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Archive for August, 2015

As you can tell by the header of my blog, things have changed some, because my life has changed dramatically. In case you missed the big news, I got married on July 25 to Oksana Novikova, from Ukraine. So, now I can no longer speak about “my ministry” but will be speaking instead about “our ministry,” since I now have a helper in the ministry. Praise God!

I have updated my blog according to my new marital status. You can even read her testimony of salvation and call to the ministry on the “About Us” page. I just posted that on my blog today!

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We praise the Lord that a couple has committed to taking us on for $200 per month! That brings our support level up to 72%!

Oksana’s and my first three weeks in Michigan together have been quite busy. I set aside the first week to help her get established. We got a good start to that process, but we are still working on that. Today is only her 5th day at home by herself to get oriented to my house. During the second week of August the annual Consultant Seminar, which I lead, began. Our days were busy from 6 am to 8:30 pm. We ended up housing a family of 7 because they had an emergency situation come up. We were thankful to be able to serve them in that way, but that made our life even more interesting.

The seminar was a real blessing as we had around 25 in attendance for the 6 days. Mark Vowels from BJU was our special speaker for the first two days. He addressed the issue of how to relate better to millennials, the next generation at BI. On the second day he spoke about contextualization and then gave us some feedback regarding our short-termer programs. On the following days we deal with NT Quality Checks, OT Translator Training, NT Translator Training, a book study on Job, Discourse analysis, a new linguistics translator training manual, new word formation, strategic planning, and various IT matters. I’m thankful for a good team that helped me pull together a successful seminar, even though I was quite preoccupied with personal matters for the 5 weeks before the seminar.

The day after the seminar, Oksana and I headed north for the annual BI retreat a local bed & breakfast called “The Shack.” BI has been going there for over 15 years. I had been going up by myself for the past 8 years. It has gotten harder and harder to be by myself. As I was getting to know Oksana during last year’s retreat, I texted to her that I hope I never have to return to The Shack by myself. She also desired the same thing. But neither of us thought the Lord would actually work it out such that she would be with me the following year. Praise God for working wonders to bring her here so quickly so we could enjoy the retreat together! One of my favorite activities is getting up early to watch the sun rise over the lake, while sipping coffee and reading the Bible. It was a joy to do that with her this year!

IMG_2570We have two more weeks in MI before we begin traveling to other states. Our first trip will be to SC to report at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Greenville, SC, on Sept. 9 and then to enjoy a wedding reception on Sept. 10. I look forward to showing Oksana my old stomping grounds and introducing her to family and friends. If you will be in the area that week, please look us up! We will be worshipping with Mt. Calvary the following Sunday before heading back up north.

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Back in April when I saw that the Lord was opening up the possibility of my getting married this summer, I had decided that the summer was just too busy to fit it in. Well, here we are near the end of the summer, I’m married, and I’m still alive. Tomorrow begins our annual Consultant Seminar, and I think I’m actually ready for it (which worries me!). I’m not ready for every day of the seminar, but I’m ready for at least the first two days. Just one day at a time!

Since I’ve never been married before, I wasn’t familiar with what being married feels like. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I’m actually married. Something similar happened when I got my PhD. Suddenly, I was Dr. Manning, but I sure didn’t feel any different than the day before. I guess “the married feeling” will sink in more and more each day as I get to share life with a beautiful, godly Ukrainian princess. Yesterday, we were able to report to Westside Baptist Church in Jenison. It was Oksana’s first time to report as my wife, and she did an excellent job. As I saw her share her heart with the church during her testimony, interact with the believers in fellowship, and then pray heartfelt prayers (even though she said before the prayer time that she wouldn’t be praying, since English isn’t her first language), I was reminded of the treasure that God has entrusted to me. Maybe what I ought to focus on sinking in is the reality that I’m blessed beyond measure with an amazing wife, not just that I’m married.

Prayercard 1

Pray for God’s provision as we will need to raise a little over $1,900 in monthly support. We thank God that we are already seeing His provision for this month!

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