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Archive for July, 2018

The first week of teaching here at Bob Jones University was definitely challenging in many respects but also enjoyable. I had to overcome some snags in getting fully integrated into the system here (online course interface, wireless connection, printer, locked doors, etc.), while also finalizing preparations for the lectures. Eight of my 9 lectures were mostly done when I arrived, but I still needed to do fine-tuning on a few and then make them into class presentations. This meant really long days for the first two days of the week, but then a little easier for the rest of the week.

During the first week of this course on Bible translation, we covered the history of Bible translation, current trends and needs, translation philosophy, translation methodology, and grammatical systems. I’m so thankful that Glenn Kerr, a co-worker at BI, has been able to help teach the course through Skype. His one-hour presentations on history, philosophy, and methodology have really lightened my load. He has also been discussing translation problems in various select passage for one hour per day, so that has really been helpful for me and the students too–especially since these are the only daily assignments that need to be graded, and he does all the grading for them. This means I mostly just need to focus on lecture preparation. Over the weekend, though, I also had to begin working on the final exam, since I wanted to supply my students with a study guide to help them in their preparations.

This week we’ll cover semantics, implicit and unknown words, sentences and paragraphs, and translation procedures. On Friday the students will take the final exam. So, once I get past the classtime on Thursday, it will be smooth sailing. There are only two students (Dr. Grace Hargis, on the left, is the resident faculty member overseeing the course and the missionary linguistics program), so grading their papers and exams should not be too bad at all.

I’m so thankful for God’s help during the first week and looking forward to how He’ll continue to help. We hope to see these two students join BI someday; they seem to be quite hopeful too. In addition to the recruiting aspect, I’ve also appreciated all I learned as I prepared for the course and all that I continue to learn as I interact with the material and with the students.

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On Sunday, we got to minister at Fellowship Baptist Church in Anderson, SC. It was a joy to be with the believers there and to tell them about our ministry of Bible translation. I knew Pastor Arnett from a church north of Grand Rapids, MI, so it was good to reconnect with him in his new pastorate down here.

We are thankful that the Lord connected Oksana to a good driver’s training program down here. She’s already done one behind-the-wheel session of about three hours and will do another tomorrow. She also did one classroom session with the group last week and has three more to do. I’m looking forward to seeing how she progresses in learning how to drive!

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I can’t get too specific on the work we did in Eurasia because of security issues, but I will say that God definitely answered prayers regarding some complicated linguistic issues. We were able to make some progress on how to represent 4 sounds in their language, and the Lord gave us wisdom concerning guidelines in making word choices.

The team still struggled in writing their language, so the workshop went very slowly. But thankfully, we covered more material than in the past. During the last day, we covered more than any single day in the past as well, so there’s hope that we will eventually get close to our goal. This good progress was in spite of the many distractions caused by the fact that there were three families with their children all in the workshop room during the workshop sessions. I felt like I was leading a workshop in a day care! It sounds like the situation should be more conducive to productivity the next time we are there, so pray that everything will get completed in time for that to be possible. Pray too as the team tries to strengthen their grammar knowledge in their language and in other important languages.

One blessing of a slow workshop is that it allows me to work on other tasks both during the workshop and in the evenings. I made lots of progress in preparing to teach the two translation courses at BJU. I’ve actually gotten to the point where I think I see now how everything is going to fall into place before we leave on July 13. Praise God!

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