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Archive for October, 2015

Oksana and I thank the Lord for all the safety He gave us in our travels this month. According to the expense report that I’ve been working on for Sept and Oct, we traveled over 5,000 miles for ministry purposes. Now we get to rest our vehicle and ourselves for a few months! Only one meeting November, but it’s just an hour away from home.

We thank the Lord for His grace in the midst of stress on Sunday morning at Calvary Baptist Church in Geneva, IL. We showed up to the church late and hadn’t informed them ahead of time that we wanted to show a PPT presentation. Sometimes, that’s not a problem, because the church tech guy can just help get things set up quickly, but on this occasion the tech guy was delayed at home by around 15 minutes because of a surprise visit by his son and daughter-in-law. I have quite a bit of experience with church A/V systems, but this one stumped me. After trying various ways to get my presentation to show up, I finally figured something out. But even with that working, the picture was skewed to the right and my remote persisted in not working every time I wanted it to. On top of all that, in the midst of the chaos I set my Bible down at the end of the last pew and then forgot where I put it. When it was time for SS to start, I couldn’t find my Bible anywhere. I determined that I had just left it at the house I was staying at the night before (30 minutes away), so I figured the only thing I could do was preach from my computer and use my Kindle for a Bible. God enabled me to do that, and apparently the Spirit still worked, because I received some positive comments afterwards. I thank God that He overcame my stressful and scatter-brained state to speak through me! (And I found my Bible just before I left the church that afternoon…sitting right where I put it!)

After all that chaos, I definitely welcome some normalcy and routine at home. It’s so nice to wake up each morning, knowing where the bathroom is and where I can make a good cup of coffee. We loved being with friends on the road, but there’s no place like home! Ahhh!!!

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We’ve enjoyed doing another road trip this week. We started off at Bethel Baptist Church in Schaumburg, IL, where we spoke in an Adult Bible Class, Compass (5th and 6th graders’ church), the Sun PM service, and Schaumburg Christian School chapel on Monday. Since my family attended this church for 14 years (1984-1998) and since I graduated from the school, this ministry has always been very special to me. It was a privilege, then, to be back and to be able to bring my wife with me. They rejoiced with us in God’s answer to prayer. On Sunday night they had a church fellowship, and they surprised Oksana and me by doing it in honor of our wedding. They gave us a wedding cake and asked us to cut it and feed it to each other (and jam it in each other’s faces…which we gladly did). They also showered us with gift cards and money. What a joy to be with our friends and to see the outpouring of their love!

On Tues-Wed we spent time recruiting at Maranatha Baptist University. The Lord orchestrated things for us to be able to give a word about our ministry in Tues chapel, Tues night Missionary Prayer Group, and 2 Greek classes on Wed. We also got to speak for 30 minutes about culture shock in Introduction to Missions. We are very thankful for the opportunities to speak with students. We are especially thankful for the 3-4 who had a strong interest in joining our ministry someday. We also got to talk to two pastors about future deputation meetings.

The rest of the week we are hanging out at Bethel Baptist in Schaumburg as we await our Sunday meeting at Calvary Baptist Church in Geneva. We are looking forward to being with that church!

At the beginning of last week, Pastor Collard informed me that his church, Faith Baptist in Pekin, IL, voted to send the majority of the funds Oksana and I needed for the Eurasia trip. What a blessing! We had already received $75, and then two supporters said to let them know if we have any more needs because they want to help. God has provided!

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Tomorrow we begin our trip back home from Pekin, IL. We are very thankful for a good road trip, but we are ready to get back home. We’ve received many gifts, picked up good things in “missionary closets,” and made lots of purchases at thrift stores, so it’s time to get back home to unload our very full vehicle.

We are very thankful for our time at Cornerstone Independent Baptist Church, whose missionary house we used for a little over a week. We enjoyed speaking during their mission emphasis week. We shared testimonies and gave a short ministry report in SS. Then I preached in the morning and the evening services. We were overwhelmed by the church’s love, especially their gifts to us. Someone gave Oksana around 5 varieties of loose-leaf tea, and some new friends gave us 2 Christian DVDs and a huge bag of chocolate candies. Another lady gave Oksana a broach with “M” on it to help her remember what her new last name is. 🙂

During our time in the area we were able to visit Emmanuel Baptist Church and ABWE; we were graciously welcomed at both places. We also got to add a visit to our supporting church in Lebanon, First Baptist Church. Pastor Fernett found out we were in the area, so he invited us to have dinner with his family and then to share our testimonies in the Wed evening service. We were greatly encouraged by that time!

At the end of the week we stopped off at the Creation Museum during our weekly day off. Oksana and I thoroughly enjoyed our time there. Though it was my third visit, I was once again moved by the glory of God displayed in the exhibits. I was also profoundly moved as Dr. Ken Ham talked about how the devil has gotten so many Christians to question the simple truths of a 6-day creation and so many other foundational truths. While churches avoid the important issues of Creationism since they can be divisive, Satan is robbing people of their belief in the inerrancy of the Bible. The youth are particularly affected, as is evidenced by their absence in good churches. If churches don’t wake up to the importance of grounding young people in the foundational truths about God, His creation, and the human race, we are going to see the near disappearance of sound, biblical churches.

As we headed west for a missions conference in Pekin, IL, we had lunch with a friend in Indy on Saturday and then visited supporters in western IN. We are now finishing up the missions conference at Faith Baptist Church in Pekin. I spoke in the Sun AM service, and then we gave a short report in the evening. After the service we got to share our wedding story at a church fellowship. We also got to speak in teen chapel on Mon and in elementary chapel on Tues. We’ve been greatly encouraged by our time here!

Praise God with us in His blessings during this trip, and pray for safety as we head home tomorrow.

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Dear Family and Friends,

Did you notice anything different about the appearance of this letter? Some things have changed in both the header and the footer! That’s because God has wrought a marvelous work in my life by joining Oksana Novikova and me in marriage on July 25. We can testify 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. God was good to us throughout our years of singleness, and He’s been good to us as He has drawn us together and is now causing us to be more and more “one flesh.” We thank God for my mom and the dear believers at Victory Baptist Church in Reading, PA, who helped us put together a beautiful wedding and even facilitated bringing friends and family from around the world (especially Ukraine) to celebrate with us. Keep PRAYING for us as we adjust to married life and as Oksana gets acclimated to the USA. PRAY also that churches and individuals would partner with us as we seek 28% of additional monthly support. And PRAY that God would provide funds so Oksana can travel to Eurasia with me in January to be my Russian interpreter. We’ve seen some funds come in, so keep praying! If you want to give, you can send your gift to BMM and designate it “Troy Manning-Passage.” The Lord led me to move the workshop from November to January to give us plenty of time for her to gain the necessary travel authorization. So far, the “adjustment of status” process is proceeding smoothly.

CONSULTANT SEMINAR

Two weeks after the wedding, I headed back into the office to lead our annual consultant seminar, where we had 25 in attendance. We enjoyed learning about how to relate better to the millennials (or “generation Y”). We also discussed ways to improve our translator training. We are close to completing a Linguistics Translator Training Manual that will help our translator know better how his/her language works, so that he/she can write a more consistent form of the language, and so that we can save months of work at the end of the translation work, when we have to standardize all the completed material.

Eurasia

ANNUAL MEETING

After the seminar, Oksana and I headed to a local B&B for BI’s annual retreat. One of my favorite activities at this event each year has been waking up early to watch the sunrise over the lake and sipping coffee as I have my personal time with the Lord. For the first time, after eight years of passing the morning by myself, I finally had company! B&B’s are so much better when you can enjoy them with someone!

UPCOMING EVENTS

This fall Oksana and I are visiting supporting churches and connecting with non-supporting churches in PA, IL, and MI. We’ll also be doing some recruiting at Maranatha Baptist University. It’s been a joy to have a traveling companion and helper in the ministry. It’s quite evident that support-raising goes so much better when I have a sweet wife to connect with the people. PRAY for God’s protection, power, and provision as we travel together. By late October, though, we’ll be mostly at home, getting settled and preparing for workshops and more church reporting early next year.

Thank you for praying! God is answering!

For the cause of Christ,

Troy (for both of us)

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