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Posts Tagged ‘Chad’

Dear Family and Friends,

While reading for my Marriage and Family Counseling course, I was convicted by these words in Stuart Scott’s The Exemplary Husband: “Many Americans seem mainly interested in three things: getting things done, achieving personal goals, and protecting their personal space” (p. 48). PRAY for God to give me wisdom to focus more on developing relationships.

COMMISSIONED!

Oksana and I are so thankful for the encouraging Commissioning Service at our church on January 21. Friends and family came from various places to join us in this special occasion. God used that time to strengthen us for the trials that lay ahead. We’ll continue to think back upon the challenge to be “His workmanship” (Eph. 2:10) that brings glory to Him.

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We are also thankful for the love gift from that service and other generous gifts that will help us as we look for a second vehicle that will meet our family and furlough travel needs. PRAY for God to provide a reliable vehicle at a good price before our upcoming two-month furlough trip to PA, WV, and NY. We look forward to ministering in 13 different churches. PRAY for strength to be a blessing amid that busy schedule while also keeping up with the translation ministry.

COMPLETING!

We’re very thankful that the BI constitution is almost completed. I have been part of the overall process since 2014 but, Lord willing, it will come to an end later this month.

We are also PRAISING God that the Akha NT with Psalms and Proverbs (Thailand), the Songhay NT (Mali), and the Tagalog revised NT (Philippines) are almost ready to be sent to the printer. I and another consultant worked extensively on the Tagalog NT to get it ready. Using software that allows us to sync the text through the internet, we were able to work in two different countries while also connecting with the revision team in the Philippines. PRAY for the final details to wrap up well and for preparations for the dedication and distribution. Two more projects are nearing completion: Falam Chin Bible (Myanmar) and Manipuri revised Bible (creative-access country). PRAY for the final tasks on these texts. There are also seven trial editions and 16 literacy and linguistics books coming down the pike. We are thankful to God for helping us bring so many texts to completion!

We have begun recruiting efforts in a creative-access country, so PRAY for God to lead us to new projects and personnel. PRAY also as we wait for God’s timing regarding a research trip to another creative-access country and a separate trip to Mexico.

PRAY for the work in Chad, Africa. The OT translators are still getting used to working with solar power, computers, and Bible translation software. Also, our new Chad literacy coordinator is learning his new job. We would like to take on two new projects there without slowing down our five current projects, so PRAY for God to provide a Chadian translation consultant.

PRAY also for personnel needs at the home office: director, projects coordinators, and Scripture Use manager.

For the sake of Christ,

Troy (for the three of us)

 

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My assignment in early December was to introduce our Chad translators to computers and show them how to use Paratext, a powerful Bible translation program developed by two other Bible societies. We were finally bringing these translators into the 21st century! Why didn’t we do it sooner? Two main reasons: 1) they didn’t have any electricity in their villages, 2) we didn’t have a translation software with a French interface to give them. The first problem was solved by the advent of solar power, and the second problem was solved when Paratext, which now has a French interface, began to be distributed for free. Thus, these translators, who had been using simple electronic keyboards, could now gain access to powerful resources that would improve the quality of their work and reduce the time needed to complete the translation (one of our NT’s has taken 4 years to get it ready for printing, but many of the errors being caught in this last stage could be identified automatically by Paratext).

As I prepared for this assignment, I grew to understand how little the translators knew about computers. I have been exposed to them and have been using them since the 90’s (or even before), but they probably haven’t seen them too much in their lives, nor have they hardly ever used them. I remember working with one team in 2013, using a new computer that our supporting church in Singapore, had provided. The translator moved the mouse as if it were stuck in molasses–very slowly. How could I not only introduce them to computers but also teach them how to use Paratext in only two weeks? And how would I be able to do so in French?

I quickly realized I needed to keep a database of computer terms in French. I ended up collecting 177 terms! In addition, I knew I needed to write a manual so that the translators could refer back to it after I left Chad. At first, I thought I could find something that had already been developed. A co-worker trained translators in Central African Republic, so I thought her material would fit my need. But as I reviewed it, I realized it wasn’t basic enough, and it didn’t fit my style of teaching. Also, it wasn’t as comprehensive as I wanted it to be. I asked a Paratext expert in another organization, who trained a group of us at BI in Paratext in September, and he sent over a set of manuals all translated into French. But as I reviewed that material, I realized it fit their organization’s translation process, but not ours. So, the conclusion was that I needed to write my own manual! That presented quite a burden for me!

But at that point I felt like I hardly knew Paratext well. I had been using it with two different projects, but I was only using the basic tools. Thankfully, a co-worker gave us some training in August, and then in God’s wonderful providence, He connected us to an expert, who lives basically just down the street from BI. We gathered 9-10 of us at the office so he could give us two days of advanced training. I still didn’t know some of the basic tools, but at least I was no longer intimidated by the program. By God’s grace, I put together a 40-page manual in French, with everything checked by a native French speaker (who so wonderfully made himself available to help me throughout the writing process). I also wrote 10 pages of material about basic computer skills. Thank God, He helped my prep time in Ukraine to be quite productive! I was ready to go to Chad!

I arrived in Chad on Nov 30, but Dec 1 was their independence day holiday. The complication there was that I had to register my arrival at the police station, but they were closed that Friday because of the holiday. We tried on Saturday but to no avail. I just had to be content with spending the weekend at the capital, and with the training starting one day late. I actually welcomed the opportunity to rest and to get a little more work done. When I talked on the phone to a co-worker (Anna Beth Wivell), who would help me with the training, it became apparent that I needed to write more material to add to the manual. She had experienced some serious challenges with a team, who had already started using Paratext, so I realized I needed to write material to help the other teams avoid the same challenges (thank God that one team went through these things first and not all 5 teams together!). So, I wrote 5 more pages, and got those checked by my friend in France. I sent it down to Anna Beth, and she got the manuals printed on Monday.

While in the capital that weekend, I got to meet three key individuals, so clearly God had other reasons to keep me up there. I met a language assessment specialist, who can help us find new projects. At church Sunday, I met a linguistics professor, and after church a group of us got to know a medical doctor who has a heart to revive the Tumag situation (this group has stalled in their OT translation work). I also got to preach to almost 700 people at that church, which has three of my former students from my Cameroon days as pastors. I’m also thankful that I got to see a fourth student too, and the son of a fifth student helped me greatly by taking me around to restaurants on his motorcycle (and loaned me his router for my stay in Chad).

We finally got to head south on the bus at 10:30 am on Monday. It was an arduous 16-hour bus ride. The bus is actually pretty comfortable, but spending that many hours bouncing down a deteriorating paved road while listening to Arabic music is not too much fun. Plus, they make only very brief stops, so we end up being hungry most of the trip (not common for Americans but quite common for Chadians).

I got a few hours of sleep that night, and then started into the training at 10 am the next morning. God gave strength to get through the whole day even without taking a nap, but that evening a sickness started setting in. I had very little appetite. By the next day  diarrhea started. I’m not sure if it was the food we ate at the church on Sunday, or what we had at the roadside cafe on Monday, or what I ate with the translators on Tuesday. But something got me! But thankfully, though it made me feel pretty miserable, it didn’t keep me from teaching each day. And since I had already done the prep work before the training, I could just focus on resting each evening (but also preparing a devotional each night for the next day).

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There were 5 teams present–the team’s typist and a the main translator. The BI Chad administrator was also there to learn. The typist, as I said above, was familiar with the electronic keyboard they have been using, so that was helpful. But they weren’t using the French keyboard or the Chadian keyboard (which require special key mappings to go with the English keyboard on the computers). I wish the keyboard was in French! I also wish a co-worker had put the French version of Windows and other software on the computers. Somehow he misunderstood the situation in Chad, so on 4 of the computers, there was only English interfaces and programs. That was an unavoidable complexity that added to the challenge! (Sometime next year, they’ll get French programs to fix this problem.)

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I’m thankful that the translators were ready with great interest! They were eager to enter into the 21st century! They showed no signs of frustration or despair, but they were quite slow in learning the tasks. There were 3 of us (Anna Beth and a translator who’s already been using Paratext) who would have to help each team step by step as I taught new tasks. But it seems that they were picking up on the training–I hope! And we finished in 8 days! They were quite thankful to be able to go home one day early, and I was glad to have one day to write my reports and to get caught up on work before my vacation started on the following Monday.

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The translators are rarely able to gather into one room like that (the last time was in 2012 when they got additional translator training), so I hope the two weeks was an encouraging time for them. I tried to encourage them through the devotions each morning.

While I was there, the Lord also helped me through some administrative challenges involving sensitive personnel issues. I met with the administrative council of BI’s Chad affiliate the Saturday during my stay there, and we successfully worked through 4 challenging issues: redirecting one candidate for translation consultant toward literacy coordinator (a more urgent need), redirecting our considerations away from another man who is not qualified for the literacy coordinator position, thinking through complex issues regarding a second candidate for translation consultant, and charting out end goals for bringing our 5 OT projects to completion. Oh, and I may have found a good solution to our literacy needs in Central African Republic.

What a productive trip I had, even in spite of the sickness! Thankfully, the sickness went away by the second Tuesday, thanks to the help of a fellow missionary and her antibiotics. Praise God for strength, wisdom, and grace throughout the trip!

Back in Ukraine, my wife had her struggles with Eliyas, who doesn’t know how to sleep through the night. Plus, she couldn’t rely on others to help, since they had to work most days. So, she was almost totally occupied with baby duties–but since he brings her (and me) so much joy, she wasn’t struggling terribly. She shared some of her joys with me through texting, and once we were even able to talk on the phone through Skype. But otherwise, we had to limit our communication, since Internet in Chad is so expensive. But I got to see pictures of him, including his sitting on his own for the first time.

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Dear Family and Friends,

For my Marriage and Family counseling course I’m taking, I decided to read Douglas Wilson’s Fidelity. I really appreciate his direct and comprehensive treatment of various sexual issues that men today battle with. In one place he says, “God does not place His children in situations where faithfulness to Him is impossible.” I had to remind myself of that truth while I was single, and still do, even now as a married man, especially when I travel by myself. A good read for any man!

TRAVELING AS A FAMILY AND SOLO

Eliyas’ world travels actually began in July when we took him to Canada; but now he’s been to Eurasia and Ukraine. I estimate he’s had large exposure to six different languages already in his first six months of life. Who knows which ones will come out of his mouth?! We are just thankful that he’s adjusting to every circumstance with wide-eyed curiosity and contentment (for the most part). We are thankful that the Lord enabled Oksana and me to conduct the Metanoia workshop, even though we also had to look after Eliyas’ needs. Continue to PRAY for the Metanoia church as they deal with persecution.

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I had to go to Bangladesh and another Asian country by myself in October. It was a grueling trip of many flights, overnight bus trips, and other discomforts, so it was probably just as well I was solo. I had the privilege of participating in my first dedication, the dedication of the Inner Seraji NT (pictured above). It was one of the happiest moments of my life! PRAY for successful use of these NT’s. After the dedication, a group of us traveled to another location for strategic planning meetings. PRAISE Him for giving us wisdom in those discussions. PRAY for guidance as we carry out our plans.

The Lord really blessed my (solo) trip to Chad in early December as I taught basic computer skills and how to use our Bible translation program, Paratext. With the help of a native French speaker editing my work, I put together 55 pages of material, and then taught through it in eight days. In spite of battling a stomach illness almost the whole time, I was blessed with strength and wisdom from the Lord for each day. PRAY for the translation teams as they begin using computers in their work for the first time. PRAY that it would speed up their work and improve the quality of their translations.

SUPPORT COMPLETE

We praise God that Heritage Baptist in Flemington, NJ, took us on for support, as well as a dear family, helping us to complete our support-raising ministry. Now we can concentrate on the ministry, while also keeping up with our 38 supporting churches and 28 supporting families. PRAY for God’s blessing on our Commissioning Service on January 21 at our home church in Grand Rapids, MI.

GOD IS PROVIDING PEOPLE

At the end of January we hope to finalize the BI constitution, so please PRAY for wisdom.

We had two literacy workers making trips to Africa to cover the literacy workshops there; but one is resigning and the other is really limiting her travel. Thankfully, the Lord seems to be providing in other ways through contacts in Chad. Please PRAY for God to guide. PRAY also as we have a good candidate for translation consultant in Chad. PRAISE the Lord for bringing us a BMM missionary who is willing to help as an adjunct consultant for a project in a creative-access country.  PRAY for my likely research trip there with two co-workers in February.

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As we enjoy our first Christmas as a family and in Ukraine, we hope you will also find great joy in celebrating our Savior’s birth!

For the sake of Christ,

Troy (for the three of us)

 

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The first half of this year didn’t quite go as planned! It was supposed to start with a one-week trip to Chad, Africa, where I would dedicate the Rito NT, my first time to dedicate a completed translation. Then, I would go to India to lead the Asia Consultant Seminar and then lead a Simte OT workshop. I would spend 4 weeks total in India. The first 6 months would end with a two-week workshop in Haiti.

Well, after spending Christmas break in Ukraine, my year got started off with a rush by returning to the office to spend the first week doing strategic planning with the BI Director and the other managers. That gave me only one week to get caught up from being away for 2.5 weeks and to prepare for a two-week trip to Côte d’Ivoire (the Chad trip was cancelled since the Rito NT wasn’t ready for shipment yet).

I had no idea what to expect in Côte d’Ivoire. We were going to do further research on the situation and start forming committees to do the translation work. I knew I would need to do linguistic analysis on two languages I had never seen before, but I didn’t anticipate that I would also give some cursory translator training so they could begin revision work on their 2 NTs which were completed years ago. So, in the evenings I had to study their languages, prepare translator training, and also keep up with strategic planning. I did some of the latter while in airplanes and buses too.

After that trip I originally gave myself 1 week to get caught up at the office and also prepare for my time in India. But as my relationship with my girlfriend developed so quickly over Christmas, I decided I’d add a stop-off in Ukraine on my way to India, so I ended up with only 2 days in the office. One week wasn’t enough time, let alone 2 days, and one of those 2 days was spent with more strategic planning with the BI administration. I was quite stressed about how I’d prepare to lead a consultant seminar and get ready for a translation workshop in India. Again, more preparation as I traveled! But then God worked by causing the seminar to go slower than I had expected and delaying the translation workshop by 3 days. These interventions gave me just enough breathing room to get my preparations done. The workshop also went slower than expected—in fact, we didn’t even cover all that I had prepared!

I had 2 months after my India trip to get caught up on tasks and also get ready for the next wave of workshops in May and June. Those months were also spent working through the visa process with my fiancée. The time flew quickly and I found myself still not ready for the workshop in Haiti and then the new workshop in Eurasia, which wasn’t originally part of my schedule. But off I went to Haiti anyway. I had to spend around 3 hours each evening in Haiti preparing more material, but God gave me the strength for us to cover both Deuteronomy and Joshua, something I hadn’t expected we’d get done!

The Eurasia trip, as I said, was thrown into my schedule earlier in the year. I added the responsibility because I knew it would give me an opportunity to see my fiancée again, since she would be needed for Russian interpreting. But when I committed to go, I didn’t realize I would have to write a whole new translator training manual, since our current one fit an English-speaking context. God helped me to write 90 pages before I left, and then I wrote around 30 more while in Eurasia. The translator training was quite rigorous, since the team wanted to cover all the material in 11 days straight, but I was amazed at how God guided and strengthened, even giving me new ways of teaching during the actual training. Praise God!

The first half of the year ended with a quick trip to a church in Maryland to teach 3 sessions about Bible translation and to preach in the AM service. I don’t see how that trip fit into my busy schedule, but I’m thankful that it did.

Now I’m on vacation! It started on July 1 in the afternoon. On July 2 I drove to the Philadelphia area to meet up with my mom to fly to Ukraine. We arrived on July 4 and will leave on July 13 with my fiancée. Pray for safety in travel and especially for my fiancée as this will be her first time to go to the USA.

We’ll have less than 2 weeks to finalize plans for the wedding on July 25. Then we’ll enjoy two weeks of honeymoon in the Poconos mountains before arriving back at my home in Michigan on August 1. After a grueling start to 2015, I was definitely ready for a long vacation!

But this vacation was squeezed into a busy schedule that will pick up again with a Consultant Seminar and then the BI Annual Retreat in mid-August. Thankfully, a two-week teaching assignment for late August was cancelled, so I get to spend Sept and Aug settling into life in Michigan with my new wife. We’ll also visit churches in MI, PA, and IL.

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Below is my latest prayer letter. I will include an addendum below that to tell about my “stolen credit cards” incident.

God has been impressing upon my heart the need to take God’s Word more seriously. Recently, I saw a video segment in which one guy decided he would ignore the danger sign about the sharks and go for a swim anyway in the Australian waters. His friend said something like, “Around 200 people have died in these waters. Either you are going to accept that they are telling you the truth, or you are going to think that they are just trying to ruin your fun.” Sometimes I don’t take God’s Word seriously, as if He doesn’t mean what He says–but God does mean what He says, and He knows what is best for me. I must trust everything He says.

WORKSHOPS IN AFRICA

I’m now in the midst of the busy last four months of the year, and I need your prayers now more than ever. I just returned from a five-week trip to Chad and Benin (including six days of vacation in France). I and a consultant-in-training worked with the Sara Madjingaye team to check their translation of 2 Kings. I PRAISE the Lord that we finished the book within the timeframe I had allotted.

Then, I traveled to Benin via Niger. While at the capital of Niger, I was able to meet up with various people to determine the potential for a revision of the Zarma Bible that we finished in 1994. Please PRAY for wisdom in how to proceed. As always, the factors to consider are quite complicated.

After three days in the capital, I drove with a missionary family and one of their missionary co-workers through southwestern Niger, known for its herds of giraffes and camels. Just like last year, I saw only the camels! The workshop started the day after we arrived. Along with the missionary coordinator, we worked through the Dendi translation of the first ten books of the Old Testament to prepare them for a trial edition to be published this year. We conducted “quality checks” to evaluate the consistent and proper translation of key terms in all ten books and to bring parallel passages into closer alignment. We worked on such things as the names of God, words for “tabernacle” and “temple,” and the “offering” words. The checks can be quite tedious; but they are important and they must be done with great care, lest we accidentally undo what had been carefully thought through earlier in the process. PRAY for the missionary coordinator as he helps the translation team finish up the last, numerous minor corrections. Bible school starts in January, and they want these ten books by then.

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES

On October 11-15, I will be attending a Bible translation conference in Texas. This conference is a key event every other year in which those in the same line of work can rub shoulders and learn from each other how to do our work better, so PRAY that this time will be profitable.

On October 21-25, I will be representing Bibles International at the Bob Jones University Missions Emphasis week. While there, I will be speaking twice in chapel and doing presentations in six different classes. PRAY for the Lord to awaken hearts to the great need of Bible translation and for Him to give me grace in speaking.

On November 4-15, I will meet with the Tok Pisin NT in PNG team to check their first assignments and provide more training. PRAY for grace to keep up with all these assignments and for God’s blessings of power, provision, and protection. On December 2-13, I’ll go to Haiti to work with the Haitian Creole translator to finish up work on the soon-to-be published NT with Psalms and Proverbs.

ADDENDUM: To catch my plane back to the US last Thursday, I took a public bus from Benin to the capital of Niger. The “seat reservation” issue in Niger is a story in itself, but I won’t tell that here (basically, you sit, wait, and pray that there will be an empty seat when the bus arrives). After waiting almost 3 hours, a bus with two empty seats (one for me and one for an African who was traveling with me) arrived. These 70-passenger buses are quite comfortable: tinted windows, curtains to block the hot African sun, air conditioning, and padded seats. Leg room was somewhat limited, since the aisle was pretty full with various items. When I first got on, I saw no empty seats, so I started making my way over the items in the aisle toward the back. I finally found something, thanks partly to the help of the other passengers, four rows from the back.

At one police checkpoint the officer checked the identification cards of various passengers, including mine. I had to open my travel wallet to get my passport out (an important detail to keep in mind). Since I travel so much, there are lots of pages and stamps in it. The officer couldn’t find my Niger border-crossing stamp, and neither could I. After stepping off the bus and calling various people, he finally found it.

After we had ridden for over half of the trip and had made various pit stops, we made yet another one. We stopped in the middle of no where in Niger at the intersection of two dirt roads. As I had done before, I left my backpack on the bus. I knew no strangers would get on the bus, and I figured that since other passengers left their stuff on the bus, so could I. My bag, however, was probably unlike any other in that I had various expensive items in it: a brand new camera, an Android phone, a computer, a digital recorder, a presentation pointer, a Kindle, and a few other things. I also left my travel wallet in there (in a zipped pocket), that had some money and three credit cards. I tried to keep from “flashing” all these items during the trip, lest I attract unnecessary attention, but I couldn’t help opening my wallet when the officer wanted to see my passport.

During the stop I enjoyed playing around with a few kids and talking to various adults, including one African who had an American flag patch on his shirt, as well as a name patch with “Joe” written on it. I enjoyed joking with him that I was pleased to meet an American named Joe, though I knew he wasn’t. I got back on the bus because I wanted to give a few coins to some of the poor kids I was playing with. I doubted I had any coins, but I checked my wallet to make sure. That’s when I saw that my credit cards were gone. I told my traveling companion, and he alerted the bus helper (the guy who helps the driver with collecting money, dealing with various issues that come up, etc.). He went back to my seat and looked around and may have said something to the people, but that was it. Once we got rolling again, I decided to “preach a little sermon” (in French) to the three rows of around 20 people seated behind me. I informed them that someone back there had stolen my credit cards but that I wanted them back. I assured them that the credit cards would be useless immediately, because I would just call and cancel all 3 accounts (the bus helper also added a few comments to support what I was saying). Of course, everyone denied it, so there was nothing more I could do, except pray for the situation. I sat down and was trying to absorb what just happened, especially thinking about the great inconvenience this had caused since it meant having to call the companies from Niger, resetting all accounts, and updating any accounts linked to those cards. After about 5 minutes of doing that, I just happened to look down at my feet, and I saw two of my cards. I picked them up and looked around some more, and there was the third card!

Then, I felt terrible that I had accused the passengers, because I figured I must have let them fall out of my wallet. After agonizing for about a minute about what to do, I stood up and faced the back three rows once again. I showed them my cards and apologized for falsely accusing them. They then notified the bus helper, who was sitting in the front of the bus, that I had gotten my cards back, so now the whole bus knows that the only white guy has three credit cards. Now I definitely needed to keep a close eye on my cards!

But as I sat down and thought about what must have happened, I realized that there was no way those cards could have fallen out of my travel wallet. The pockets were just too tight to allow that. Therefore, they must have been stolen. Apparently, someone got “under conviction” about stealing my cards and returned them to me. I guess it’s because they realized they were of no value. My guess is that all the passengers in the last three rows knew what really happened and may have even worked together to get the cards returned under my seat. I can’t say I know all that happened that afternoon nor did I understand all the French words that were tossed around among the people, but I sure am thankful that God caused my cards to get returned! I praise Him for answering prayers and giving me protection!

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I decided to post my schedule for the rest of 2013 both so you can be praying for me and also so you can know why I may not be very timely about posting new material on my blog for a while. August has been full of blessings but also very busy. I’m thankful, though, for the busy-ness, because it helps this fleeting life go even more quickly so I am nearer to heaven!

Our annual meeting was filled with the Lord’s blessings. Pastor Ken Spink encouraged and challenged us to run the Christian race well, using Hebrews 12:1-4 as his text. I was able to minister to the MK teens two mornings, and that was fun. The entire BI staff was probably encouraged as much by the staff reports as by the preaching this year, primarily because two new managers presented themselves for the first time during the reports. It was a blessing to hear of Gary Walton’s (Stewardship Manager) and Joe Valentin’s (Projects Management Manager) excitement and energy as they talked about their vision for their departments. We also enjoyed hearing them and their wives trace God’s hand in leading them to join us. We were also blessed by the other testimonies that were given by other new staff members.

The Consultant Seminar had the feel of being more productive this year than in years past, because we broke up into small groups and actually began to produce a manual. Normally, we focus just on planning at our seminars, which is also very necessary, but this year we spent the time actually doing some work. We are working on a linguistics training manual for translators to help them analyze their language from a linguistics perspective. I think we have already produced 40 pages for this manual! We also benefited from the wisdom and experience of Dr. Mary Morgan, an international literacy and education consultant, and from Dr. Jill Zwyghuizen, one of our adjunct consultants who wrote her dissertation on time reference of verbs in biblical Hebrew poetry. I had 3 house guests, so hosting them and leading the seminar kept me quite busy for 10 days straight.

Now I’m gearing up for my trip to France and Africa. I’ll spend two days with a friend in Paris, who also does volunteer translation work for BI, and then I’ll spend 3 days in northern France with another friend. I look forward to seeing the beaches of Normandy and other historical sites, as well as enjoying good Christian fellowship with French believers and brushing up on my French.

On Sept 8 after preaching at a church in northern France, I’ll jump on a train and head back to Paris for my flight to Chad. On Monday I’ll ride down with a missionary to the workshop location in Sarh in southwestern Chad. I look forward to checking 2 Kings with the Sara Madjingaye team. We enjoyed working on 1 Kings together in Oct 2012, so I look forward to how the Lord will enable us to work together as a team again this year.

On Sept 20 I’ll take a bus back to the capital of Chad in order to make my early morning flight the next day to Niger. A missionary will pick me up in Niger when I arrive on the same morning of Sept 21. I’m not sure if we will immediately head for Benin or stay in Niger for a day. The workshop will begin the following Monday. I’ll be helping the Dendi OT team prepare 10 books for a trial edition. The workshop will end in the middle of the following week, and I’ll take a bus back to Niger to prepare for my late night Oct 3 departure for France and then the US.

Please pray for wisdom as I continue to prepare. Pray for grace to be a blessing in all the places where I’ll go. I’ll definitely need the Lord’s enabling grace as I preach in French in France and in Chad. Pray also for safety and good health as I’ll be in 4 different countries and eating all sorts of food.

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Dear Family and Friends,

 

On the first day of this new year, a friend reminded me of some lines from Francis Ridley Havergal’s “Another Year is Dawning,”which say,

Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
In working or in waiting, another year with Thee;
Another year of progress, another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.

May the Lord help us to know more of His presence in working and waiting, progress and praising in this next year!

BI’S ANNUAL BANQUET

Thank you for your PRAYERS for the annual banquet in October. We had over 700 guests and raised over $40,000 for our projects in the Americas and Caribbean. PRAY that the Lord would continue to provide for our financial needs, especially as giving has been down recently.

AFRICA TRIP

The day after that banquet, I headed to the airport for another trip to Africa. It included returning to Chad and going to Benin and Niger for the first time. PRAISE the Lord for giving me safety and enabling me to finish all my preparations before the workshops and accomplish all my goals during the workshops, even though I was delayed twice in my travels. The Lord’s presence was quite evident in both workshops—especially in the first, where we anticipated there might be some team divisiveness. Instead, we worked wonderfully well together and accomplished much, even finishing early.

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My trip to Benin was especially encouraging, because I saw how God was using the Dendi NT we finished a number of years ago. I also noticed how extremely dependent the Dendi believers are upon having the Word of God in their own language. I could hardly speak to any of them in French, and they struggle to understand the Word of God even in a related African language. PRAY for us to complete the Dendi OT in good time. We are preparing 10 books for a trial edition to be published next year.

HEADING EAST AGAIN

The new year will begin with another trip to the East, but this time I’ll be gone for longer than any previous trip. I’ll spend two weeks in India (leading a consultant seminar and conducting a translation checking workshop), five weeks in Papua New Guinea (conducting a translation checking workshop and training a translation team for a new project), one week in Singapore (to regroup and to prepare for the last week of my trip), and one week in Myanmar (to meet with consultants and to conduct another translation checking workshop). Please PRAY for wisdom as I continue to prepare (and will do so most evenings on the trip) and then as I exercise these leadership roles in various contexts. This trip will stretch me more than any before, but I look forward to seeing how the Lord’s strength will be perfected in my weakness.

Please continue to PRAY for the Lord to provide a Projects Manager for BI. It’s been tough, especially for the director, to keep up with the responsibilities of this position until we find a replacement. Thanks for your prayers!

For the Cause of Christ,

Troy

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