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Posts Tagged ‘Haiti’

Dear Family and Friends,

In an effort to help us understand how much we need God, Paul David Tripp points out in his book, Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands, that God made us to be “revelation receivers.” Even before man’s fall, we needed God’s Word to guide us. We cannot live for His glory without a growing relationship with God’s Word.

A BABY IS COMING!

It was one of those moments in which we wanted to shed tears and shout in praise to God at the same time. On November 7, we heard the heartbeat of our child in Oksana’s womb. What a relief, after not being able to hear a heartbeat a year ago! We look forward to welcoming our baby in early May. PRAY for the many adjustments involved in preparing for this little one.

SUPPORT ROLLERCOASTER

The coming of the baby and the rise in health insurance put us on a rollercoaster in support raising, which was our main activity for the fall. We had seen our support rise to 83%, but then it went down to 73% because of all the increased expenses. It’s now back up to 81%, thanks to Keystone Baptist (new) in Berryville, VA; Bethany Baptist (new) in Grand Rapids, OH; Calvary Baptist (increase) in Westminster, MD; as well as two families in Michigan and another in Pennsylvania. We also received all the funds we need for Oksana to go to Eurasia for the workshop in January. We are so thankful to the generous gift from First Baptist Church in Lebanon, PA, as well as the gifts of friends from another place in Pennsylvania and from Florida.

PRAY for the Lord to provide for the remainder of our support. We need another $130 per month to break even on our reduced budget, which does not include the full health insurance increase, the expense of a second car and second driver (Oksana), and a few other budget items. Based on how much our 32 churches give us on average, we need 11 more churches to take us on for support to bring us to the full 100%. We can’t imagine trying to report to 43 churches on a rotating basis, while also trying to keep up with full-time ministry. PRAY that God would provide in such a way that we would partner with the supporters God wants for us but also in a way that’s manageable for our future schedule. We are thankful that we gained three new churches after speaking at 16 non-supporting churches this year; and a fourth is planning on starting support in January. We had 24 church meetings total this year. We are thankful for the many blessings in all those travels but hoping that we won’t have to be on the road as much in the future, especially with a baby coming. We look forward to missions conferences in IN and MD in March.

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RECRUITING

While on the road to visit churches, we also did recruiting at Bob Jones University and Maranatha Baptist University. We are thankful that we made about 20 new contacts for BI. PRAY for the Lord to send forth laborers to this part of His harvest.

WORKSHOPS

The Haitian Creole translator wasn’t able to complete enough material to warrant a workshop in November, so PRAY that he will be able to manage all his responsibilities better (including two special needs children) and keep up with the work. However, I must say I was thankful for the extra time at home and at the office to get caught up on the large piles of work.

PRAY for us to accomplish more in the January workshop in Eurasia. PRAY also for good health for the translators and for deliverance from heavy persecution.

Merry Christmas to all and Happy New Year!

Troy (for both of us)

 

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I’ve been working through Derek Wilson’s The People’s Bible, which tells the story of the KJV. He writes that, between 1500 and 1550, “only a dozen pastors [of the 869 East Anglican clergy] throughout a large, populous, and thriving part of England owned the sourcebook of the Christian faith.” Thankfully, though, during that same span of time, the Lord was raising up men like William Tyndale to meet that great need in order to deliver the clergy from darkness and to guide their flocks to the light. I’m thankful for the small part I can have in getting the Bible into the languages of others who still lack “the sourcebook of the Christian faith.”

WORKSHOP IN HAITI

I’m thankful for my gracious hosts in Haiti (pictured) and for the strength the Lord gave the translator and me as we checked Deuteronomy and Joshua. I received the material only weeks before the workshop, so I spent many hours before and during the workshop trying to prepare more material. But God helped us to get it all done in good time! PRAY for the Haitian Creole committee as they continue to prepare the revised NT with Psalms and Proverbs for an upcoming publication.

WORKSHOP IN EURASIA

Only a week after my workshop in Haiti I went to a country in Eurasia to train translators for BI’s first ever project in this part of the world. We have to keep information confidential about this project, but I can show you a picture of my fiancée and I teaming up as she helped me with her knowledge of Russian. The translation team knows almost no English, so Oksana and another interpreter had to help me communicate my translator training teachings and also give us all an understanding of how Russian works. The translation team will use Russian and two other languages for their source languages. I thank God for supplying the needed grace to write a new 120-page translator training manual and then to train the team using that manual. PRAY for the translators, as they have just begun their translating work.

WEDDING AND BEYOND

Oksana and I are so thankful for how God expedited the fiancée visa. It took only three months! She received her passport back as she was heading to the airport for the Eurasia trip. What timing! We are also thankful for how God is working through my mom and the dear people at Victory Baptist Church in Reading, PA, as we prepare for the wedding on July 25. Oksana will make her first entry into the USA on July 14, and then we’ll have less than two weeks to finalize wedding details. Then, after one week of honeymooning in the Poconos, we’ll head to Michigan to establish our life together. PRAY for God to be glorified through the wedding and through our lives together. PRAY for grace to adjust well to married life, and especially for Oksana as she adjusts to the USA. PRAY for wisdom and God’s provision in meeting our new support needs as a married couple, as we will need an additional $1,500-2,000. We will be reporting to some churches in MI, PA, and IL in the fall.

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PRAY also for the Consultant Seminar and BI Annual Retreat in mid-August. My next workshop is not until November, when I’ll be going back to Eurasia. PRAY that Oksana would get travel authorization so she can join me.

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The translator had finished Deuteronomy and Joshua for me to check during this workshop. I had finished only about half of Deut in my preparations, so I didn’t think it would be possible to keep up with my preparations, let alone finish both books. But the Lord gave me the strength to work 10-11 hour days, and He also provided a very good workshop situation so that we could maximize our time down here and keep from losing energy along the way (i.e., we didn’t have to struggle through Port-au-Prince traffic as much as we normally do). Plus, the two books were done so well by the translator and his team, and our consulting went very quickly. We finished Joshua in 2.5 days!

I leave for home tomorrow. I’ll have 1 day off next week to catch up on things and then 4 days in the office before I head out again. This time it will be for translator training in Eurasia where Russian will be the language of communication. It’s going to be quite a challenge, so please pray for grace and wisdom.

Keep praying for Oksana’s visa situation. The interview is on June 4, and we’d really like to get the visa that day or the day after so she could travel to meet me for the workshop on June 8.

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On Saturday (my birthday) I fly down to Haiti to begin the Haitian Creole OT workshop on Monday. After sweating in the heat and humidity of Haiti, hopefully we’ll be finished with Deut and Josh. I have completed preparations through Deut 18, so I still have lots of ground to cover. Since the translator has been focusing on fixing problems with the revised NT/Psa/Prov publication that will come out soon, he’s submitted some of the material quite late. So, this probably means full evenings of preparation throughout the workshop. Pray for grace and strength to keep up with long days/evenings for two weeks. While doing all that, I’ll still need to keep up with my other responsibilities as the head consultant.

As we try to move toward getting the visa, we have run into some snags. Oksana couldn’t get an appointment for the medical examination until June 3, so that means that the visa interview can’t happen before that. And right now, we are having difficulties getting the interview set up. Please pray!

We are thankful, though, that the SC reception date (at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church) is now set for September 10 and that the MI reception date (at Grand Valley Baptist Church) is set for October 9. The wedding date is July 25. Unless we run into problems along the way, these dates should stay fixed. Hopefully by early June we’ll have everything set and will be able to send out invitations!

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My schedule has kept me quite busy the past few weeks at home and in the office. I spent 2 weeks putting together a new translator training manual for my Eurasia trip, and now I’m working through Deuteronomy in Haitian Creole for my workshop down there. I leave a week from Saturday for the latter workshop. I’m thankful for how the Lord has helped me to put together 80 pages so far for the translator training. I’ve used a lot of material from our current manual but also consulted manuals written by others in other Bible societies. It’s been a challenging and enjoyable process to think through the various issues. It’s really shaping my thinking even more about how to do Bible translation. I’ll include one section below that I think is going to be a very helpful addition to our current manual.

I’ve also stayed quite busy at home, reading books about marriage, re-organizing my house to prepare for a wife, and nailing down details concerning our wedding. These activities have also been lots of fun. I enjoy organizing, and it’s been good to use the space in my home more efficiently as I make room for a wife. I’ve also found joy in working through wedding details, especially choosing a tuxedo and a wedding band. I’m very thankful for my mom’s diligent help to attack the little details that need to be addressed and for a volunteer named Abby at Victory Baptist Church in Reading, PA, who has been a very faithful and helpful wedding coordinator. We have been moving toward a July 25 wedding, and it seems that the visa process is not going to prevent that. If we can have the wedding in late July, we’ll probably have receptions in SC and MI in Sept or Oct.

Speaking of the visa process, I’m so thankful that we heard from the US consulate in Kiev yesterday. We were told that the process between the approval of our petition and the assigning of a case number by the consulate could take 1-3 months. Well, for us it took only 1 month! How exciting to see how God is moving things along so smoothly! Please keep praying. This recent step went so quickly that we aren’t even quite ready ourselves with all the needed documents. But we are quite close! Hopefully Oksana can schedule an interview appointment soon, and then maybe it’s a matter of just completing that process and then we’ll have a visa…and then the wedding…and then joined for life!

Here’s the section I added to our translator training manual for those who are interested in reading about this kind of stuff:

Problems with modifying a literal translation too much

We stated that our translation philosophy is a “modified literal” approach. Therefore, we recognize that modifications are required in order to convey the meaning of the original text in natural and clear structures of the Target Language (TL). In order to modify, you will need to do more interpretation. All translation requires interpretation in order to understand the biblical text and convey the meaning in an accurate, clear, and natural way in the translation, but the more modifications you make to the literal rendering, the more you have to interpret and then add that interpretation into the text. And when you add interpretation in order to make a text more clear and natural in the TL, you may be simplifying the text. These cautions, then, need to be kept in mind as you do your work:

  • The more you modify, the more you have to interpret. When you add your interpretation:
    • You are opening up the possibility of adding your own theological understanding of the passage.
    • You are making the reader more dependent upon you and less upon the Holy Spirit, whose role it is to illuminate the Scriptures.
    • You endanger the priesthood of the believer, which every true believer possesses through his standing in Christ.
    • You presume that you have full understanding of the text, which you may not actually have.
    • You will likely be limiting the reader from finding a differing interpretation of the text. Instead, the reader will follow your interpretation, because you basically excluded the other interpretation(s) by how you translate.
  • The more you modify, the more you may simplify the text. When you simplify the text:
    • You may do so on the basis of a mistaken assumption that you readers are not capable of understanding more complex texts.
    • You may also have a mistaken assumption that the text needs to stand on its own without the help of preachers and teachers, whereas, God intended that his Scriptures be accompanied by these human instruments, who can teach people the Scriptures.
    • You may remove a complexity in the text that God intended be there.
    • You may eliminate the possibility of doing serious exegesis, because you have removed any difficulties of understanding.
    • You may be minimizing the form of the text and while putting in proposition excessive emphasis on only the meaning.
    • You may create false assurance and engender wrongly based knowledge for the reader who thinks he understands the passage when in reality he only knows the understanding or interpretation of the translator.
    • You are minimizing and at times contradicting the declaration of the Scriptures that some passages are difficult to understand (2 Pet. 3:16).

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Dear Family and Friends,

November 22 was a very special day for Bibles International and even more so for the Darlong people in northeast India, because on that day they finally received their long-awaited Bible. I remember visiting the Darlong language committee in 2012 in order to bring the unhappy news that, though the Old Testament books were all now translated, it would take another two years to complete quality checks. Many believers had already paid for their copy of the Bible, because they wanted to make sure they got their own copy. The Darlong wait no longer! We have since then been informed that 19 churches immediately began a reading program in which they read the Bible out loud for all to hear. They read from cover to cover for seven days, with many sleeping in the church to make sure no interruption occurred. What a wonderful reception! May God so work in hearts that all our language groups have such a God-exalting reception of the Word of God!

PAPUA NEW GUINEA IN NOVEMBER

The Tok Pisin NT project has gotten off to a slow start since it began in 2012. The administrative committee is barely functional, and the Read-and-Review Committee misunderstood the procedures to follow. The translation team has been productive in writing the first draft, but they struggle with the grammar of their language and have difficulties coming up with good solutions during the workshop. All the men are dedicated and godly, but they need God’s grace and wisdom to turn this sputtering project into a successful one. Thankfully, I saw some improvements when I was with them in November, and I gave them suggestions to get back on track. PRAY they will!

HAITI IN DECEMBER

In contrast to the PNG project, the Haitian project has been operating quite successfully since it began in 2008, though we are getting behind in our target year for completion (2020). But, in December, we were able to finish the book of Numbers, and I was able to teach the translator (pictured above) a new translation-editing software, after learning it myself in the evenings down there. The Lord also enabled me to preach a sermon in French in the translator’s church. PRAY we can get this project caught back up, and PRAY the translator will find new members for the Read-and-Review Committee, as the current members are very gifted men and have moved into spheres of greater responsibility. PRAY for the publication and distribution of a revised New Testament with the newly translated Psalms and Proverbs later this year.

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES IN 2015

January began with a bang as I spent the first four days in the office working with the rest of the administrative team on strategic planning. PRAY for wisdom as we continue to strategize.

In a week I will leave for Côte d’Ivoire with a co-worker to spend two weeks with leaders in two different language groups, for whom we produced New Testaments around 30 years ago. PRAY for wisdom as we work with them to establish a strategy for revising their New Testaments and establishing a solid literacy program.

I will have less than a week after that trip to get ready for a month-long trip to India and Bangladesh. I will be leading a consultant seminar and conducting a translation workshop on the book of Leviticus. PRAY for grace, wisdom, and safety.

PRAISE the Lord that my support level is now at 98%!

For the cause of Christ,

Troy

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Report on last Sunday

I forgot to report on my preaching opportunity on Sunday. It was a privilege to preach from Proverbs 2 in French to Eglise Evangelique Baptiste de la Vigne, a large church in Port-au-Prince. Our translator is the assistant pastor there but is the acting head pastor while the senior pastor and his wife await a heart transplant for her in the US (please pray for Pastor Saint-Amour and his wife Marie!). I thank God for answering our prayers and helping my voice to hold out throughout the sermon. He also gave me immediate acceptance among the people and enabled me to preach without much problem in French. I thank God that 1 made a decision for salvation, 3 desired to be restored to the Faith, and 2 believers got counsel on matters that they were struggling with. It was also a blessing to have the translator read Proverbs 2 in Haitian Creole. We are planning to publish the revised NT with Psa/Prov in 2015. I strongly encouraged the church to obtain their own copies, since Creole is their language and since they can learn so much by comparing the Creole translation with the French translation.

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