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Archive for January, 2012

(Note: The title of this post was originally “The Last $100”, but I just realized that Singaporean dollars are less in value than US dollars. Plus, I wasn’t doing some other calculations correctly. So I need slightly more than I thought earlier!)

I’m down to the last $100/month to raise for my missionary support. I praise the Lord that I’m at the end of this long deputation trail that began in September of 2007. Waterman Baptist Church, pastored by Bill Lehman, of Kingman, IN, took me on for support last Sunday. That brings me to 98%! It would be wonderful if I could receive news before I leave for Asia that the remaining support has been filled. Then I could celebrate with people here in the USA. But I’ve learned to just trust the Lord’s timing on all this.

I had a blessed time of fellowship and worship with the people of Faith Baptist Church in Danville, IL, last Sunday. Pastor Rudie and his people treated me very graciously. I had been to Danville to play basketball when I was in high school in Schaumburg, so this was my first time to go there on friendly terms! I thank the Lord for keeping me safe as I drove down south on Friday evening and then headed back on Sunday evening. There were times on Friday when I had to slow down to 30 mph, but thankfully, that wasn’t very often. But most of the time I drove under the speed limit by around 10 mph. At one spot in Indiana, I had to pass an overturned camper trailer that was blocking both lanes of traffic. It was a fairly stressful trip, but I’m glad it had a happy ending.

I have only a few more days to prepare for my 6-week trip to India. I’m wrapping up today my second seminar material at the Bible college. Later today I’m going to look over some material for a translation checking workshop that I’ll be conducting. Tomorrow I hope to get some other projects done, since I think I’m going to be very busy once I get overseas.

Please pray for physical and spiritual safety, effective ministry, and opportunities for witness and edification. Pray also for grace as this will be my longest short-term trip overseas. I’ll be headquartered in at least 3 different locations in India, and I’ll be traveling a good bit between stops.

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The rhythm of routine has been resonating in my spirit. I’ve been able to enjoy routine since January 1 and will get another week’s dose of it next week before I embark on my trip for Asia. Yesterday when the cold rain was falling, I rejoiced in the privilege I had to return to a warm, comfortable, dry home to enjoy a quiet evening of relaxation and preparation for the next day (it turns out that I had very little time to relax since I was busy preparing for my weekend trip to Danville, IL, but it was still nice to be home!). One of the less desirable aspects of routine in Grand Rapids, however, is shoveling snow. Last night we got our second significant snowfall, so I spent 20 minutes this morning clearing my driveway. Thankfully, I have a 6-week trip to Asia coming up, so I’ll miss most of the rest of the snowfalls. I do like the beauty of a snowfall and I appreciate the good exercise that some shoveling provides, but I don’t think I’ll cry about what I’m missing when I’m in the warm temperatures of Asia!

Though the past few weeks have been loaded down with work, I’m thankful for the daily strength God gives. I posted the hymn “Day by Day” on my bathroom mirror and have relished the words of that beloved song. My favorite words are “He whose heart is kind beyond all measure gives unto each day what He deems best.”

Someone recently asked for the Songhai word for “fight.” I’m not sure what their purpose was in that request, but I passed it along to the missionary coordinator over this project. He replied with the following:

You didn’t know what you were getting yourself into when you asked for “fight” in Songhai! Not sure who wants to fight in Songhai, or why, but there are several words that can fit, depending on the context. I once heard in a linguistic class that you can tell a lot about a culture by the words that have a lot of synonyms! Well, here’s what we have in Songhai – take your pick! (I’ve included a few scripture references for where any words are used in our NT!)

addaawa, alfitina (Act 17:5, 19:40), yenje (Mat 26:5; Luk 12:51) – quarrel or fight, verbal or physical

citi (Mat 7:1-2), kakaw (Mk 8:11; Jn 6:52) – dispute, disagreement, debate (similar to yenje, but not as heated!)

dukur (Mat 18:34; Act 16:22) – being angry

gurje (Gen 32:24,28) – coming to blows with someone or a battle

kalafu – publicly disagree with, oppose, or contradict someone – kind-of in between citi and yenje!

tangam (Mat 12:30; 1Tim 6:12) – generally has the idea of war, to fight against something, to contest for something

tonye (Act 7:27; 15:10) – to blame, accuse, tease, be aggressive

wangu (Gen 39:10; 49:19) – the primary word for a war or battle, but can also mean just to disagree with someone!

Hope you find what you’re looking for! Let me know if you have any other questions!

I haven’t heard back from the inquirer yet, but I’m sure he’s blown away by the complicated response! Anyone want to help us translate the Bible into Songhai??

I leave tonight to head towards Danville, IL, for my Sunday meeting at Faith Baptist Church. The weather is definitely not conducive to driving 5 hours, but I’m hoping and praying things will clear up as the day progresses. I heard that northern IN may get 15 inches today. Yikes! Please pray for traveling safety and effective ministry.

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First week back

I just completed my first week back in the office for 2012. This week is also the first week in which I consider myself to be full-time and finished with deputation. The week actually began on Tuesday morning, and that morning started with a meeting with all of us in the Administrative Group. We spent a couple of hours discussing various administrative matters. During the meeting I received some very welcome news. A church in MN is considering their missions commitments tomorrow, so they wanted to know what my needs were. What a blessing to hear of how the Lord is answering our prayers! Please pray for their discussions tomorrow.

On Thursday I also noticed that another couple added themselves to my support team. That brings me up to 96%! If the church in MN takes me on, I will be very near 100% or even at it. How exciting!

One of my plans after becoming full-time was to spend a little time each day reading up on the various goings-on in translation and linguistics, in order to sharpen my thinking skills, grow my knowledge, stay current on various developments, and find ways in which we can improve our ministry. I began by reading an article in the Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary’s journal on KJV and Fundamentalism. How I hope and pray that good people don’t divide over a translation we produce as has happened in fundamentalism with the KJV!

I also learned that there are some currently produced technical journals on translation–Journal of Translation, Notes on Translation, and Current Trends in Scripture Translation. I hope to peruse those as I have time.

But how the week can so quickly turn into a blur where I have little time to do anything else besides just staying on top of the various ministry responsibilities! Though I felt overwhelmed at times, I also found myself thanking God for having the privilege of doing something I really enjoy and of being able to help people around the world in such an impacting way. May God enable me to have wisdom and grace to keep up with the fastly increasing pace of ministry. I will soon be wondering how in the world I ever had time for deputation!

I leave in two weeks for a 6-week trip to Asia. I have to prepare for a Consultant Seminar in India, two lectures at a Bible college (How we got our Bible, Aspects of Canonization), and numerous speaking opportunities. In addition, there is the constant flow of issues of support for our consultants and translation helps that we continue to produce. Please keep praying!

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