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Archive for the ‘furlough’ Category

I’m sure you anticipated it: Eliyas’ first trip. Troy the traveling translator doesn’t let grass grow under his feet long, and his wife and his son are happy to travel with him. Well, we hope so (regarding Eliyas)! We are still trying to get him into a good pattern of eating and sleeping, so please pray for that to happen before we leave for Quebec next week. We look forward to seeing our 4 supporting churches up there, and then we’ll head to NJ for a meeting with Pastor Troutman and his church.

Eliyas’ first trip was technically to Grand Haven, MI, when my sister and her son were in town last week. It was a good opportunity to take a few days vacation for some R & R and to help my wife more at home (especially at night). I’m not sure how much of Grand Haven Eliyas got to see, since he slept most of the time, but the rest of us enjoyed it (and yes, I know, newborns can’t see far anyway!). Oksana’s first visit to Grand Haven was for our first Valentine’s Day together, so it was nice to actually see the water this time, not a big mass of snow and ice!

Grand Haven

Eliyas and Oksana will get their first exposure to French when we visit Quebec. Oksana has already been exposed to languages she doesn’t know, since we hear them in Eurasia during our workshop trips. But this will be the first trip where I’ll be able to be an interpreter for her, if my French isn’t too rusty. Not only will we really enjoy visiting friends up there, we’ll also spend a few days touring the old part of Quebec City. It’s the closest thing for Americans to see a European city, so it’s going to be fun.

What are some things I’m working on at the office? Glad you asked! I have to write two papers for our India partner’s (BIIS) 25-year celebration later this year. They are publishing a booklet to commemorate this event, and they’ve asked me to write about the philosophy and methodology of Bible translation, as well as whatever other message the Lord lays on my heart. I’m also refining a presentation on “Literacy in Biblical Times,” which I will present at the Bible Faculty Summit at Appalachian Bible College in early August. I’m also putting together a promotional PPT for an Indian consultant to show to a group of Bible college professors in July. Oh, and I’m preparing to report and preach in French in Quebec. And of course, many other things…

 

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Dear Family and Friends,

During our recent vacation in Ukraine, I completed my reading of Paul David Tripp’s Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands. One of his core truths continues to challenge me: “Each of us has been called by God to be his instruments of change in the lives of others, beginning with our families and the church (Eph. 4:11-16; Col. 3:15-17).” How our churches would change if we adopted this ambassadorial lifestyle and stopped looking at the church only as a place to “get something!”

SUPPORT RISING

Thank you for praying about both the increase in our support and the manner in which it increases. We’ve seen our support rise by 9% to 90% in the first quarter with an increase of only two more churches to our support base! We are thankful that Calvary Baptist in Findlay, OH, and Union Baptist in Kittanning, PA, joined our support team. We also added two individual supporters and saw a family increase their monthly giving. We are also thankful that BI has agreed to begin funding Oksana’s travels to Eurasia, so we no longer have to raise those funds. PRAISE God for His provisions! However, we still plan on raising funds for travels so that Oksana can go with me to other countries once a year and so that we can cover our baby’s costs once he gets old enough to be charged for his plane ticket.

In case you missed it, I did use a “he” to refer to our baby. We found out in January that God is blessing us with a son in early May. Oksana’s pregnancy is going well in general, but the aches and pains in the third trimester are not fun. We are thankful for the free things we’ve been able to collect for our baby, and Oksana looks forward to good fellowship with friends at baby showers in late March.  Keep PRAYING for Oksana and baby!

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We currently have 33 churches supporting us and 27 individuals/families. We have meetings in five non-supporting churches this year. We are also reporting in six of our supporting churches, including the four in Quebec this summer. PRAY for God’s timing of the baby’s birth and departure for Quebec. We would like for there to be sufficient time between the two for mommy and baby to get into a good routine.

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WORKSHOPS

Oksana and I are thankful for the progress we are seeing in the translators’ abilities in Eurasia. Though we didn’t cover more material than in the last workshop, we had a profitable workshop and grew in our understanding of their language and of the work in general. We PRAISE God that both translators are in good health for now and are trusting God amidst heavy persecution. PRAY they can get the fine removed for not being registered to meet and that they would secure registration.

PRAY too for good progress with the Haitian Creole translator in late May as he comes to Grand Rapids for a workshop. PRAY also for God’s timing as our baby is due on May 11 and the workshop is supposed to start on May 15.

PRAY earnestly for God’s provision of laborers for BI: director, Myanmar director, project coordinators, composition editor, and Scripture Use Manager. PRAY also for wisdom for a committee of four of us who have the daunting task of writing a constitution for BI. We hope to have it completed by July.

Lastly, PRAY for my trip to Asia without Oksana in late March and early April. I will be going to Myanmar (consultant seminar), Singapore (two churches), and India (school partnerships). As of March 22, I’m still recovering from sickness, so pray that will clear up very soon.

For the sake of Christ,

Troy (for both of us)

 

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It’s been since before our Eurasia workshop that I updated our blog. Life has been a blur since that point and is just now calming down. I was extremely busy during the workshop, as usual, but instead of preparing more text for the workshop, I was compiling the dictionary, studying the grammar, or preparing devotionals that would cover hard passages that were coming up. I’m thankful the Lord gave me the latter idea, because it prepared me and the team well for working through the passage during the workshop. I’m thankful that we covered more material than in the last workshop, but we are still very far from doing 130 verses per day. Maybe we’ll never get to that pace, since I have to work through an interpreter (Oksana), but hopefully we can get close so that we can finish this NT in 10 years.

After the workshop we flew to Ukraine to spend 11 days of vacation. Oksana had a few less doctor’s appointments, so she had a more restful time in Ukraine, and so did I. We were able to minister at a church in a nearby village one Sunday and then in her home church the following Sunday. We also enjoyed fellowship with family and friends.

When we got back to the US, we had two days to unpack and get ready for a deputation/furlough trip that would last 5 Sundays. We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Faith Baptist in Lebanon, PA. Pastor Burggraff and his church received us very well, and we received a very generous love offering. On Wednesday, we went to our supporting church, First Baptist, across town so we could be with the Fernetts and the dear people there.

The following week we took a few compensation days to visit Washington DC and spend time with friends at a vacation house on the outer banks of NC. I carried my work to each of these places, but at least we got to spend a few hours here and there learning about the US and enjoying God’s creation.

We really enjoyed our time at Keystone Baptist in Berryville, VA, with Pastor Wright and his church. We spent all day with them, and at the end of the day Pastor Wright assured us that his church would eventually begin supporting us. Praise the Lord! A week or so earlier, we had heard that Peoples Baptist in Frederick, MD, would also soon take us on for support. Plus, a friend in SC began supporting us a week later, so with all three of these additions, we might be up to 84%. Praise God!

After being in Berryville, we drove down to Greenville, SC, to be part of BJU’s Global Opportunities Week. The Lord greatly blessed our visit there. I was quite busy with speaking in 7 different classes (3 of which required that I make new presentations) and in 3 other opportunities, but God also worked in hearts. We were able to make 14 new connections and renewed contact with 4 others. Pray that the interest the students showed was not just a passing thing.

At the end of the week we drove back up to PA for meetings at Calvary Baptist in York and then Calvary Baptist in Elkins Park. The people at York were extremely generous toward us; we received the largest love offering that we’ve been given in a while. They seem to be quite likely to take us on for support. We also popped over to NJ for a few days to be with Pastor Troutman and his people at Heritage Baptist, where we had a great meeting in July. They also really like our ministry.

We finally got to go home that following Monday, Oct 17. That week was restful but not the normal routine all week, since BI’s Harvest Dinner took place on Thursday. We are thankful for the 500+ guests who joined us and for the $40,000+ they gave toward our 7 projects in Chad and CAR. All of those projects are within 2-5 years of completion, so when I was leading the offering portion of the service, I challenged people to consider standing alongside the translation teams until they get to the finish line. Pray that many will!

We are now in WI for a meeting at Harmony Baptist in Beaver Dam next Sunday. We originally had a meeting planned in Huntley, IL, but that church disbanded. But since we already planned some chiropractic appointments for Oksana and a day of recruiting at Maranatha, we came anyway. The appointments have been very helpful, and the recruiting was mediocre. We’ll be hanging out on campus throughout the week, so we’ll see if we can make more connections.

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Dear Family and Friends,

In Jay Adam’s A Theology of Christian Counseling, my current counseling book to read, he points out the seriousness of the accusation “That isn’t fair!” that counselees often make. It’s tempting to say such words when we don’t understand how good things can happen to bad people and vice versa. But with this accusation the counselee is “challenging the justice of God and the faithfulness of His Word.” It also demonstrates “a clear lack of faith.” As believers, we must trust God and accept by faith what He says about how He will reward good and punish wickedness.

PROGRESS AND LOSS

The month of July began with Oksana attending (with me at her side) BMM’s Candidate Seminar. We enjoyed the fellowship and learning at the week and a half of orientation, and we are rejoicing that Oksana now has “appointee” status. Eventually, we’ll both be commissioned by our new church in Grand Rapids, and she’ll then have full missionary status. PRAY as we continue to seek monthly support, which is currently at 81%. PRAISE Him for the 1% increase!

During the seminar, Oksana’s dad had some sort of mild heart attack. He refused to get medical help, and passed away a few weeks later. He most likely died in the same spiritual state he was in throughout his life—a hardened atheist. Oksana wasn’t able to make it to Ukraine for the funeral, but she got to visit his grave when we stopped in Ukraine after the Metanoia NT workshop. PRAY for her and her family as they now deal with the loss of two loved ones—her nephew and her dad. PRAY especially that Oksana’s brother-in-law will turn from alcohol and false religion and run to Christ.

ANNUAL EVENTS AND WORKSHOPS

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In August, I led another Consultant Seminar, which was probably the most well-attended since I began leading in 2007. Current consultants, prospective consultants, and others enjoyed our focus on dictionary-making and literacy. It does no good for us to publish the Scriptures if the recipients can’t read, and one thing that encourages literacy is having a dictionary in the target language. PRAY for wisdom to put into practice all we learned. PRAISE God for my mom’s leadership over all the food service. Next year our new administrative assistant, Becky Holub, will be in charge. PRAISE God for His provision of a new assistant!

After the seminar, we enjoyed three days at the annual BI Retreat. We are thankful for the emphasis on living by faith. On October 20, we’ll have our annual BI Harvest Dinner, which will focus on our Chad and Central African Republic projects. PRAY for a good offering.

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The day after the retreat, Oksana and I flew to Eurasia for another Metanoia NT workshop. We checked James, 1-3 John, and Mark 1:35-3:22. I’m so thankful for Oksana’s significant aid as my Russian interpreter. PRAY that God will provide more funds for her to go again in January (designate gifts to “Troy Manning—Passage”), which we need until we get full support. PRAY for better progress on this project too and for the health of the two translators.

PRAY for the Haitian Creole OT translator to finish enough material for us to have a workshop in November. He’s been struggling with electricity outages in Haiti.

For the cause of Christ,

Troy (for both of us)

 

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Oksana and I have really enjoyed being home during the first part of this beautiful summer. It’s been nice to sip hot tea on the back deck in the evenings (on comfortable deck furniture that was recently given to us), while having our devotions and just spending time together. But those days are coming to an end, as we are hitting the road tomorrow to present at churches and attend a Candidate Seminar and a Bible Faculty Summit. It’s going to be a busy month but hopefully also one filled with God’s blessings. We need God’s grace as our schedule will be greatly altered by all the travels, and yet we still need to keep up with our work. Oksana is still working on the editing of the Translator Training Manual, but she has had to set that aside recently since she’s putting the Russian interlinear from Eurasia into English so I can prepare for the workshop in August. Meanwhile, I’m starting in my workshop preparations, while also preparing for the Consultant Seminar in August and beginning work on the Discourse Analysis course so I can administer that to 4 consultants in training in 3 different countries. Of course, there are the other daily management responsibilities that often end up consuming most of my day.

Our travels actually kinda started last week when we reported to a supporting church, Lake County Baptist Church in Waukegan, IL. We had a great time with Pastor Warren and his church. In fact, Oksana thought it was the best sermon (by Pastor Warren) she has heard since she entered the USA almost a year ago. Pastor Warren and his wife introduced us to the “Ukrainian Village” in Chicago too, so we had lots of fun touring that on Saturday. Oksana found a treasure trove of Ukrainian foods, so we bought some on Saturday and then stopped by again on Monday on our way through Chicago. We’ll definitely be stopping there again in the future!

We look forward to being with Pastor Kent Ramler and Peoples Baptist Church in Frederick, MD, this Sunday. I have already presented to this church, but not with Oksana. They support Bruce Tuttle (the missionary she worked with in Ukraine and her “adopted dad”), so they know Oksana through his prayer letters. They are looking forward to meeting her in person! So is she! Pray that they would be moved to begin supporting 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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In spite of how easy it seems to be for our southern neighbors to migrate into the USA, it can be extremely difficult for those who follow the legal process. We tried to get visas for an Indian couple to attend the missionary linguistics courses at BJU this summer, but they were denied. So, we tried again but this time to just have the man go, but once again we were denied. After sending many, many emails to try to get this process to succeed, we have to set aside all that work and go with Plan C, which is to figure out how to get them training in-house. I’m currently collaborating with my consultants to figure out an in-house training program. I look forward to seeing what the Lord will do through this process. At least, we saved BI from having to spend thousands for this couple to go to the USA to get the training, but it sure creates a lot of work for us who have to do the training ourselves.

BI needs someone to help put down new mulch on our small campus, so I wonder if someone in the area would be willing to give half a day to do that. This may sound overly spiritual but it’s true–it’s a simple way to be part of missions work!

BI has also broken down some of our funding needs into “bit-sized” chunks. Below is a list of “small projects” that churches or individuals may consider contributing to. All of these have merit and are needed, but I’m particularly interested in seeing the resources for Lun (and his wife) supplied as well as the computers for the projects in Chad. If we could get our Chad projects computerized, we could save thousands of dollars in the long-run, since it would really speed up the work, especially the quality checks at the end.

Small Project List 2016

 

Project: Funding Need:
Waalii (Ghana)  – Dictionary $ 500
National Translation Consultant (Lun Hangluah) – Resources $750
Chakma (India) – Literacy Printing $ 1,000
Chiru (India) – Literacy Printing $ 1,000
Kamar (India) – Literacy Printing $ 1,000
Kaulong (Papua New Guinea) – Literacy Printing $ 1,000
Matu (Myanmar) – Scripture Portions $ 1,000
Ranglong (India) – Literacy Printing $ 1,000
Tenek (Mexico) – Literacy Printing $ 1,000
Day (Chad) – Computer(s) $ 1,200
Kaowlu (Côte d’Ivoire) – Computer(s) $ 1,200
Metanoia (Unnamed) – Computer(s) $ 1,200
Sara Kaba Deme (Chad) – Computer(s) ($1,200) & Scripture Portions ($1,000) $ 1,200
Sara Kaba Naa (Chad) – Computer(s) $ 1,200
Tangkhul Naga (India) – Computer(s) $ 1,200
Neao (Côte d’Ivoire) – Computer(s) ($1,200) & Literacy Printing ($1,000) $ 2,200
Ngam (Chad) – Computer(s) ($1,200) & Literacy Printing ($1,000) $ 2,200
BI Building – Attic – Insulation & IT Wiring $ 3,000
Total Funds Needed to Complete Projects $22,850

This week I’ve read a few articles on how to translate γύναι in John 2:4 and 19:26. One article suggests that “woman” is too disrespectful and that “my lady” or “dear lady” are better. Another article pointed out that the Greek term is quite neutral in its usage in general, but that it’s quite shocking for Jesus to use it in reference to His mother. Thus, Jesus is expressing a detachment from His mother by His use of the term, as well as of His question “what does that have to do with us?” Maybe “dear lady” would express that in English, though I still favor “woman” as the best translation, as long as it is read with a soft tone of voice.

Oksana and I look forward to heading back to the Indy area this weekend. We will be with our friends at Faith Baptist Church in Morristown, IN, first. I went there a number of years ago and really enjoyed my time with Pastor Scott and his congregation. They have continued to stay in touch, though they don’t support us financially. I even dropped in on Pastor Scott and his wife one icy winter day when I was trying to get back to GR. They graciously housed an intern and me when we realized it was going to be impossible to get any further.

Then, on Sunday evening we are going to return to Colonial Hills Baptist Church so the people can meet Oksana. She missed the last visit because of the emergency trip to Ukraine. I look forward to having the church hear her salvation testimony and then getting to know the people, especially the Russian-speaking couples.

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