Archive for February, 2010

Into the Snow

I experienced my first snowfall in mid February, after I had returned from India. Since I was in South Carolina and Haiti at the end of 2009 and basically stayed out of Michigan all that time (except for a few days in December and a few more in January) and was in India and SE Asia in Jan-Feb, I wasn’t often in a region where I would experience a snow storm (of course, even SC got lots of snow this region). There was snow on the ground when I was in Michigan, but no new snow falling. But now my deputation schedule is taking me over to northern WV and southern PA, the places that have been hit very hard with snow.

I’m in Schaumburg, IL, right now. I was planning on driving over to West Virginia today, but decided to put that off a day, partly because of all the snow predicted for Ohio and West Virginia. Hopefully, the roads will be clear as I make the 9-hour drive. Please pray.

I had a great meeting in Galesburg, IL, on Sunday. I developed a new message on missions and enjoyed delivering it for the first time. I also had some great meetings with pastors in western IL. I have been able to schedule two missions conferences and have promising possibilities for three meetings in March 2011.

Sadly, my support hasn’t gone up much this year. I’m thankful that one supporter increased their monthly giving,  I’ve also experienced some decreases. Health insurance charges went up, and some church’s giving went down. I was really hoping some new churches would take me on, as many vote at the beginning of the year. But that hasn’t happened, unless it’s just a matter of waiting for BMM to process some new information. Please pray that the Lord would increase my support soon. I hope to finish deputation by the end of this year. There’s much work to be done!

Please see the “Translator’s Page” for an article I wrote on an issue that came up in a workshop in India a few weeks ago.

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Safely Back to the U.S.

I arrived with all my luggage on Saturday evening, very worn out but also very thankful to God for answering so many prayers for my trip to SE Asia and India. I have had only one week to recover from that trip, wrap things up from the previous trip to Haiti, move out of my previous place of residence, move into a new temporary place, look for a future place to rent, prepare for a 5-weeek deputation trip that begins tomorrow, and do a multitude of other things. So, it’s been difficult to find time to update my blog. But I’ve finally been able to carve out a few minutes, even in spite of being down with the flu all day on Wednesday! I posted some pictures on Facebook, so you should be able to access them with the following link, even if you don’t use FB: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=156751&id=613716245&l=68de4be780.

Thank you for praying for me and my luggage to arrive safely and on time. All those prayers were answered! And the Lord gave me good health throughout the trip! Though the sleeping conditions were not always ideal (the Muslim call to prayer woke me up almost every morning in India), I still felt strengthened enough to tackle the next day.

I’ve already told you about my 9 days in the first country (SE Asia), so I won’t repeat that information. But I will add that the Lord really did a soul searching work in my heart during that time, and I trust that I will be able to build upon that experience. My heart was greatly touched by the children in the children’s home and also by being with our coordinator.

My 9 days in northeast India were equally rewarding. I joined 16 other expatriates , and met the dedicated staff of the BI India Society as well as a few of our translation teams. I spent most of my time observing the literacy, linguistics, and formatting workshops that were taking place. It was a joy to see our people working so well with the Indians.

I spent some time getting to know our only full-time consultant in India. We have exchanged numerous emails already, but had never met. As you well know, emails are best received when they are taken in the context of a warm, friendly relationship, and such a relationship can happen only by spending much face-to-face time together. We finally got to do that on this trip and saw the Lord knit our hearts together. I praise the Lord for blessing us in such an important matter.

I’m thankful for the many informal occasions to spend with our translators. Since my room was just down the hallway from their “dormitory,” we ate together and enjoyed many “light” moments. And, though I had only a limited time, I got to spend some very productive hours with our only senior consultant in India. We were able to work through many important matters.

I praise the Lord for how He helped me to preach three times at a local church, a Bible college, and a Christian school youth hostel. The latter occasion had a significant impact upon me. I was especially moved by the man who oversees the 30-40 boys. His love for them in their difficult situation was touchingly evident.

The Lord used my Dad’s trip to India 23 years ago to draw Dad to Himself. Now I know why: Seeing the believers’ joy in the Lord in the midst of their great poverty cannot but have an impact upon you. Thank you for your prayers that enabled me to experience this joy and to join these dedicated believers in the work of the Lord!

Now I am preparing for 5 weeks of deputation that will take me to IL, WV, VA, PA, and NC.

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Trip Update

I have a pretty good connection here in India, so I can put a new post on my blog…

I’m thankful for how the Lord has been answering prayers on this trip. He has blessed me in so many ways. My time in the first country was filled with answers to prayers. He has kept me safe and healthy and has helped me to arrive with my luggage safely at each destination. I’ve also had some good witnessing opportunities, though most of them have not been with nationals. They can’t seem to understand my English. But I can usually give them a tract that I wrote myself, so the Lord can use that.

I was able to speak at a school chapel, in two churches, and at a children’s home. I was also able to lead two translation workshops. We covered only 3 chapters in one and 2 chapters in the other, but at least we covered some material. It gets us that much closer to finishing the work!

I was also able to see many sites and, most importantly, meet many people. I was particularly challenged by a national who is basically a modern-day George Mueller. He is almost completely dependent upon the Lord for all of his support (i.e., he has almost no commitments from churches or individuals for his financial needs), but he runs several ministries, in which the people in those ministries are dependent upon him. And as with Mueller, he sees the Lord provide for all of his needs all the time! What a challenge to me!

My time in this country has also gone quite well. The only uncomfortable situation was riding in a taxi from the airport to the final destination. I liken the driver to a chihuahua. He’s a small dog (i.e., drives a small car), but he is a big dog in his heart. He wasn’t afraid to take on the largest of vehicles. It seemed like he was playing chicken with almost every oncoming vehicle. Thankfully, they gave in and moved out of his way and he dodged their bumper in the nick of time!

Otherwise, my time here has been quite pleasant. I’ve met some wonderful, gracious people, been able to see what God is doing in this country, and seen some nice sites. I’ve also been able to get to know our work better by observing our team in action. There were around 16 expatriates when I first got here. One has left, but the rest of us along with the national believers are one big happy family.

I look forward to preaching at a local church tomorrow, speaking in a college chapel on Monday and in a youth hostel two evenings next week. Most of the children in the latter location are not saved, so please pray for the Lord to work especially during that time. Of course, I covet your prayers for the other opportunities as well.

Thanks so much for your prayers!

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