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Archive for June, 2016

At the beginning of the year my department had swelled to 29 consultants. Everything was looking very promising. BI seemed to be getting poised for some wonderful things. But then our director was released, causing me to lose his help with 1-2 workshops per year (not to mention his leadership and support in general). Then, we were informed about a missionary consultant wanting to transfer out. Then, we were told that a national consultant in India wants to start doing another ministry. We added two national consultants in India sometime last year, and we thought that would really help make up for the loss in India, but just this morning the wife wrote saying that she doesn’t think it’s going to work for her to become a linguistics consultant. And then a literacy consultant announced last week that she’s going to be ceasing her work with BI sometime this year. That means we will be down to 24 consultants! Instead of being poised for growth, we are just trying to hang on and keep fulfilling our current commitments.

However, we are confident that God wants to keep this work moving forward, so we will soon be adopting a new OT project in Myanmar. We hired a part-time administrative assistant for my department and the Projects Management department, so that will greatly streamline my workload. Plus, I’ve seen the Lord bring along volunteers to help bear the burdens. A friend just volunteered to take over the development of one of our major translator tools, and another contact has agreed to help me with the completion of our whole Bible topical index. And then there are the friends in France, Quebec, and SC who continue to work on the translation of materials into French and Spanish. And then there’s the son of a friend in PA who is helping me format Book Worksheets. So, clearly the Lord is still working! When God closes a door, He opens a window. Though the work isn’t getting done as I had originally planned, it’s still getting done.

We are also trying to form up a new Scripture Use department and praying that the Lord would provide a manager for that department. We need someone with at least an MDiv (or even PhD) with significant missionary experience. This department will be less technical but will still have emphasis upon helping our new readers make those first steps from receiving their new translation to using it effectively in life and ministry.

We are also seeking to start one new partnership with a Bible college, whether overseas or in the US. We need to keep connecting with students so that we can recruit more consultants and other workers. In fact, our greatest need at BI is projects coordinators and a formatter. God will provide in His time! Meanwhile, we’ll keep working away at our 41 projects in 16 countries. My department hopes to submit 3 NTs and a OT-portions/revised NT later this year. Next year we hope to complete three new Bibles, finish a revised Bible project, and wrap up 3 NTs (one with Psa/Prov).

Isn’t it obvious that BI needs prayer? God will answer as we work and pray!

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Dear Family and Friends,

Oksana and I hope to become certified biblical counselors, but so far we haven’t made too much progress. We may not get very far until after deputation. But I’m thankful for some of the reading I’ve already done. Robert Smith’s The Christian Counselor’s Medical Desk Reference was particularly helpful. In reference to a Christian and illness, Smith said, “Getting over the illness should not be the primary goal.” Later he said, “Getting well is not necessarily the best thing.” As believers, our focus must always be on glorifying God, even if that means having to endure illness for a long period of time.

PERSONAL NEWS

April was filled with meetings at churches in PA, VA, and NC. We had two more in IN in May and will have another in IL later this month. In July, we will hit the road to present at churches in MD, PA, and NJ. We now have around 80% of our support, since our home church, Grand Valley Baptist Church, voted to double their support. THANK GOD for that and PRAY for more increases!

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(Picture is of Oksana’s first visit to the Atlantic Ocean–Virginia Beach, VA)

We will also be attending the BMM Candidate Seminar for Oksana in July. We praise God for how He enabled Oksana to pass her oral doctrinal exam on May 19. God kept her nerves calm and gave her the remembrance of all she studied. She memorized everything in Russian but had no problem articulating her beliefs in English. PRAISE God!

In addition to the language obstacle, she also had to keep from being distracted by a family tragedy—the loss of her 17-year-old nephew. The Lord provided funds for her to make a one-week trip to comfort the family in May. What makes this loss so difficult is that we are uncertain of the nephew’s eternal state. PRAY for God to use this death to draw family and friends to salvation and for comfort for the believing family members (Oksana, sister, mom). How certain, eternal, and sometimes sudden, death can be!

 

MINISTRY NEWS

In late May, I began conducting the Haitian Creole OT workshop at the BI office. The translator has been quite occupied with complications from the birth of his third child, who has Down syndrome, so he wasn’t able to provide enough material to keep us busy for two weeks. So, we finished the work in seven days and also made last-minute corrections to the upcoming publication of the NT with Psalms and Proverbs. PRAY for him and his family as they adjust to the new child, and PRAY he can get enough material done to hold a workshop in Haiti in November.

 

In August, Oksana and I will travel to Eurasia for another workshop on the Metanoia NT. They have already submitted revised portions of Mark and James. PRAY for Oksana as she produces an interlinear in English from the Russian interlinear, and PRAY for me as I check the English with the Greek.

 

We at BI are thankful that Gary Walton, our Stewardship Manager, has agreed to be our interim director. PRAY for wisdom as he leads BI while also trying to keep up fundraising efforts. And PRAY for God to provide a full-time director soon. PRAY also for my former administrative assistant, Terri Fiebig, who has been told that she has only a month to live. PRAY, too, that we would find a new administrative assistant, especially with the Consultant Seminar coming up in August. I need help on the many details involved with that! Our new Indian consultants were unable to get visas to come to the USA, so PRAY for us as we provide in-house training.

 

For the cause of Christ,

Troy (for both of us)

 

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I just finished my 14th translation checking with the Haitian Creole OT. We were supposed to take two full weeks on the translation, but the translator was distracted by the birth of his third child last month (he has Down syndrome) so he wasn’t able to get as much material ready as we wanted. So, we finished the workshop in 7 days, even though we also spent time working through some issues with the upcoming publication of the NT with Psa/Prov. This project is already at least 5 years behind schedule, so we can’t afford to lose any more workshop days. We have another workshop scheduled for November in Haiti, so pray the translator will be able to start getting caught up by at least having enough material ready for two full weeks.

I have a few weeks break from workshops until I need to start getting ready for the Eurasia workshop in August. I will probably start working through that material beginning in July, even though we’ll also begin our travels to churches during that month. Actually, we’ll be in 3 churches in MD and PA, with the Candidate Seminar (for Oksana) at the BMM home office in the midst of that. We may also go to a conference in WI before heading home at the end of the month.

So, hopefully I can use these few weeks remaining in June to get some other urgent tasks done, including preparing material for a Discourse Analysis course that I will administer to 4 consultants long-distance. Oksana and I will also be taking a few days vacation, and during one weekend we’ll take a trip to our supporting church in Waukegan. Pray for strength to keep up with everything!

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