Archive for April, 2013

I want to praise the Lord for how He has so magnificently met two long-standing prayer requests for BI. First, He enabled BI to have a good fiscal year, which ended at the end of March. It’s been difficult the past few years because of the weak American economy, but the Lord has been carrying us through.

Second, he has provided two new managers, finally rounding out the Administrative Team at BI. Just before I began at BI in Aug 2007, the Stewardship Manager, Larry Fogle, was called to a different ministry in Mar 2007. We went for a number of years without a Stewardship Manager, and then the Director, Dr. Hantz Bernard, decided that he would hire a Stewardship Coordinator and then fulfill the manager position himself. That arrangement seemed to work OK until the Projects Manager, Bob Thompson, was called to a different ministry in June 2012. Then, the director had to assume a third ministry position, proving to be too great of a load for any one person! So, we’ve been searching and praying for the Lord to provide a new Projects Manager. In the search, the Lord eventually provided not only a new Projects Manager but also a new Stewardship Manager. Early this summer, Joe Valentin will assume the Projects Manager position, and Gary Walton will assume the Stewardship Manager position. Of course, the orientation to these two positions will mean that the Administrative Team won’t be fully functioning right away, but we are encouraged that help is on the way! The four manager positions haven’t been all filled at the same time since before I got here in 2007.

This is also encouraging for us, because recently we have been seeing more leave than join the staff here. Two full-time men retired last year, and a single lady (part-time) transferred to a different organization. And we have one man retiring in the middle of 2013, and a lady retiring at the end of the year. That’s 6 people leaving in two years! So, no wonder we are excited about the additions! I did gain a new administrative assistant (who serves not only my department but also the Projects Department) last year, so we will be gaining 3 in two years. That means we are decreasing by only 3!

My department usually gains many more than we lose. We did lose one consultant who was making her way our direction, and another transferred from being full-time to being an adjunct. But I have also been in correspondence with 4 other potential adjuncts. One consultant, Alex Wheeler, just completed his support-raising this week and will be heading to India in June. Two other consultants are in the early stages of deputation, and a third is trying to get her visa issues worked out so she can join us. So, we lost only 2 (technically only 1 loss since the second will stay on as an adjunct), but we should be adding 8! God is good!

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A Day in the Life…

A supporter recently asked me what I actually do in the office. I posted something about this in a previous post quite a while ago, so I thought I’d do something like this again. Besides, I can’t think of what else to talk about since I’m not on any major, overseas trip. And also, the only thing that comes to mind to blog about is what I’m currently doing.

I’ve structured this week so that the days typically go as follows:

8-10 AM: work through the emails that have come through since the previous workday, and try to whittle away at other emails from previous days, weeks, months, yea, even years

10-10:30: BI break and devotions

10:30-11:00: whittle away at more emails

11:00-12:00: prepare Bible Book outlines for a project in NE India that is nearing publication (and for our future Bibles)

12:00-12:30 PM: lunch

12:30-4:30: prepare lectures for linguistics course that I’ll be teaching at Maranatha in early May

Of course, not a day has happened yet in which I keep exactly to this schedule. Sometimes a meeting takes an hour or two, or a phone call, or a visit by someone to the office. And sometimes I let one task bleed over into the time for another task. But in general, this is the schedule I’ve been following this week and will be following to the end of the month. This is my typical day right now. Once I get beyond the Maranatha course, I’ll have the afternoon free to work on other BI projects. But eventually the afternoon slot will need to be taken up with workshop preparations. That will begin sometime this summer as I begin thinking about two workshops in Chad and Benin in September. Never a dull moment around here! (and I’m thankful for that!)


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Dear Family and Friends,

I thank the Lord for a precious truth, given to me at the beginning of my 10-week trip, that would carry me throughout the entire time. It came at a coffee shop just outside the Kolkata airport, while I was preparing for the Simte OT workshop. As I was working through the Simte translation of Ruth, I came across the Simte rendering of “Almighty.” The Simte use the compound word Bangkimbawltheipa, which means “the One who can do everything.” I reflected on that truth and saw God demonstrate it in my life throughout the trip.


My first destination was northeast India, where I led a consultant seminar and conducted a workshop on the book of Numbers in Simte. The seminar provided good opportunities for discussion about our Asia projects and growth in my knowledge of the Hebrew verb in biblical poetry.


My next assignment loomed large in my mind because of the grueling nature of the first three weeks and the stressful aspects of the second two weeks. I flew to New Britain Island just off the cost of the main island of PNG to do the first portion, a workshop to check as many chapters of the Kaulong NT as possible. We normally limit our daily time with the translators to six-seven hours because of the intense nature of the work; but because we had to complete all the checking during my workshop and a co-worker’s workshop immediately after mine, we really had to stretch ourselves. We worked eight-nine hours each day, and I had to work another one-two hours each evening to prepare more material. But the Lord gave unusual strength and stamina, and we were able to finish 59 chapters! My co-worker then completed the remaining 28 chapters and began the quality checks to prepare the text for publication. PRAISE God for answering prayer!


Pray for these men as they begin their work!

Pray for these men as they begin their work!

The next stop was in the highlands of PNG. During the two weeks there, a total of 25 men participated in the training. I had never taught through the entire translator training course by myself, nor had I ever guided people through the process of setting up a new project—but with God’s grace and the help of a BI co-worker, everything fell into place just beautifully! Five translators from four different provinces have already begun the translation of the new Tok Pisin (Pidgin English) NT! PRAISE God for paving the way for things start up so well! Please PRAY for grace as they continue the work.


While I was in India, an opportunity opened up to participate in a missions conference in Guam, so I headed there after my time in PNG. It was a blessing to give Harvest Baptist Church a better understanding of the worldwide need for Bible translation and to pass on information to help them better meet the translation needs on the Pacific islands. My trip concluded with a quick weekend in Singapore and a week in Myanmar, where I met with consultants and helped the Tedim Chin NT team with the remaining material to be checked before publication.

My next major assignment is teaching the second portion of Basic Linguistics at Maranatha Baptist Bible College in May. My next overseas trip is not until September, when I’ll be going to Africa. Thank you for your continued prayers!

For the Cause of Christ,


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