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Archive for August, 2012

I just read a report on our Bualkhaw NT dedication in southeast Asia and had to share some of the details. As the report mentioned, Satan was definitely opposed to this project from start to finish. The first translator died (I can’t remember the details of the cause), and the next translator is now fully paralyzed and can’t talk any more. But he finished the translation work. But as Satan is a roaring lion always on the prowl, he didn’t give up. The NT were printed, but then they ran into difficulties getting them transported to the dedication site. When we found out that they were not being shipped as was planned to the final destination, three national believers had to transport the heavy boxes one by one on motorcycle taxis during multiple days and nights on sometimes slippery roads and paths. The NTs finally arrived at the dedication site only one day before the dedication. But Satan wasn’t done yet! While the leaders were preparing just before the service, there was an earthquake lasting 40 seconds. Whether or not Satan has anything to do with earthquakes, it’s clear that there were many events that almost prevented these NTs from getting into the people’s hands. But they did! And they did, because it was God’s will that they did! Nothing can stop the hand of God from bringing His will to pass!

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The mission of Bibles International is to provide Scriptures for the “millions who still wait.” This includes helping to translate Scriptures for those who have nothing or who have inadequate Scriptures. I didn’t know the exact distribution of our projects among these two types of projects, and I had assumed that more of our projects were with those language groups that have inadequate Scriptures. In fact, I thought the number was around 75% of our current projects. Well, it turns out that around 50% of our projects are with language groups that have inadequate Scriptures, and the other half are with those who have nothing. We currently have 51 language groups listed on our quarterly Prayer Guide, and 27 of them are “first Bibles” (technically, first NTs), and in 18 of these 27 we are still working on Scriptures.

While we can’t say that we would necessarily rather help only those languages that have no Scriptures (since inadequate Scriptures can do great damage to people, if the are extremely poor), we can be thankful that we are heavily involved in language groups that have no Scriptures.

What are the current needs? Well, there are 4,142 languages with no Scriptures at all, as of 2011. Wycliffe estimates that 2,252 of these need Bible translation work to begin (the others are ones where the language is dying out and/or the people can understand another language well), as of 2009. In my blog post on April 14, 2011, I noted the needs in Chad–40% of the people have no access to Scripture in their own language. That represents 89 of the 129 languages in Chad! Some of these are quite large language groups. The Kanembu have 461,000 speakers. The Dazaga have 381,000. The Maba have 296,000; the Musey 229,000; and the Naba 278,000. That’s a ton of people with no good access to Scripture!

Pray with us that we will have wisdom as we try to meet these needs!

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A Success Story

Earlier in the summer I noted NT projects that took 13-15 years to complete. Thankfully, though, not all of our projects take that long. A translator from southeast Asia visited the office yesterday and gave us more information about his project that is nearing completion. He noted that he began his translation work in 2006 and that he finished it in 2010. That’s only 5 years! It’s going to take another 2.5 years to get this text ready for dedication, but that’s still only 7.5 years for the whole project. What a blessing!

He also explained more about the current Bible situation among his people. All of the people in his church association of 28 churches as well as all other denominations are using a translation based on Today’s English Version (TEV). It has been revised but just on the level of the target language, not in regards to the original languages. An RSV-based NT was done in 2000, but it’s considered hard to read. Also, an evangelist in our translator’s church has done his own translation and is now looking for a publisher. He translated from another translation in his country. A one-man show that is based on a translation of a translation! Do you see the need for BI to produce a Bible for these people?? An expert in this language said that our NT is of excellent quality and will be well received.

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Dear Family and Friends,

I recently finished a biographical sketch of Henry Martyn in Five Pioneer Missionaries. Martyn poured much of his life into the translation of the New Testament into Urdu, Arabic, and Persian. Because of his work he could testify, What do I not owe to the Lord, for permitting me to take part in a translation of His Word? Never did I see such wonder and wisdom and love in the blessed book, as since I have been obliged to study every expression…. I can offer similar expressions of gratitude and joy as I do my work at BI and hope those feelings will only deepen in the years to come.

MARANATHA BAPTIST BIBLE COLLEGE

I PRAISE the Lord for how He enabled me to make it through my first time of teaching Basic Linguistics at Maranatha in May. The preparations only intensified as the course neared and even while it was going on. The Lord eased my load a bit when a few students withdrew their enrollment, bringing the total to 21. I had a great time working through the material with the students, though I entered the first few classes with trepidation. I’m thankful for all I learned and for good relationships I built with students. At least three expressed a definite interest in being a part of BI in the future.

HAITIAN CREOLE WORKSHOP

Before I could even catch my breath after my time at Maranatha, I had to prepare for the upcoming Creole workshop at the Home Office. I had two weeks to prepare for that two-week event. Normally, preparation time is longer than workshop time with the translator, so I ended up having to continue my preparations each evening after I began meeting with the translator.

Our goal was to finish the book of Proverbs. Based on my calculation, that goal was quite achievable, but its accomplishment seemed doubtful when we would have to take an unexpectedly longer period of time to cover certain verses. But, thankfully, we finished the last verse at 12 pm on the last day of the workshop! We are still somewhat on target to finish Psalms and Proverbs to go alongside a reprinted NT by 2014. We hope to wrap up the work in the December 2012 and June 2013 workshops. Please PRAY for God’s blessing on the translation team in Haiti as they do their work. Life in Haiti often brings unforeseen setbacks.

DEDICATIONS

Though my attention was mostly on Haitian Creole for an entire month, I’ve also had at least an indirect part in other translations that are coming to completion this summer. The Chakma and Inpui Naga NTs are being dedicated in India, as are the Bualkhaw and Zotung NTs in southeast Asia. PRAY for large-scale acceptance and widespread use of these Scriptures.

FURLOUGH

My last letter gave glory to God for helping me finish deputation, but already I need to report on my furlough activities. Because of the nature of my ministry and my location, I have to intersperse reporting to churches in the midst of my BI activities. I have already reported to five of my supporting churches, having begun in November. My next trip will be to Quebec in September. It’s such a blessing to return to these churches and tell them what the Lord is doing through their prayers and financial support. PRAY for me to be a blessing to them.

PRAY also as I prepare for the Consultant Seminar this month, while also staying on top of many other tasks. PRAISE the Lord for providing a new part-time administrative assistant to help with my department and the Projects department. PRAY as well for the Lord to raise up more laborers and to move in hearts to help with the financial needs at BI. The needs are great, especially in light of the numerous Bible dedications; but we are looking to the Lord to supply.

For the Cause of Christ,

Troy

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