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Posts Tagged ‘First Baptist Church’

We understand that many people probably have no desire to travel as much as we do, but my wife and I love it, and we’re thinking our son does too. We’ve really enjoyed the rhythm of having a set place to stay between meetings and then traveling out on the weekends and now Wednesday nights. We love seeing people and going to new places as we go to meetings, but then returning to our home away from home in Enola. It’s also nice to have a flexible schedule so we can work together on watching Eliyas and other things. I also like having a quiet place to get work done, particularly lecture preparations. So far, I’m ready for 4 days of teaching this summer, and I’ve begun collecting thoughts for 3 other days. We have one more week in Enola and then we spend a week in Kittanning (western PA).

2018.04.26 EnolaPA (42)

Last weekend we had a very nice time with the people at Independent Bible Church in Duryea, PA. We are very thankful for Pastor Cremard and his people for their strong stand for the Lord in the midst of a world shifting toward compromise.

Then, we enjoyed being with the people of First Baptist in Lebanon, PA, last Wednesday. We always like the fellowship with Pastor Fernett and the dear people there. We also picked up some baby clothes that they were holding for us, which were given by Heritage Baptist in Flemington, NJ. We are thankful for their love and support through the years since we began getting to know them.

We are at the halfway point regarding our meetings–7 done and 6 more to go. Only 2 more weeks on the road. Though we enjoy being in the road, we are looking forward to being home. We miss seeing family and friends in Grand Rapids. We also miss seeing our flowers open up at home. But these are small sacrifices in service for the Lord.

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Tomorrow we begin our trip back home from Pekin, IL. We are very thankful for a good road trip, but we are ready to get back home. We’ve received many gifts, picked up good things in “missionary closets,” and made lots of purchases at thrift stores, so it’s time to get back home to unload our very full vehicle.

We are very thankful for our time at Cornerstone Independent Baptist Church, whose missionary house we used for a little over a week. We enjoyed speaking during their mission emphasis week. We shared testimonies and gave a short ministry report in SS. Then I preached in the morning and the evening services. We were overwhelmed by the church’s love, especially their gifts to us. Someone gave Oksana around 5 varieties of loose-leaf tea, and some new friends gave us 2 Christian DVDs and a huge bag of chocolate candies. Another lady gave Oksana a broach with “M” on it to help her remember what her new last name is. 🙂

During our time in the area we were able to visit Emmanuel Baptist Church and ABWE; we were graciously welcomed at both places. We also got to add a visit to our supporting church in Lebanon, First Baptist Church. Pastor Fernett found out we were in the area, so he invited us to have dinner with his family and then to share our testimonies in the Wed evening service. We were greatly encouraged by that time!

At the end of the week we stopped off at the Creation Museum during our weekly day off. Oksana and I thoroughly enjoyed our time there. Though it was my third visit, I was once again moved by the glory of God displayed in the exhibits. I was also profoundly moved as Dr. Ken Ham talked about how the devil has gotten so many Christians to question the simple truths of a 6-day creation and so many other foundational truths. While churches avoid the important issues of Creationism since they can be divisive, Satan is robbing people of their belief in the inerrancy of the Bible. The youth are particularly affected, as is evidenced by their absence in good churches. If churches don’t wake up to the importance of grounding young people in the foundational truths about God, His creation, and the human race, we are going to see the near disappearance of sound, biblical churches.

As we headed west for a missions conference in Pekin, IL, we had lunch with a friend in Indy on Saturday and then visited supporters in western IN. We are now finishing up the missions conference at Faith Baptist Church in Pekin. I spoke in the Sun AM service, and then we gave a short report in the evening. After the service we got to share our wedding story at a church fellowship. We also got to speak in teen chapel on Mon and in elementary chapel on Tues. We’ve been greatly encouraged by our time here!

Praise God with us in His blessings during this trip, and pray for safety as we head home tomorrow.

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I thank the Lord for another wonderful weekend of edifying fellowship and good ministry opportunities. First Baptist Church in Lebanon, PA, has been supporting me since 2010. I enjoyed getting connected with Pastor George Mackey and his church. It’s always a little unnerving for a missionary, though, when there is a change of pastor, but this change turned out quite nicely. Brian Fernett, my friend from graduate school came up from Florida a year ago to begin pastoring this church. What a blessing it was to reconnect with him and his three fun children. We had a great time of fellowship together!

I also enjoyed the fellowship with his church. I got to give them an experience at the picnic of what it would be like to not have the Scriptures in their language. I gave a lesson from Proverbs 2, but I used my French Bible and translated on the spot into English. The people really seemed to get a good feel of how difficult it is for those to whom we supply the Scriptures in their own language!

In SS I gave a semi-technical lesson on translation complications, but I definitely tried to keep it simple. I preached on the need for Bible translation in the AM service and reported on my ministry in the afternoon service. I got to use my French with three Haitians who were visiting that morning, so that was a lot of fun. They are all Catholic and just up here for a few months; two were visiting a Baptist church for the first time.

Pray for good ministry at Calvary Baptist in Elkins Park tonight!

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Well, this grueling week has finally come to a conclusion. The second week of the Basic Linguistics course definitely had a different flavor than the first week. By the end of the first week there were 17 As and 3 Bs in the class, but then Monday came. Monday was evidently a very difficult day for the students, as it dawned on them that they had yet another week of summer school. In addition, some were beginning to see fog rolling in and clouding their understanding of the material.

During the first week the focus was more on teaching them the sounds of languages and helping them learn how to produce them. They had an oral exam on the English consonants at the end of the week. But then over the weekend they began to get into phonological analysis, and some began lagging behind. I also lagged behind some in my grading, so it wasn’t until Wednesday that it became apparent that the students needed more demonstration of how to do phonological analysis. So I set aside Thursday’s entire class period to go through various problems. I praise the Lord that by the end of that day the material was finally clicking in the minds of most of the students, and they were beginning to see clearly how valuable this material is for their future ministry.

Knowing phonetics (the sounds of languages) and phonology (the sound system of a particular language) provides them with the tools they need to become as proficient in the language as the nationals and to completely lose their foreign accent. It gives them the know-how to gain an instinctive feel for the language. Not only will they know exactly where in the vocal apparatus to say the sounds, but they will also know the reasons why the pronunciation of the dictionary form of the word alters in actual speech. They will also have the tools to analyze suprasegmental features of the language (e.g., intonation, tone, and stress). With that knowledge they will have a feel for the “rhythm” of the language. And those who will teach English as a second language will be better able to explain what’s going on in the language they are teaching!

Though the teaching is over for this module, the work still continues both for me and the students. They have two final exams to complete by Monday. And that means I have more grading to do.

But for now I need to turn my attention to my furlough meeting at Lake County Baptist Temple in Waukegan, IL, on Sunday, and to the “Conference on the Church for God’s Glory” at First Baptist Church in Rockford, IL, on Monday. Then I can get back home and try to make up for lost time as I prepare for the Haitian Creole OT workshop that begins in two weeks. The stress level has been quite high for the past few months and won’t let up until mid June, if I can make it that long!

My meeting at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Huntley, IL, went very well. I was so pleased to see how that church is alive, though at one time, Pastor Carlson wondered if it would ever survive.

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I had another great time at First Baptist Church in Rockford, IL, pastored by Scott Williquette. They asked me to come last year to their missions emphasis month to take the entire Sunday to present my ministry and preach the Word. For some odd reason they wanted me to come back again for a second year in a row! Of course, this meant that I had to come up with all new material to present my ministry. Thankfully, Pastor Scott had given me an idea last year, and that resulted in a new Powerpoint presentation. He gave me some other ideas over the phone about a month ago, so that gave me enough input to develop something for the Sunday afternoon service. In the morning worship service, I preached a sermon that the Lord laid on my heart in 2011 when I was memorizing Psalm 145–“To Know Him is to Praise Him.”

My last deputation meeting is at Macomb Baptist Church in Clinton Township, MI, where Ron Wagner is the pastor. I’ll be sharing a few words at the “Dessert with the Missionary,” preaching in the AM service, and showing my DVD in the evening service. Another missionary will share the day with me. I look forward to being with the believers at Macomb, and I’m excited that it’s my last deputation service!

Meanwhile, this week I’ve been immersing myself in phonetics and phonology. I’m teaching a basic linguistics course on these subjects at Maranatha Baptist Bible College in May, so I’m preparing my lectures for the course. I’m learning all sorts of cool things about pulmonic and non-pulmonic consonants, sonority, resonance, phonological hierarchy, and many other things. I’ve always wanted to supplement my knowledge of these concepts, so now is my chance!

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My last post was written from Illinois. Later that day I traveled to Iowa for a few days, then up to Minnesota for Sunday meetings, then back to Michigan to prepare for my Open House yesterday evening. It’s been a crazy few weeks! I had an oil change done on my car on September 19 in Chicago, and I’ve already put on 2,000 miles since then, so much of the past few weeks has involved driving.

Wheaton College. I attended a conference celebrating the 400th year anniversary of the KJV and to honor Dr. Leland Ryken on Sept. 22-23. I wanted to put a long post about that conference, but I can’t seem to find the time. So I’ll just give some brief comments. I thank the Lord for allowing me to run into a couple that I knew from my days at BJU, so we had a great time hanging out together. I also enjoyed rubbing shoulders with Leland Ryken, Mark Noll, David Lyle Jeffrey, Alister McGrath, the CFO of Wheaton, and others. Ryken is retiring from Wheaton after 44 very productive years (in addition to his teaching and other activities, he has written around 3 dozen books; and one or more are in the works!). The conference focused on the literary value of the KJV, though Ryken pointed out that the KJV is only good literature because the Bible is good literature. I attended most of the lectures and found the ones done by the above four presenters to be extremely informative and enlightening. I was also blessed by the college chapel, since the organ accompanied singing from the hymnal that day, maybe because of the special guests and conference. I’ll share more about what I learned about the KJV in another post.

Faith Baptist Bible College. Since I was passing through Iowa to visit supporters in Cedar Rapids, I decided to extend my travels across the Hawkeye state by visiting FBBC. Dr. Maxwell (with whom I spoke for about an hour) and the others were very gracious. I sat in on a Hebrew class, a Greek class, the college chapel, and the seminary chapel. I also watched them rout a visiting Christian college in soccer. I also connected with some fine young people, some of whom are planning on coming in the direction of BI!

My meeting at Fairmont Baptist Church in Fairmont, MN, was a great blessing. The people’s welcoming of me and response to the Word and to my ministry were very encouraging. The Lord has really blessed Pastor Prigge and his people. I also enjoyed presenting at First Baptist Church in New Ulm, MN, that evening. Pastor Fuller and his small group asked very insightful questions about my ministry.

This past week was spent working with my mom (who flew up from SC) to prepare for an Open House at my new place. I wasn’t able to get fully unpacked, but we were able to get the house into fine shape to receive guests. Around 40 people came to rejoice with me in what God has provided. It’s such a blessing to have a comfortable place where I can return after my trips and where I can receive guests.

I leave this afternoon for a missions conference at Community Baptist Church in South Bend, IN. This church has already shown a heart for the ministry of Bibles International, so I look forward to telling them more. I’ll be presenting my ministry on Monday night, speaking in a Spanish class earlier that day, and speaking at a senior men’s fellowship on Wed morning. Then I’ll head back home.

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