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Archive for March, 2015

Life has been pretty crazy for me every since late October, and now things are finally calming down. First it was a trip to PNG in early October for a Tok Pisin workshop. Then right after Thanksgiving I went to Haiti for a Haitian Creole workshop. I had 1 week home before I went to Ukraine to be with my girlfriend (who is now my fiancée!) at Christmas for 2.5 weeks. There were 2 weeks at home after that, and one was spent doing strategic planning all day for 4 days. That left me with basically 1 week to prepare for a two-week trip to Côte d’Ivoire in late Jan/early Feb. I had 2 days after that trip before I headed out again for 4.5 weeks in Ukraine and India. Of course, that stop-over in Ukraine was to propose to my girlfriend, so I had no problem conjuring up the strength to do that, and then the joy of that carried me all the way through India.

But then I finally arrived home for a longer respite last Monday, and I crashed! I actually think I went into a mini-depression. I also had a stomach bug I endured in India that revisited me on Tuesday. It was all I could do to put one foot in front of the other to dig myself out of the pile of work waiting for me when I got home (I’m still digging!). It’s been a tough 5 months, and the adrenalin was quite high because of my engagement, so it was natural for me to go through a “low” last week. Thankfully, with the help of my fiancée’s encouragement and prayers, the fellowship of other believers, and time in the Word and prayer, I am back to a somewhat normal condition.

And during these past 5 grueling months, I can testify to God’s faithfulness. I still remember feeling overwhelmed at various times as I prepared for each assignment. Either the assignment called for more preparation than I had time for, or it involved a unique twist that I had not yet encountered, or both. A lot of evenings were filled with work, and even some Sundays. I also had to read on airplanes and buses when I would have preferred just to relax. But God gave strength and helped me through it all.

I’ll share just a few examples of how God helped. When I was preparing to go to Côte d’Ivoire, I wondered how I could do lots of interpretation into French for my co-worker, analyze the quality of 2 New Testaments (that we completed a number of years ago) to determine how much revision needed to be done, and evaluate their orthographies to see if it still worked for the spoken form of these two languages. God sent two Africans to help with the French interpretation, He gave me good ideas for how to train them in French on how to evaluate their own NTs, and He provided various resources so I could lead the Africans through evaluations of their orthographies. I still marvel at how well that came together!

Having only 2 days between my Africa and India trips sure put lots of pressure me. I had to begin preparations weeks ahead of time in the evenings and on the weekends, but I was still far short of being ready. My time in India began with a consultant seminar that I lead, and would you believe that I actually had more material than what we could cover in 2 days?! In other words, I was over-prepared for the seminar! But then I thought I had to start the Ranglong OT workshop the very next day, which I was not prepared to do (I wanted at least one day to step back and transition). Though I had enough material to begin, it was decided it would be better for the translator to spend the next 3 working days with a linguistics volunteer to analyze and fix his orthography. That gave me just the transition time I needed! I thought the Lord was also giving me time to prepare more workshop material, but instead, most of those hours were spent with administrative duties–talking to 3 consultants about their challenges and how to overcome them, teaching an overview of our translation philosophy to new translators, helping a different translation team determine how they can work more efficiently, creating survey forms for strategic planning, and answering many, many emails. I ended up preparing only 2 more chapters of material for the workshop, but in the end we didn’t even get to those two chapters. Why? Because the workshop went much slower than I expected! In other words, I was over-prepared for the workshop! Truly, God’s ways are amazing! I just hope I can remember these lessons, because the overwhelming feelings will surely return in the future!

I get to enjoy 2 months at home before I have to head out again! I’m sure going to enjoy being at my home and experiencing routine in life for a change!

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I’ve just finished up my second-to-last week in India. It started well with a good time of ministry and fellowship at a local church near the BI office here. Monday was supposed to be the first day of the Ranglong OT workshop, but I decided to give the translator a third day to work with a volunteer consultant on orthography issues. That gave me another day to work on other things and meet with consultants. I thank the Lord for giving me three such days so I could more easily manage my workload!

The Ranglong workshop ended up starting on Tuesday. By Friday we had covered only the first 7 chapters. The translator said that Leviticus has been his hardest book to translate of all he’s done so far, including Psalms. He and his committee have had a really hard time with the long sentences. Plus, the grammatical connections in those sentences can be quite complicated. And to think that some people think Hebrew can only do simple sentences!

I’ve also spent some time with the other translation groups who are here. Last week we had 4 different teams here. Two left over the weekend, but another two came in this week. Three are just starting their OT, so I spent time training them on how to use a powerful Bible software resource.

Group--4 translation teams--2015.03.05b

Tomorrow a group of us will travel down a bumpy road for an hour or so to visit a national consultant and his family. I’ve never been to his house, so I look forward to the opportunity. On Sunday I’ll be preaching a rather large Baptist church in Silchar, the closest city in the area.

Pray for grace to finish strong!

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