smooth our way as many around the world wait for the Scriptures.

For a conservative translation in every language,


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Still in Ohio

I’m so thankful for the opportunity to attend the BMM Annual Conference.  As I said in my last post, I was greatly blessed by the fellowship with other missionaries.  Until this week, I’ve felt like an outsider to BMM, even though I have been accepted as an appointee.  I felt that I still didn’t know what BMM was all about.  I did spend over a week at the BMM office for Candidate Seminar in 2007 and I have been working with BMM missionaries for the past two years at BI, but I guess it took this week to really pull me in. 

Since BMM is such a long and established board, it enjoys some blessings that go along with that.  On Monday night, we honored those who have gone on to be with the Lord.  There were around 20 missionaries, most having passed  away because of old age.  On Tuesday night, we recognized those who had served with BMM for 20 years or more.  There were around 70 missionaries honored, with the total number of years of service being almost 1,900! 

On Wednesday night, BMM gave the William Haas (founder of BMM) lifetime service award to two people, one of whom is the first to occupy the position that I am now in–Henry Osborne.  He faithfully served the Lord in Venezuela, helping the Warao Indians to get the NT in their language.  Eventually (after engaging in other ministry) he became the first head consultant at BI, where he had the privilege of working with some 50 different languages around the world.  It was a blessing to learn more about my predecessor.  I trust the Lord will grant me as many years of faithful service and as wide a ministry! 

I also enjoyed the various informal conversations with missionaries.  I talked to one older couple who has been working with the Native Americans in Canada for around 40 years.  They are thrilled to have 14 national pastors leading the local churches.  I also had a good time talking to my golfing partner, who with his wife sold his farm which he had managed for probably 40-50 years, so that he could become a missionary to Zambia.  They currently have no place in America that they own, but they evidence the joy of the Lord as they have given up all for Him. 

It was also a joy to hear about the works of BMM on various fields.  It was neat to hear that on some of the fields the nationals have actually formed up their own mission agencies and are sending their own people to other countries.  As our director said, that’s when missions has come full circle.  And lastly, it was very moving to see that 32 candidates are now preparing for future missionary service.  Some will be staying in the US to plant churches, while others will be going to various countries.  I’m very thankful that one candidate will be joining BI–Alex Wheeler. 

I’m still in Ohio because I’ve been asked to fill in for Pastor Todd Nye, who has been suffering from some sort of facial palsy recently.  A man from his church asked if I can stay in town so that I can teach SS and preach in the AM service on Sunday.  I’m thankful for the opportunity! 

But that also means that I have only 1 night and 1 day to do all that needs to be done in Grand Rapids–unpacking after being away for 3 months and repacking for Africa.  I think it can be done, but it will be fairly rushed!

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Support Increase

After seeing my support level fluctuate back and forth around 45%, I’ve finally see it break away and now get a little over 47%.  Praise the Lord!  I’m thankful for how the Lord led in the hearts of a family in Illinois to take me on for support. 

I’m currently at the Baptist Mid-Missions Annual Conference.  I’ve already been blessed by the speakers, the fellowship with other missionaries, and the excellent special music.  I feel quite humbled to be rubbing shoulders with such faithful servants of the Lord.  I’ve especially appreciated Dr. Doran’s messages.  He is speaking on biblical discernment. 

I’m looking forward to going golfing tomorrow with some of the missionaries.  This event has actually been a blessing in disguise.  I wasn’t sure if my back was ready for golf, so I got out my clubs last Friday and practiced a little in my back yard.  I felt pretty good, so I went to the driving range on Sat morning and still felt quite good.  And the best part about it is that it led me to discover a secret… playing golf helps my back!  I slept better those two nights than I have in a while.  I guess the action of swinging a club loosens things up in my back so that I don’t have the same amount of pain at around 3am.  Not that I’m going to go golfing now every day, but I am going to do some golf-like exercises each night before I go to bed.  It helped last night, so I’m going to try to keep it up.

I was able to finish Titus, 1 and 2 Peter, Jude, and Philemon in preparation for the workshop in Togo.  If we get through all of those, I can work on others while I’m there.  They have also finished Ephesians, Philippians, and Hebrews.  We can’t keep up with their hard work!

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