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Archive for September, 2015

The Lord has blessed our trip to PA to report to supporting churches and visit new ones. We had good fellowship and ministry with Worthington Baptist Church and Swissvale Baptist Church on Sunday. We were also able to meet up with supporting families over the weekend, and we took the day off on Monday to rest and tour Pittsburgh. The Strip District is definitely a place to return to, since they have specialty foods at good prices.

We headed to the Harrisburg area on Tuesday and were able to meet up with Pastor Jeffers at Calvary Baptist Church in Clymer on the way. He spoke very positively about the possibility of future support. We were also able to connect with a pastor in this area yesterday, and he seems quite interested in a future meeting. We are trying to set up meetings in this area for next fall so we can raise new support for our ministry.

On Sunday Oksana and I will be ministering at Cornerstone Independent Baptist Church in Enola, PA. I’ve presented here before, but not with Oksana. We’ll see how the Lord moves! We will be giving testimonies in SS and then I’ll be preaching in the AM and PM. I’m excited about preaching a new message on Luke 24:32 in the morning. What a fascinating story about Jesus and the two disciples on the way to Emmaus. The Lord could have explained the truths about the Messiah by showing them His wounds and recounting details of His experience, but instead He used what’s available to us–the OT Scriptures, the Spirit of God, and a knowledge of how the OT connects to the events of the gospel. Of course, His knowledge of the Scriptures was perfect, but we can still use our knowledge as we point people to the Messiah.

After spending a few more days in Enola’s mission house, we will begin heading to IL, with a stop-off at the Creation Museum. I look forward to showing Oksana that wealth of information! We will enjoy a few days with friends in the area too.

As I read a trip report by a consultant-in-training with BI, I was struck by what he said about the need for vernacular Scriptures in the area he visited:

The Lord was definitely at work in my heart during this trip. I feel re-energized to continue preparing for this work. Seeing these men, who only have a partial grasp of Spanish hungering for the Word and realizing that Bibles International is really the only hope they have for having the opportunity to read the Old Testament in their own language. I want to help them and others like them across South America to have God’s Word available to
them.

We continue to get these reminders of the need for the ministry of Bibles International, which energize is to keep at the arduous work of Bible translation!

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Oksana and I will embark on our first extended road trip tomorrow, going to PA and then eventually to IL. I’m looking forward to getting back out on the road with her. We took a one-week trip to SC last week and thoroughly enjoyed being with my home church, Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, and with my family. Oksana did a great job of sharing her testimony in front of the 600-person crowd last Wednesday. It was a joy for me to present her as the answer to my 25-year-long prayers for a wife. I got a little choked up as I introduced her and shared the good things God has done in my life. I am thankful that I can be a living witness to the truths of Lamentations 3:25-26:

 The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.

I definitely haven’t been perfect in my wait for the “salvation of the Lord” in marriage, but I have kept my heart pointed toward Him the whole time. I knew that He knew of my needs better than I did, and that His infinite wisdom and power would know the best time to grant me my deep heart’s desires. I hope we were an encouragement to the other singles at the church who continue to wait. We heard many encouraging things from the people there after the service and the next day at the wedding reception. The outpouring of their love was almost overwhelming, so our hearts went away filled with contentment and joy.

It was also a joy to take Oksana around on my “old stomping grounds.” We got on the campus of Bob Jones University a few times to tour it and meet friends and prospective consultants. We also went downtown a few times to see the beautiful sites there. On Saturday night we enjoyed getting gelato with my mom as we celebrated her birthday, and we were surprised but thankful that we ran into three guys speaking Russian. You never know!

On Monday we headed back up north, stopping off at the warehouse of Widow’s Jar Ministries to pick up some free household items. We are very thankful for this ministry that collects materials for missionaries to come and take at no cost. What a blessing! They helped us save around $400 in expenses! We arrived back home on Tuesday night.

So, we’ve had 3 days to unpack and get ready to re-pack. We look forward to being with the people at Worthington Baptist Church in Worthington, PA, and then Swissvale Baptist Church in Pittsburgh, PA. We also get to see some supporters in that area. Pray for effective ministry to these churches!

I did some reading on Classical Hebrew, and you can find notes from that on my Translator’s Page.

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I’m thankful for the past 2 weeks in which I could start getting caught up at the office after being away for 5 weeks for my “wedding vacation.” I had around 100 emails to read and another 50 to both read and respond to when I got back at my desk. At last count, I have 39 left to read and 14 in my “action-urgent” folder. Of course, the ministry continues to roll forward, so many more emails beside the 150 have passed through my inbox since I got back “at the saddle.”

In addition to writing a 5-page report about the Consultant Seminar (mostly for the members of my department who weren’t able to attend), I worked on a project that would guide our translators in the final quality checks before publication. After they have finished the NT text, they have to translate add-ons and then get those consultant checked and also go back through the entire NT to verify the consistency of the translation of key terms and many other editorial issues. We estimate that it takes around 6-7 more workshops to finish a NT. Assuming we do 2 workshops per year, the final steps take as many as 2-3 years to complete. We continue to develop our “quality checks” that will guide the consultant and the translator through this process. Some checks still have yet to be developed, so we have to guide them “the hard way.” Others have been written but need to be refined to make them easier to use. Computer software helps with many, but the checks are still needed to guide in the process. In addition to developing and refining the English ones, we need to develop them for French and Spanish. Only a few have been written in French, and even fewer are in Spanish. And someday we’ll have to get them into Russian! There are 13 checks and 11 add-ons. (You can read an article about quality checks in the December issue of the Briefings.)

Oksana and I look forward to seeing family and friends in SC next week. Pray for safe travels. Pray also that we would be a blessing to all we meet. I need to work on our presentation over the weekend.

Our US government established September 30 as “Bible Translation Day.” BI encourages churches to set aside one Sunday as close to this date as possible to celebrate the fact that “God has spoken” to the English-speaking world. If your church doesn’t do this, please talk to your pastor about starting it this year. BI has material that could give you ideas on how to celebrate on that day.

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