Archive for April, 2012

A couple of weekends ago I began a vegetable garden, and last weekend, I planted some flowers as ground cover in my front courtyard. I’ve really enjoyed having my own new home and personalizing it as I want it, but it’s making me think that maybe I’m becoming too domestic! Actually I think I have a long ways to go in that regard, because my repertoire of recipes is still quite slim. But with a cookbook created by men and for men, I might just beef up that repertoire at a fast pace!

I’ve enjoyed my phonetics and phonology studies as I prepare to teach at Maranatha. This week I studied how tone affects meaning. Sometimes on deputation I would give a hypothetical case where tone can make the difference between “mother-in-law” and “dog.” Well, I found something that’s quite close. In Mandarin Chinese the word “ma” can either mean “mother” or “horse” (among two other possibilities), depending on what tone you attach to it. Wow! Little things can make a big difference!

I found out I’ll have 26 students in my class in May. An experienced teacher who has taught the class many times said that’s a huge number, partly because the course involves administering an oral quiz and an oral test, among other assignments. It should be a very packed two weeks! One week left to prepare and only about 1.5 hours of lecture left to prepare. 

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Pastor Oliver, the pastor of my supporting church in Belding, MI, asked me a few weeks ago if I would like to join him and his pastoral staff for the BJU pastors/wives fellowship in Lansing. I had received the invitation from BJU myself, but quickly discarded it since I am not a pastor and don’t have a wife. But Pastor Oliver explained when he called that those qualifications are not absolute musts for attending this fellowship. Though I have SO MUCH to do here at BI, I decided to set aside the day for the fellowship.

I’m so thankful I went last Monday, because the fellowship was very encouraging. It was great to see Dr. Bob III, Dr. McAllister, and Mrs. Yost from BJU. Their fellowship and teaching times were warm-hearted and informative. I learned much about the current state of the typical college student at BJU (and probably other similar schools). I was also blessed by the men as they sought to encourage us in our work for the Lord. It was truly a blessing to set aside that day for the fellowship.

I must add that I also thoroughly enjoyed driving to and from Lansing that day. For some reason getting on the highway is so relaxing and therapeutic for me. It seemed like it had been forever since I had last been on a highway, but it was actually only two weeks earlier. I really enjoyed the relaxation on the way over as I thought through various ministry and life issues, prayed through them, prayed for friends and family, and just meditated on some of the riches in Christ. On the way back I fellowshiped mostly with my mom on the phone, but that was good too!

But now that I’m back in the office I need to figure out how to regain that day that was lost. I’ve already had to put in some overtime and will have to do more, especially as that linguistics course at Maranatha is looming on the horizon. I have only 2 weeks left to prepare. So far I’ve prepared enough lecture material for 6.5 days. 3.5 days to go!

I was so pleased to see last night that a supporting couple increased their support for me some. Praise the Lord for His continual provision!

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Though I went to around 170 churches during my deputation travels, I was still confronted by a question at the end that I had never been asked: how many language projects has BI completed? Well, now I’m prepared for that question, because I’ve run the totals. As of this month, we have completed 5 Bibles, 28 New Testaments (including 4 that are at the printer or very close–see projects in parentheses below), and 1 Gospel portion. That’s 34 languages in 14 countries. And who knows how many millions of people are represented by those languages?!

Here are the details:



  • Dendi NT

Central African Republic

  • Sango Bible


  • Day NT
  • Ngamh NT
  • Sara Kaba Dem NT
  • Sara Kaba Naa NT
  • Sara Madjingaye NT
  • Tumag NT

Cote d’Ivoire

  • Kaowlu NT
  • Neao NT


  • Waalii Bible


  • Zarma Bible


  • Kabiyé NT

Americas & Caribbean


  • Makushi NT


  • Creole NT


  • Quechua NT


  • Warao NT

Asia & Pacific


  • (Chakma NT)
  • Chiru NT
  • Darlong NT
  • Deori Gospel of John
  • (Inpui Naga NT)
  • Lamkaang NT
  • Manipuri Bible
  • Mizo NT
  • Paite Bible
  • Ranglong NT
  • Simte NT


  • (Bualkhaw NT)
  • Falam Chin NT
  • Matu NT
  • Tedim Chin NT
  • (Zotung NT)


  • Tagalog NT

May God continue to sustain us as we help the 35 current projects in 14 different countries! And how many millions more will be reached through those Scriptures?!

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Bibles International always experiences some changes in personnel, but it seems that the changes have increased pace recently. And most of them are support roles for us consultants. The administrative assistant for the Text Production Department (my department) and the Projects Department resigned around a month ago. The Projects Manager is transferring to a different ministry at the end of June. One of his text formatters is retiring on June 15. A Projects coordinator is retiring even later in the year. Thankfully, the main formatter is not leaving any time soon, though he did fall on the ice recently and came close to dying. But he will be retiring in a few years. And speaking of injuries, one of our staff members is home with three dislocated fingers, and another has a swollen, sprained ankle. So, we need prayer for the Lord to raise up laborers for this corner of the harvest! And we need prayers for us to be kept safe from any more injuries!

Thankfully, we are also experiencing additions. Text Production always has new consultants coming our way. I’m in constant communication with potential candidates. We just secured a relationship with another national adjunct consultant for southeast Asia. A high school sophomore, some college students, and some graduate students are considering plans to join us. Thank God for how He is raising up laborers! But we consultants need people in the support roles. We can’t do our work without them!

As you can see, not everyone here at BI is a language expert. In fact, some here at the Home Office are thankful that they have a good grasp of English alone. But as is the proper functioning of the body, every part is needed for successful operations!

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Late last year when I had to share a brief word at a men’s luncheon, the Lord brought this thought into my mind to share as part of my testimony: Think of where you would be now if you were not saved when you were young. The more I come to know my sinful flesh, the better I understand how my depravity would manifest itself apart from the constraining power of the Holy Spirit. I PRAISE God for saving me and keeping me from where I would be right now if I were left to myself.


God’s grace has truly been evident through the provision of His people recently. My support reached 100% by early March! PRAISE God with me that my 4.5-year deputation ministry has finally come to completion! Victory Baptist Church of Reading, PA; Waterman Baptist Church of Kingman, IN; Independent Bible Church of Duryea, PA; and three individuals joined my support team over the past few months. I thank God that I no longer have to divert my attention to setting up meetings at new churches and traveling to present my ministry at those churches. But lest you think that my ministry at churches is done, I’ve already begun reporting to my supporting churches, since I haven’t been to some since 2007! It’s such a blessing, however, to return to the churches that have already committed to praying for and supporting me. I’ve already been to three so far, and I’m setting up plans to visit others soon.


I spent over five weeks in India, Myanmar, and Singapore in the early part of this year. I preached at around a dozen churches, spoke at two Christian schools (where many unsaved kids attend) and a Bible college, met with numerous different translation personnel, conducted a translation workshop for the Darlong OT, and led a consultant seminar. Almost every speaking opportunity had to be interpreted, and almost every time was interpreted into a different language than before.

What a blessing it was to meet with godly men and women who are longing to have the Word of God in their language! The Darlong committee has been meeting daily for the past many months to make sure their Old Testament is of highest quality. Believers have already placed their orders and given money, though the Bible won’t be ready until 2014.

One Simte pastor marveled that his small language group was among the less than 500 languages in the world (of about 7,000 total) that has the complete Bible in their language. Other believers spoke glowingly of the impact that the Simte Bible has had in their lives. One faithful man said, I cannot read English and I cannot translate English. Because of the Simte Bible, I can read the Bible, and my children can read the Bible, and through that I got eternal life and salvation. What a privilege to help such people! We are currently revising the Simte, having finished revising the NT a few years ago.

In Myanmar, Mizo believers actually pled with me to help them get the Old Testament into their language. We finished the New Testament a few years ago and are just beginning the OT. One man’s testimony was particularly striking. He was a drunk but got saved through the preaching of the Word and the reading of the Mizo NT. Now he has a burden to reach other drunken men with the same gospel that saved him.

So, this trip renewed my burden for this ministry and energized me to work harder to help these people around the world get their Scriptures more quickly but still of high quality.

PRAISE the Lord that the Kabiyé people in Togo and the Quechua people in Peru have their NT’s now. PRAY as I prepare for another Haitian Creole OT workshop. The translator will be flying up here in June, so we can check through Proverbs. Pray for us to finish that book. PRAY also as I prepare to teach a basic linguistics course at Maranatha Baptist Bible College in May. I am praying the Lord will call students to join us at Bibles International. Thanks for your prayers!


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