Archive for November, 2009

These lyrics from the song “Beneath the Cross of Jesus” have been a source of sweet meditation ever since I first heard that song on one of Soundforth’s recent CDs.  How unworthy I am of God’s love in Christ, but how blessed is the privilege to hear His welcome voice calling me to come to Him for cleansing!  I am most thankful for the cross of Christ during this time of year and always.

I’m also thankful that I’m at my South Carolina home (i.e., my mom’s place).  It’s been wonderful to be in the warm, sunny south.  I even enjoyed grits for the first time this past week.  It’s actually the second time I had them, but I didn’t enjoy the first attempt, since I was anticipating cream of wheat.  That was almost 20 years ago in the BJU Dining Common.  I’ve cursed grits ever since.  But when they came with my meal at Cracker Barrel, I decided to set aside my prejudices and give them another try.  I’ll never curse grits again!  They were actually quite good!

I praise the Lord for keeping me safe as I traveled throughout Pennsylvania during the fall.  I actually left Grand Rapids, MI, on September 10.  From then until this past Tuesday night (i.e., about 11 weeks), I had to live out of my suitcase, bouncing around from one house to another.  I would usually change locations after about 3 days, though a few times I stayed in the same place for 7 days in a row.  I’m so thankful for all the gracious hosts and churches that provided me places to stay, but it sure is nice to be in the same place now for more than 7 days in a row.  Of course, I head to Haiti on Saturday, so it’s not much more than 7 days for this stay.  But I’ll be in Greenville for the entire second half of December and the first full week of January, so that will be really nice.

I thank the Lord for keeping me safe as I traveled over 6,000 miles since September 10.  I did have some problems with my tires slipping on the rain soaked roads one day a few weeks ago, but the Lord kept me safe as I traveled back across Pennsylvania for the 6th time and led me to a Christian mechanic who hooked me up with some nice tires. 

Three of the 15 pastors, whose churches I visited during this past stint in PA, were quite favorable about supporting me and were going to bring it before the church for a vote very soon.  Another pastor was quite positive and was encouraging the church to take me on.  At least two other churches were greatly impacted by my ministry presentation and seemed to want to start supporting me.  Please pray! 

I praise the Lord that one supporter increased their monthly support and a new supporter committed to start supporting me.  That brings my support level to 55%!  Praise the Lord!

It was a blessing to attend Dr. John Dreisbach’s funeral service today.  I pray that I will be faithful to the Lord all my days as that godly man was!  What an example of faithfulness he has left for us! 

Next week I will spend most of my time preparing for the Haitian Creole OT workshop.  Please pray for me as I work through Psa 6-10 and Gen 6-10.  I’ll be comparing the French backtranslation with the Hebrew text.  I might even sneak a peak at the Creole once in a while, since it’s very similar to French.  Pray also that I’ll be able to get some French sermons ready to preach.

Read Full Post »

Heading “home”

I’ve finally made it to the end of this stint of meetings in PA. I’m thankful for how the Lord has helped me throughout the time, but I’m also looking forward to getting off the road, getting out of my suitcase, and getting to “home” in Greenville. I had to speak only once today, but that brings me to a total of 36 times speaking and doing so in 15 churches. The Lord really helped me to present my burden well at this church and the last one. At the last one I had to speak 6 different times at their missions conference. It was a blessing to minister in so many different ways, and I enjoyed spending time with the pastor, his family, the church people, and the other missionaries.

Tomorrow morning I’ll begin heading to Greenville. I’m going to stop in Rocky Mount, NC, to stay with some friends and meet some pastors on Tuesday. Then, I’ll go to Fayetteville, NC, to visit some other friends on my way to Greenville. I should arrive late in the evening on Tuesday, if all goes well. Please pray for safety and good fellowship with the Lord during the trip. I can’t wait to see family and friends in Greenville!

BTW, you notice that I put home in quotation marks. That’s because it’s hard for me to know exactly where home is. Technically, I’ve made Grand Rapids my headquarters, but I don’t have a place of my own yet. Since I still have a bedroom in Greenville, that seems more like home. But most of my stuff is now in Grand Rapids, so Greenville is no longer the same as it used to be. In May of 2010 I plan on getting my own place in Grand Rapids, so I’ll finally be able to end this confusion! I’m looking forward to have a place that I can call MINE!

BTW, thanks to all those who prayed for me to have strength at the end of this road trip. I could sense the Lord encouraging me soon after I put my last post up. That was a tremendous blessing!

Read Full Post »

Last night I finished up the missions conference at Emmanuel Baptist in Mechanicsburg. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with that church. They greatly desired to encourage the missionaries, and they definitely achieved their goal. The preaching and the missionary presentations were challenging. The fellowship with the church and with the other missionaries (one of which was my high school Chemistry teacher!) was very encouraging. The accomodations were very comfortable. The eating arrangements were excellent. It was a blessed time.

At this conference, I spoke in combined SS, gave a 5-min testimony on Mon pm, and gave my ministry presentation on Tues pm. I decided to try a different approach. Since the church had the capability of showing pictures, I decided to use that to my advantage. I put up some pictures of Africans and told moving stories of their receiving the Word in their own language. The people were greatly stirred. Praise the Lord for how He worked!

I’ve been on the road since September 11, and my spirit is getting quite road-weary. I’ve already been to 13 churches on this trip, and have 2 more to go. I’ve spoken 29 times at the various churches, so I’ve been in front of people a lot recently. I’m thankful for the strength He’s given, but I need an extra measure as I head down the homestretch.

I’ll be speaking at a banquet on Saturday night as I enter into another missions conference. Then I’ll teach teen SS and children’s church on Sun. I’ll also preach once during the week and give my ministry presentation. I look forward to being with the believers in Duncansville. Then one more meeting in Lancaster. Then I get to head down to Greenville for Thanksgiving. I can’t wait!

Read Full Post »

Promising Possibilities

The Lord has really been answering prayers for deputation recently.  I’ve been very encouraged by a number of developments.  I’ve spent many weeks here in PA and have numerous contacts (the most of any state), but have yet to gain a supporting church.  However, the Lord seems to be moving in hearts.  I just got off the phone with a pastor who heard about how well things went at the missions conference last week, so he wants me to come to his church next year.  Another pastor in PA told me that he and his wife were just talking about wanting to help a Bible organization, so they also want me to come next year.  I did get a call from a pastor in MI too and he wants me to come back to his church for a second time.  It’s rare that I can even get through to pastors, and then for them to call me back is as rare as a Detroit Lions victory.  But I had two call me this week alone! 

Back to PA…  There are four churches in the western PA area that are putting me forward for a vote over the next couple of days or weeks.  Five other pastors and churches in PA seemed extremely positive about my ministry and talked to me some about future support.  I visited one last Wed (a week ago), and the people were very excited to see me.  I was there over a year ago for a missions conference, but they still remembered me quite well.  In fact, one lady said she and her girls pray for me every day in homeschool.  A deacon said he prays for me every morning in devotions.  How encouraging… and humbling! 

Now to the other possibilities…  Two relatives have promised support, but are apparently waiting for funds to increase so that they can give.  Three churches have said that I am on the top of the list, but two of them are waiting for the funds to come in and the third is waiting for a missionary couple to retire.  Twelve other churches seemed to be quite positive towards my ministry and could very well become supporting churches. 

In total, there are 26 churches or individuals that present very promising possibilities for my support.  Of course, that doesn’t count the churches that I have yet to go to, churches where the pastors called me (see above) and other encouraging developments. 

Praise the Lord for your prayers!  Please keep praying, and hopefully I’ll be able to help the work at BI full-time within the next 12 months or sooner!

Read Full Post »

Do we value our Old Testaments?

We are nearing the completion of the Waali Bible translation project.  The Bible is at the printer and should arrive in Ghana early next year.  Recently, we asked a Ghanian what it means to him for the entire Bible to be published in his langauge.  Here’s his response:

When I first heard from Mr. Mining [sic] about the completion of the Waali Bible, I was very excited about it. For me personally the translation of the Bible into Waali will be a great tool in the ministry. To see the word of God in my own language shows how much God is interested in having a relationship with my people and increasing the faith of the believers. To the best of my knowledge the Waali Bible is the only document first written in the Waali language.

An important part of the Waali Bible is that, there are pastors who are trained in the waali language only because they cannot read English. Some of these pastors have never read the Old Testament and what a joy it will be for them to get it. It is like for years part of the truth has been hidden from them. I had an opportunity of being around some of these pastors and working with them. Their desire of having the full Bible in Waali cannot be explained. One pastor once told me, “if only I knew English….” His reason of knowing English was to be able to read the Old Testament. When you are with these pastors it becomes obvious that they are lacking something very important in their ministry and that is the full Bible.

One thing the unbeliever say in Wa is that Christianity is the white man religion. The waali Bible I believe will be a witness to the unbeliever that Christianity is for everybody. The Waali Bible can also be used at the radio station where our pastors preach and discuss about the Bible.

As I said earlier on the excitement of just hearing about the Waali Old Testament is beyond my explanation, but one thing that I know is that people will be able for the first time read the Old Testament in their own language and know the mystery that has been hidden from them years ago.

I would like to take this time also to thank you and your board very much for all the hard work and efforts that you have put into the Waali Bible translation. Only eternity will tell what impact you have on my people although you have never met them.

If you have any question about anything I will be glad to answer them. 

Thank you.


Praise the Lord for the opportunity we have of showing Africans that Christianity is not just a white man’s religion!  Praise the Lord also that the Waali pastors and believers don’t have to worry about learning English to read the precious truths of the OT! 

Do we value those same truths to the extent that we would be willing to learn another language just to be able to read them?

Read Full Post »