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Archive for October, 2010

Praise the Lord that Community Baptist Church (Pastor Dave Detwiler) in Fleetwood, PA, has voted to begin supporting me. I was at their missions conference a year ago and thoroughly enjoyed my time with them. They told me that I’ve been on their hearts and minds ever since then. I’m so thankful for this new partnership!

I’m currently at a missions conference at Windsor Baptist Church in Loves Park, IL. This is my fifth of five conferences for this month, and I’ve been enjoying this one as well. I presented my ministry on Monday and then preached last night, and both times went well. The pastor chose the them “Thinking outside the box/Thinking inside the book.” He had been contemplating this theme back when we met in March, and then I showed up to meet him. It was exciting to see how the Lord gave him a real desire to have me join them for this conference, considering the theme. Since my ministry is not the “traditional missions ministry,” he thought it would fit perfectly. It’s encouraging to see how the Lord worked this out, because it provides a much better forum for me to present my ministry. We’ll see how the Lord continues to lead.

I had a great conference at Sweethaven Baptist Church in Portsmouth, VA. That one began last Wed and ended on Sunday. I presented my ministry the first day and then spoke in SS about Translation Complications, as the pastor recommended. It still encourages me to think about how the Lord led me to be a part of this conference. I stopped by to see the pastor “cold turkey” in the spring. I didn’t know about the church before arriving in the area in the spring, but I decided I would go ahead and try to meet with the pastor. At first he seemed reluctant to give of his precious sermon prep time to me (which is understandable since missionaries are “a dime a dozen”). But as I started describing my ministry, he got really excited. In fact, he asked if I could take the whole SS period to help people understand my ministry better and some of the complications I deal with. At the end of our talk, he prayed a very sincere and earnest prayer for me. What a blessing to see how the Lord “warmed him up” to my ministry! After being with him for the conference, he’s still very excited about it and is very hopeful that his church will take me on. How encouraging!

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October Prayer Letter

I decided I better go ahead and write my next prayer letter, though I was hoping an increase would come in as I was going through that process. But as I wrote the letter, I realized that my support had, in fact, increased since my last letter. That letter reported that I was at 64%, but I’m now at 66%. So the Lord had actually already answered my prayer of giving an increase that I could report on! Here’s my prayer letter, hot off the presses…

Dear Family and Friends,

Recently, the Lord led me to preach a sermon on the importance of prayer for missions. My thoughts first turned to Matthew 9:36-38. As I meditated on Christ’s command to pray for the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers, I recoiled from the thought that God’s answer to this prayer would simply flood the churches with more missionaries seeking after the already limited amount of funds. But then I realized that the verb “send” has “harvest” as the final destination. In other words, as we pray this prayer, we are asking the Lord to send out laborers into the mission field, not onto the deputation trail! Consequently, I’ve been praying this prayer even more, both for myself and for future missionaries.

DEPUTATION

Speaking of being sent out onto the field, I’ve hit a dry spell in raising support since July. I do PRAISE the Lord for three individuals who took me on for support in early July, bringing me to 66%. But though I’ve gone through a few “silent” months, I’m trusting the Lord to do great things in the near future. My confidence is strengthened by the positive developments I’ve heard about recently. One church seems to be on the verge of taking me on, and two others are strongly considering me. Also, two individuals have expressed a desire to begin supporting me. I’m looking forward to seeing an increase very soon and am still hopeful that I can finish deputation by Easter of 2011. Please continue to PRAY in this regard.

The Lord keeps filling up my schedule with meetings at solid churches. My fall schedule has kept me quite busy, especially with five missions conferences in five different states in October. I thank the Lord for His enabling as I’ve developed and delivered new messages. It’s also been very encouraging to see people’s interest in Bible translation sprouting and then flourishing as I present the needs around the world.

MINISTRY

Though my attention has turned almost completely towards deputation since August, I did take a trip to Chad, Africa, in late July and early August. I marvel at how the Lord gave me just enough preparation time to get ready for consulting through 2 Chronicles 9. We ended up covering 1 Chronicles 1 to 2 Chronicles 8–only one chapter short of what I prepared for!

I’m thankful that I didn’t have to prepare for any more consulting while in Chad, because my evenings were already quite busy with other activities. Joshua Hedges, another BI consultant, and I alternated giving devotions each day. So, I had to work on those devotionals during some of the evenings. Other evenings were spent dealing with issues that came up during the consulting—e.g., determining how to spell the Hebrew proper nouns consistently in Day, the workshop language. I PRAISE the Lord for helping Joshua and me to successfully work through the chapters in 1 and 2 Chronicles. His grace was very evident as we studied the Hebrew and then communicated with the translators in French. Only by God’s grace!

It was a joy to be able to preach three times in the local churches. On the first Sunday, I spoke at two Day churches. I wanted the believers to gain access to the Old Testament Scriptures, so I printed off portions from Exodus and Deuteronomy. My sermon started in Matthew 4 and proceeded to the Old Testament. What a privilege it was to be with the believers as they were hearing portions of the Old Testament, maybe for the very first time! The believers were profoundly affected by the experience, because many came forward after the service to purchase their own copy of the Scriptures (see pictures below)! They sensed the power of God’s Word speaking to them in their own language, so they wanted a New Testament for themselves. Now we need to follow up this distribution with a robust literacy program. Please PRAY as our national literacy consultant, Nadjiam Gotyo, helps us survey the situation in the churches so that we can determine our strategy. PRAY also, as we hope to finish the Old Testament by 2020, or sooner!

I don’t have any more overseas trips planned for this year, but I will be checking more of the Haitian Creole Old Testament in early December. The workshop will again be in Grand Rapids. Please PRAY for all who are involved in this project.

In Christ,

Troy

 

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I have a two-day respite now before I participate in the last two conferences for this month. I’m thankful for how well the first three have gone. I didn’t give any update concerning the first one, so I’ll start there.

The first conference was at Calvary Baptist Church in Westminster, MD. I got into this church through the new assistant pastor, Steve Kindstedt. He and his family attended Mt. Calvary for many years before moving up to MD last winter. After arriving at the church, I realized that Pastor Tim Leaman, the senior pastor, also attended Mt. Calvary. We knew each other ‘from afar’, but got to know each other quite well at the conference.

Dan Baker and his family were also present as well as the Mike Martin family (Brazil). Both families have attended Mt. Calvary for a number of years, so it was a real Mt. Calvary reunion. Mike and I were next-door neighbors my sophomore year at BJU, so we go the furthest back. Steve and I ushered together my senior year, so he’s a close second.

I greatly appreciated the spirit of the people at this church. They were extremely welcoming to us and excited about missions. They were also very generous and definitely showed their heart for the Lord and His work around the world. I preached on Friday evening, presented my ministry on Saturday evening, and was part of the panel of missionaries in Sunday school. The Lord blessed each opportunity.

My second missions conference was a combined conference with two churches–Bible Baptist Church in Madison, OH, and Faith Baptist Church in Perry, OH. I was the main speaker, so I spoke 7 times during the 5 days. During my short trip to Grand Rapids, I was able to finish up two new sermons, but I had to keep working on a third during the conference. It was a new sermon on my Bible translation ministry. I finished it up just in time to deliver it on Tuesday evening.

I’m so thankful for the Lord’s enablement for each of these preaching times, but I especially sensed it on Wed and Thurs pm. My mom submitted a request for prayer to Mt. Calvary, so around 400-500 people were praying for me Wed night. I could definitely sense the Lord’s answering those requests both nights! What a blessing! I’m also very thankful for the very generous love offering that the churches gave. It’s one of the largest yet!

On Friday I drove to Lancaster, PA, for my third missions conference. It was a three-day conference at Calvary Baptist Church. I presented here a year ago, and they wanted to have me back for a “second look.” I spoke on Friday night about Bible translation and then on Sunday night about “Life as a Christian Single.” The latter topic was quite difficult to speak on since it’s such a personal subject, but the Lord really helped. I received more positive comments after that talk than I have for any other message, so I guess it really struck a chord in many people’s hearts! The church seems very positive about supporting me, so we’ll see how the Lord leads.

Today I received an email from a church I visited over a year ago at their missions conference, and they said they are seriously considering me for support. Also a lady at one of the recent churches asked for the form so that she could start supporting me. So God is working! I have yet to see new support on my account, but surely it’s coming soon! Keep praying!

On Wednesday I drive down to Virginia Beach, VA, for my fourth conference this month. I’ll be presenting my ministry one night and giving a SS lesson on translation complications on Sunday. I’m looking forward to that!

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Still Waiting…

I’m still waiting for my support to get past 66%. BMM just closed out September and are now starting to note donations for October. Maybe I’ll see some new supporters this week or next!

The Lord really helped me as I finished two new sermons on Wednesday. Next week’s missions conference in Madison, OH, has the theme “That I May Know Him” from Phil. 3:10. I tied this verse into missions by explaining that Paul’s mindset is exactly the thinking that all believers need to be striving to have. So, when converts on the mission field have cultivated this mindset, then missions has accomplished its goal. The other sermon I finished is on Prayer and Missions. I really enjoyed working on both of these sermons. Not only was the exegesis a joy, but I also really liked getting back into my missionary biographies to pull out sermon illustrations.

I think I’m ready for next week’s first missions conference, but now I need to work on a sermon about Bible translation and something about singles in ministry. Of course, I’ve developed numerous things on the former subject, but this is a repeat trip to this church in Lancaster, PA, so I need to think carefully through what the Lord wants me to say. Please pray with me about this sermon, especially as I might have some time tomorrow to work on it.

As far as family happenings are concerned, my oldest sister, Michele, had an ultrasound done and found out that she’s going to have her first boy! We are all very excited! Of course, we’re also extremely thrilled that my other sister, Lori, will be having her first baby–a girl! Both are due within a month of each other around Christmas. It’s going to be a very interesting holiday season for my family!

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