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Archive for February, 2017

Sometimes it’s so difficult for me to tear myself away from the work to write something on my blog. OK, it’s almost always difficult to do so! I can’t understand missionaries who write lengthy weekly and monthly reports on their work. In at least one case, I’m pretty sure they spend as much time writing about their ministry as they do actually doing the ministry. Maybe it’s just a matter of priorities in most cases, and writing about what I’m doing is not always high on my priority list. But I know some people want to keep up with how things are going, so I try to get an update out once a week, if possible.

I’m still trying to get caught up from being overseas for a month, so that’s part of what keeps me from wanting to write updates. I still have a few more consultant reports to get through, which were submitted at the beginning of the year. These reports chart their personal development last year and project what goals they want for themselves in the upcoming year, so my timely input is important. We have 6 consultants-in-training, so I try to give them intensive input. It’s crucial that they be pointed in the right direction early in their development, so I want to make sure they aren’t missing anything. There are two consultants who look to me for direct guidance, and a third who needs me more and more since his mentor is suffering from cancer. The other 3 consultants have their own mentors, but they still appreciate my input. (Consultants in training also submit quarterly reports, which I work through carefully and give feedback.) I’m also trying to keep up with the development of two adjunct consultants-in-training. Thankfully, we had two others but they graduated a year or so ago.

I also need to read the Professional Development Reports of our consultants who have graduated from the Mentorship Program or who are senior consultants. We have 9 in this category. Most of them are quite good at submitting their reports in a timely way, but some are too busy in ministry to stop and write a report (!). Consequently, I have to spend extra time chasing them down until they submit something. I remember a consultant suggesting that we should go back to the old system of submitting monthly reports. After reflecting for 2 seconds on how much time I spend chasing down reports, I told him an emphatic NO to that idea!

At Bibles International we take professional development very seriously. We want to make sure our new consultants get proper training and experience, which usually means 4-5 years of on-the-job training before they can do independent consulting. And then after they graduate, we expect them to keep developing themselves. There are so many subject areas that touch upon consulting, and so we need to be constantly learning to improve our consulting abilities. In the end, we hope it results in better translations for God’s glory and for man’s good!

On a personal note, Oksana and I are thankful that Calvary Baptist Church in Findlay, OH, and some individuals joined our support team, bringing our support up to 90%. Praise God for His provision!

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Metanoia NT workshop

Oksana and I are thankful for the safety and the Lord’s blessings on our recent translation workshop in Eurasia. My goal was to cover 600 verses, which would be double what we did last time, but we ended up doing just under 300. But that’s partly because we took an entire afternoon (thanks partly to the power outage) to elicit verb forms from them, so I could understand better how their verbs work. We also spent an afternoon trying to work through some problems with their orthography. There are around 4 sounds that still have issues regarding what symbol to use. Another organization is trying to settle the matter by field testing, so they came to the workshop to test the symbols with our team. Hopefully, we’ll get this settled this year, so we can use the correct symbols throughout the translation. And hopefully we’ll make better progress next time in the translation. I’m thankful to see how the translators are growing well in their skills in translation and grammar. Oksana and I are also growing in our understanding of the language. We asked them to write 4 different types of regular (not translations of biblical passages) texts by 3 different people so we can do more analysis, and we asked them to complete 4 verb tables as well. Hopefully this material will give us even better ways to understand their language.

Because of the slowness of the workshop, we had time on the second weekend to take a two-day trip. We really enjoyed seeing the countryside and spending time getting to know friends. We are also thankful for many opportunities to minister to our friends.

We are also thankful for many opportunities for ministry to our translation team. They’ve been through a lot recently, so we were able to be an encouragement to them, as they were also an encouragement to us. They are truly a great group of believers to work with! We look forward to the next time we’ll see them, though this time there will be three of us!

As a side note, we are very thankful that our support rose to 88% during our trip. God is providing!

If you are interested in some technical details, you should check out my “Translator’s Page” for a list of some issues we wrestled through during this workshop.

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