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Archive for June, 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

Studying the Scriptures in preparation for translation workshops provides many opportunities to grow in my understanding of various passages and in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. While studying for the recent Haitian Creole workshop, I was struck by the translator’s rendering of Psalm 65:1a: “O God, silence is praise for you in Zion.” I had never understood that verse to be saying that, so at first I doubted it was a good translation. But as I examined various sources, I came to realize that it is actually a very likely rendering of David’s inspired words. And when I realized that “silence” means “quiet resignation” here, I found the Haitian Creole translation to be a source of continual encouragement.

MINISTRY

As I mentioned, I just finished up a workshop on the Haitian Creole translation of Genesis 41-50 and Psalms 25-82. The Lord really enabled us to cover a significant amount of material. We normally check around 20-30 chapters in a workshop, but this time we worked through over 70 chapters! Of course, we extended the workshop a week beyond the normal length, but I still thank God for His enabling! The Lord helped Pastor Daniel Telfort and me to understand one another and the text well, so we got into a good rhythm. I could sense the Holy Spirit’s special guidance, as we examined the original text and explored the various possibilities in Haitian Creole. I came away with a clear sense that God maintains a close supervision of the translation of His Word. Lord willing, we will finish Psalms and Proverbs next year so that we can publish them, along with a revised New Testament. Our goal has been to finish the entire Bible by 2020, and after this workshop I’m encouraged to think we may finish earlier. Keep PRAYING!

PERSONAL

In the midst of a very busy workshop that required spending time in preparation in the evenings and on the weekends, I was also in the process of purchasing a house. I tried to get everything done before the workshop began, but many tasks required an hour here and there throughout the past three weeks. But I’m so thankful for what the Lord seems to be providing. I made this issue a matter of prayer in December. After looking at many houses online, driving by several, and touring seven, I quickly settled on one that meets and exceeds all my desires. God’s provision has been evident throughout the process. The lady of the couple selling the home said that God told her, “You need to help that man.” So she agreed to lower the price and has done many other things to help me prepare for the move. I can see God’s shepherding presence throughout the process, guiding this novice in the purchase of his first home. Pray for the loan application to be accepted so I can close and move in when I return to the USA in August.

DEPUTATION

Deputation has taken a back seat for the past few months, though I’ve continued to schedule a few more meetings for the fall. Since my last prayer letter, three churches (Faith B/C in Pekin, IL; Walnut Creek B/C in Erie, PA; and Calvary B/C in Lancaster, PA) and three couples have joined my support team. So, my support increased by 10% in three months to 82%! I still plan on finishing deputation by the end of this year. I’ll be in Singapore for deputation meetings in July and then in Minnesota and Illinois in September. Please keep PRAYING!

Over the past few months, I celebrated my first birthday in Grand Rapids; had some solid opportunities to give the gospel and minister in churches; gave significant attention to strategic planning for the translation, literacy, and linguistics activities of BI; and celebrated the heritage of the King James Version at a Bible exhibit at the BI home office. I also praised God for the life of my predecessor, Dr. Henry Osborn, who went to his eternal home in mid May. Henry worked with 78 different languages in around 20 different countries during his lifetime of missionary service. By God’s grace I PRAY that God will keep me faithful and enable me to be used in a similar way.

PRAY for the annual Consultant Seminar in late August. I’m responsible for overseeing the planning and running of this important week of activities, as most of our consultants gather together in one room for the only time of the year.

Thanks so much for your prayers. Please don’t stop!

In Christ,

Troy

P.S. You can read more about the latest Haitian Creole workshop and see a picture here.

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Closing on the House

Closing didn’t happen this past Tuesday or Wednesday. I’ve moved my loan application to a different institution and hope that everything proceeds well. The loan guy is quite confident that he can get the loan for me. He’s the one who pre-approved me in December, and my situation since then has improved greatly. Pray for the Lord to work everything out, especially in light of my upcoming trip to Singapore and the Philippines.

My mom and I begin the drive to MI today. We’ll be passing through VA and PA today to pick up stuff for a friend and for myself. Then we’ll drive over to MI tomorrow. Please pray for journeying mercies.

I praise the Lord for the safety He gave for my trip to Boston. The flight back was postponed a day, but that gave me more time with friends over there. I’m very thankful I went and had a great time getting to know people there. I also really enjoyed my second visit to Boston. The first was in 2000 or 2001 when I was visiting a pastor-friend in NH.

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Coming to a Close

I praise the Lord for all the help He gave as I conducted the Haitian Creole OT workshop in the office these past three weeks. I thought we would get only through Psalm 60, but we ended up covering all the way through Psalm 82. As I mentioned earlier, this faster pace meant that I had to keep preparing more material to stay ahead of the workshop. I had finished through Psalm 58, so I had many more chapters to check in preparation for the workshop time. Because of all the other things I had going on these past few weeks (see below), I was able to prepare only through Psalm 82 as of yesterday evening. Well, we finished Psalm 82 at 2:40pm today, just 20 minutes before I needed to leave! Praise God!

It was such a blessing to sense His guiding presence as we worked through the material. There were many times in which I could sense the Spirit’s illuminating help to arrive at a right understanding of the Hebrew text. The Lord also gave Daniel and me a very cooperative spirit to work well together, better than we ever have in the past. We really got into a good rhythm as we worked together for around 8 hours a day for three weeks.

I also praise the Lord for helping the experience to be so much more than an academic exercise. The Spirit really nourished us on His Word as we studied it intensely. One verse has been etched deeply into my mind after I evaluated Pastor Daniel Telfort’s translation of it. He translated Psalm 65:1 like this: “O God, silence is praise for you in Zion. We will fulfill the vows that we have made.” At first, I questioned his translation of the first line. But as I studied the Hebrew further and checked some sources, I realized it was an excellent way to render the Hebrew. It is supported by Louis Segond’s French translation as well. “Silence” means “quiet resignation” here. What a blessing to know that my quiet acceptance of God’s dealings with my life can be received by Him as praise!

Another activity is coming to a close in my life–the purchase of my first house! The closing is set for June 21. If all goes well, I’ll then leave for Greenville, SC, on June 22 to begin the process of moving into my new home. God’s presence has been so evident throughout the process. Please pray for His continued blessing on this and that He would keep all safe as we travel and then move my stuff out of my former place and into my new place.

I leave today to attend a friend’s sister’s wedding in Boston. It’s a quick trip, but I’m looking forward to a break from the workshop and to good times with friends.

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The workshop continues to go very well. We finished checking through Psalm 60 today. That was the amount of material I had prepared for the entire three weeks! That means I’ve been having to prepare more material in the evenings. I’ll be working throughout the weekend to get enough prepared to last us at least through Wednesday. So far I’ve prepared through Psalm 68:17. I need to get all the way through Psalm 80 in order to have enough material for the entire week. Please pray for strength and stamina to keep doing intense thinking. It’s difficult to engage in such deep analysis of three different languages (sometimes, four–Hebrew, French, Haitian Creole, and Greek) all day long and then to do more of it throughout the evening. But it is such a privilege to study the Word of God so deeply and to understand better what God’s Word is saying.

The purchase of a new house continues to go very well. The loaning institution said my closing should take place on June 21. That will give me just enough time–and no more–to gather together all my belongings in SC and MI and move into my new place, and also get settled into it before I leave for Singapore. It’s going to be a whirlwind for the next three weeks, but it’s going to be exciting. Please continue to pray for God’s blessing and guidance. I praise Him for all the mercies He’s already shown me throughout this process.

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Daniel arrived only a few minutes late and one piece of luggage didn’t come with him. But otherwise, he arrived safely and in good time, though quite worn out. But he recovered well and was ready for the workshop on Monday. We began by checking some things that we hadn’t finished up at the last workshop. Usually, the translator has to “take home” some issues to speak to his editors about or to work on more on his own.

Once we finished with those, we jumped into Genesis 41. The Lord helped us to finish Genesis by Wednesday midday. What a relief to get that book done! Then we moved back into the Psalms. We began with Psalm 25 and got through Psalm 35 by the end of the week. We are going at a very good pace! In fact, we’re moving quicker than I expected. I had prepared all the way through Psalm 58, but it looks like we may get to Psalm 80, if we keep up with our current pace. So I’ve been preparing more material today. I’ve gotten through Psalm 64 so far. I’m praising the Lord for answering prayers and giving us such a good workshop. We may actually finish Psalms and Proverbs sooner than I thought!

Update on my house… The house passed inspection on Tuesday with no major problems. The only issue is that there is a higher level of radon than should be there. So we’ll be installing a radon mitigation system soon. The homeowners have agreed to pay for that.

Pray for the closing. I’d like to close and get moved into the house before I leave for Singapore on July 1. I’ll need to fly down to Greenville, SC, and get the rest of my stuff, since I’ve been moving away from SC in stages. Very soon, I’ll have all my belongings under one roof!

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