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Archive for July, 2015

It turns out that you can still watch our wedding ceremony on YouTube for as long as Victory Baptist Church keeps it up there: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPymMIqVhAU.

Oksana and I wrote our own vows for the wedding, so you can find them here with the Scriptural support for the wording:

“I, Troy, take you, Oksana, to be my wife. You are my life companion, a good thing from God’s gracious hand. I do promise you before God and this assembly to love you as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. I further promise to love you as I do my own flesh, according to the Word of God. By God’s grace I will lead you and live with you in an understanding way. I will not be embittered against you. I will honor, nourish, and cherish you. I will forsake all others, hold fast to you, and enjoy life with you, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live or until Christ returns.”

–life companion (Mal. 2:14)

–a good thing from God’s gracious hand (Prov. 18:14)

–love you as Christ love the church and as I do my own flesh (Eph. 5:25-33)

–lead (Gen. 2:18)

–live with you in an understanding way and honor you (1 Pet. 3:7)

–not be embittered against you (Col. 3:19)

–nourish and cherish (Eph. 5:29; 1 Tim. 5:8)

–forsake all others (Prov. 5:15-19)

–hold fast to you (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:5; Mar. 10:7,8; Eph. 5:31)

–enjoy life with you (Deut. 24:5; Eccl. 9:9; 1 Cor. 7:33)

“I, Oksana, take you, Troy, to be my husband. You are my spiritual head; I am your suitable helper. I do promise you before God and this assembly to submit myself unto you as unto the Lord; and, I do further promise to love and to obey you, according to the Word of God. By God’s grace I will adorn myself with a gentle, quiet, and kind spirit. I will respect, honor, and please you, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live or until Christ returns.”

–spiritual head (1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:22)

–suitable helper (Gen. 2:18)

–submit (Eph. 5:22-24; Col. 3:18; Tit. 2:5; 1 Pet. 3:1,5)

–love (Tit. 2:4)

–obey (1 Pet. 3:6)

–adorn myself with a gentle and quiet spirit (1 Pet. 3:4)

–kindness (Prov. 31:26)

–respect (Eph. 5:33)

–honor (1 Cor. 11:7; Pro. 12:4)

–please you (1 Cor. 7:34)

We were sad that Oksana’s family and friends couldn’t join us in person for the wedding, but we are thankful some could join us through song. Here is the English translation of the two songs:

Two White Swans

(1) Off in the distance, above the ground, white swans are flying; he is near her wing.

It’s impossible to express their faithfulness!

(2) There is always quiet in their nest; there are no angry sounds.

Great is their faithfulness in times when trouble comes!

(3) God Himself unites you in one family.

Thus, you must always remember the loyalty of swans.

Refrain: White swans as a couple in the light blue sky will fly back home through dark clouds.

Divine Love

(1) It is not proud and does not get offended,

It suffers long and is not irritable; it thinks no evil.

It is strong in the power of the Spirit.

It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things.

Souls will be warmed with its warmth. It will give food and shelter…

What is it? Its name is Love!

(2) And never, neither breadth nor depth separates us from love.

No one could have fully comprehended it until now, and only because that Love is our God!

Even if I give away all I have, and give my body to be burned,

I’m nobody without love, and I’m nothing before God.

Someday knowledge will pass away; old prophecies will pass away.

Everything will vanish one day, will go away…But Love will never pass away.

(3) The Love of our Savior is shining in His example—

The Love that suffered for its enemy,

That gave vision to the blind and healing to the sick.

The more fervently it loves, the more it sacrifices for others;

It does not even spare its own life!

The Love that warms both soul and body is our Lord!

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My wedding!

In less than 24 hours, I will be marrying a beautiful Ukrainian princess, and this is no fairy tale! Join Oksana and me as we celebrate the love God has placed in our hearts for one another by watching the live stream here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPymMIqVhAU&feature=em-share_video_user. The wedding will take place at 1:30 pm at Victory Baptist Church in Reading, PA.

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I’ve been working through Derek Wilson’s The People’s Bible, which tells the story of the KJV. He writes that, between 1500 and 1550, “only a dozen pastors [of the 869 East Anglican clergy] throughout a large, populous, and thriving part of England owned the sourcebook of the Christian faith.” Thankfully, though, during that same span of time, the Lord was raising up men like William Tyndale to meet that great need in order to deliver the clergy from darkness and to guide their flocks to the light. I’m thankful for the small part I can have in getting the Bible into the languages of others who still lack “the sourcebook of the Christian faith.”

WORKSHOP IN HAITI

I’m thankful for my gracious hosts in Haiti (pictured) and for the strength the Lord gave the translator and me as we checked Deuteronomy and Joshua. I received the material only weeks before the workshop, so I spent many hours before and during the workshop trying to prepare more material. But God helped us to get it all done in good time! PRAY for the Haitian Creole committee as they continue to prepare the revised NT with Psalms and Proverbs for an upcoming publication.

WORKSHOP IN EURASIA

Only a week after my workshop in Haiti I went to a country in Eurasia to train translators for BI’s first ever project in this part of the world. We have to keep information confidential about this project, but I can show you a picture of my fiancée and I teaming up as she helped me with her knowledge of Russian. The translation team knows almost no English, so Oksana and another interpreter had to help me communicate my translator training teachings and also give us all an understanding of how Russian works. The translation team will use Russian and two other languages for their source languages. I thank God for supplying the needed grace to write a new 120-page translator training manual and then to train the team using that manual. PRAY for the translators, as they have just begun their translating work.

WEDDING AND BEYOND

Oksana and I are so thankful for how God expedited the fiancée visa. It took only three months! She received her passport back as she was heading to the airport for the Eurasia trip. What timing! We are also thankful for how God is working through my mom and the dear people at Victory Baptist Church in Reading, PA, as we prepare for the wedding on July 25. Oksana will make her first entry into the USA on July 14, and then we’ll have less than two weeks to finalize wedding details. Then, after one week of honeymooning in the Poconos, we’ll head to Michigan to establish our life together. PRAY for God to be glorified through the wedding and through our lives together. PRAY for grace to adjust well to married life, and especially for Oksana as she adjusts to the USA. PRAY for wisdom and God’s provision in meeting our new support needs as a married couple, as we will need an additional $1,500-2,000. We will be reporting to some churches in MI, PA, and IL in the fall.

IMG_0511

PRAY also for the Consultant Seminar and BI Annual Retreat in mid-August. My next workshop is not until November, when I’ll be going back to Eurasia. PRAY that Oksana would get travel authorization so she can join me.

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The first half of this year didn’t quite go as planned! It was supposed to start with a one-week trip to Chad, Africa, where I would dedicate the Rito NT, my first time to dedicate a completed translation. Then, I would go to India to lead the Asia Consultant Seminar and then lead a Simte OT workshop. I would spend 4 weeks total in India. The first 6 months would end with a two-week workshop in Haiti.

Well, after spending Christmas break in Ukraine, my year got started off with a rush by returning to the office to spend the first week doing strategic planning with the BI Director and the other managers. That gave me only one week to get caught up from being away for 2.5 weeks and to prepare for a two-week trip to Côte d’Ivoire (the Chad trip was cancelled since the Rito NT wasn’t ready for shipment yet).

I had no idea what to expect in Côte d’Ivoire. We were going to do further research on the situation and start forming committees to do the translation work. I knew I would need to do linguistic analysis on two languages I had never seen before, but I didn’t anticipate that I would also give some cursory translator training so they could begin revision work on their 2 NTs which were completed years ago. So, in the evenings I had to study their languages, prepare translator training, and also keep up with strategic planning. I did some of the latter while in airplanes and buses too.

After that trip I originally gave myself 1 week to get caught up at the office and also prepare for my time in India. But as my relationship with my girlfriend developed so quickly over Christmas, I decided I’d add a stop-off in Ukraine on my way to India, so I ended up with only 2 days in the office. One week wasn’t enough time, let alone 2 days, and one of those 2 days was spent with more strategic planning with the BI administration. I was quite stressed about how I’d prepare to lead a consultant seminar and get ready for a translation workshop in India. Again, more preparation as I traveled! But then God worked by causing the seminar to go slower than I had expected and delaying the translation workshop by 3 days. These interventions gave me just enough breathing room to get my preparations done. The workshop also went slower than expected—in fact, we didn’t even cover all that I had prepared!

I had 2 months after my India trip to get caught up on tasks and also get ready for the next wave of workshops in May and June. Those months were also spent working through the visa process with my fiancée. The time flew quickly and I found myself still not ready for the workshop in Haiti and then the new workshop in Eurasia, which wasn’t originally part of my schedule. But off I went to Haiti anyway. I had to spend around 3 hours each evening in Haiti preparing more material, but God gave me the strength for us to cover both Deuteronomy and Joshua, something I hadn’t expected we’d get done!

The Eurasia trip, as I said, was thrown into my schedule earlier in the year. I added the responsibility because I knew it would give me an opportunity to see my fiancée again, since she would be needed for Russian interpreting. But when I committed to go, I didn’t realize I would have to write a whole new translator training manual, since our current one fit an English-speaking context. God helped me to write 90 pages before I left, and then I wrote around 30 more while in Eurasia. The translator training was quite rigorous, since the team wanted to cover all the material in 11 days straight, but I was amazed at how God guided and strengthened, even giving me new ways of teaching during the actual training. Praise God!

The first half of the year ended with a quick trip to a church in Maryland to teach 3 sessions about Bible translation and to preach in the AM service. I don’t see how that trip fit into my busy schedule, but I’m thankful that it did.

Now I’m on vacation! It started on July 1 in the afternoon. On July 2 I drove to the Philadelphia area to meet up with my mom to fly to Ukraine. We arrived on July 4 and will leave on July 13 with my fiancée. Pray for safety in travel and especially for my fiancée as this will be her first time to go to the USA.

We’ll have less than 2 weeks to finalize plans for the wedding on July 25. Then we’ll enjoy two weeks of honeymoon in the Poconos mountains before arriving back at my home in Michigan on August 1. After a grueling start to 2015, I was definitely ready for a long vacation!

But this vacation was squeezed into a busy schedule that will pick up again with a Consultant Seminar and then the BI Annual Retreat in mid-August. Thankfully, a two-week teaching assignment for late August was cancelled, so I get to spend Sept and Aug settling into life in Michigan with my new wife. We’ll also visit churches in MI, PA, and IL.

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