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Archive for June, 2014

Thankfully, the second week of the workshop was less intense than the first. This was due in part to the fact that I cancelled Monday and Wednesdays sessions so the translator could prepare more material, while I worked on what he had already submitted. This gave me the opportunity to meet with some people on those days and to present the need for mother-tongue translations to the Missionary Linguistics Program students at the BJU chapel. The Haitian Creole translator also got to share some words about the significance of the Word of God in Haitian Creole. 

We were able to finish Leviticus by early afternoon on Friday. We also went through Numbers 1. We’ll finish Numbers at the next workshop and also try to do some of Deuteronomy. The next workshop is scheduled for November and will be in Haiti. 

One of the primary purposes of having the workshop down here was so that I could connect with prospective consultants. I ended up doing that with 10 different people. A secondary purpose was to inform my supporters about my work. There were also around 35 observers who also came to understand better what we consultants do in our content checking workshops. God answered prayer! The workshop went more slowly since I had to explain things to the visitors as they came, but we had less material. The Lord was clearly arranging everything! 

I praise the Lord for how graciously Mt. Calvary Baptist Church hosted the workshop. They made it so comfortable for us! I sure will miss having such wonderful accommodations at future workshops, because the environment is typically much hotter and less comfortable. But there’s more to life than physical comfort! It’s a joy to serve the Lord in this way!

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It seems that workshops become a time of intense, spiritual warfare for me. The temptations from within and without heighten to a new level when I conduct workshops. As if the intensity of trying to get the necessary work done for the Creole workshop weren’t enough, I also had many other pressure-packed situations to deal with in the midst of it all. As the head consultant, I often have to deal with urgent and sensitive matters, but it seems that they often increase in amount during workshops. I usually have to deal with these matters through email, so that just makes the situation even more complex. Pray for me, as I’m very discouraged about various matters right now.

Though I’ve had some discouraging happenings recently, I’m thankful for the blessings God showered upon me through my study of Leviticus in preparation for this workshop. I read through some introductory material on the two flights down to Greenville (I was upgraded to first class on one of the legs!), and it provided good food for thought in preparation for my devotionals during the workshop.

On Monday, I shared a devotional entitled “Grace in Leviticus.” It finally clicked for me in a new way that the OT Law was given to an already redeemed people to help them maintain their covenant relationship with God. Thus, God gave the Law to help them maintain that relationship. Surely that’s grace! It also teaches them how to live holy lives, and it points them and us to Christ. All of that is God’s gracious provision, indeed!

On Tuesday, I gave a devotional entitled “Mercy in Leviticus.” Leviticus explains God’s means of propitiation to restore a right relationship with Him. That’s mercy! He promised that on the Day of Atonement, ALL sins and iniquities would be forgiven (except those with a “high hand)! Of course, Leviticus also mentions the importance of repentance and confession with the sacrifices, for the sacrifices didn’t convey God’s grace apart from that. God even showed His mercy in giving poor people certain concessions on the sacrifices they had to bring. And when you compare the death-penalty sentences in Leviticus with the forgiveness God granted David for His adultery and forgiveness, you discover that God’s death-penalty sentences are not all there is to the story. There’s mercy even behind them!

Two others gave devotionals on Wed and Thurs, and then I gave another on Fri. I spoke about the lepers who were healed by Jesus (Mark 1:40-45 and parallels). I noted that I have not been going to the OT for background to such stories like I should have been doing. Leviticus 13:45-46 says that lepers were to be cast outside the camp, effectively to live out the rest of their days. Though certain forms of the infectious skin disease called “leprosy” in Scripture (which is not the leprosy, or Hansen’s disease, that we know about) are treatable today, they did not receive treatment in the Scripture times, because the lepers were removed from all help. Leviticus 5:3-13 says that a person would become unclean if they touched a leper, so this raises the significance to the fact that Jesus touched the leper in the NT. He showed His compassion and also that He transcended the Law as the fulfillment of the Law! And Jesus healed the leper–something that almost never happened!

So, I’m thankful for the blessings God gave this past week in spite of the many discouragements! God is good!

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The first week of the Haitian Creole workshop was quite intense. I probably put in around 65 hours in actual consultation work, preparation for it, preparing English back-translations for the visitors, fellowshipping with the various potential consultants, and also keeping up with urgent administrative matters. I thought we’d get through all of Leviticus, so I wanted to get through the whole book in my preparations. I got all the back-translations finished by Wed, but when I saw that we weren’t going to get through all the book in this first week of the workshop, I decided I could ease up a little bit. At one point I began to get concerned that we’d even get through the book in the two weeks, but it seeming pretty likely now. We have finished through chapter 19, so we have only 8 more to do. We are not planning on meeting Mon and Wed, because I wanted to give the translator time to prepare more material.

I’ve been able to connect with 9 potential consultants. I had targeted 15 in the area, but only 5 of them have showed up so far. But the Lord has sent 4 others! I haven’t had too many observers from the church, but I’m thankful for the dozen or so who have come throughout the week. Pray for God to continue to work in this second week! The church has been such extremely gracious hosts, so it’s made the workshop so pleasant!

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