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Posts Tagged ‘Haitian Creole’

It happened again. I was heading into another translation checking workshop, and I wondered how I would manage all the different things converging at the same time. Not only did I need to prepare for the Haitian Creole workshop, but I also needed to get ready to welcome two summer interns during the first week of the workshop, while also trying to be ready for whenever our son would decide to come into the world. (Not to mention the many emails and meetings I have to deal with on a regular basis)

I thought I needed to have both 1 and 2 Kings ready for the workshop, since that’s what the translator had submitted. Considering the amount of material we’ve covered in past workshops, I anticipated we could cover both books.

My prayer was that our son would come before the workshop started so that I wouldn’t miss any days of the workshop. It’s expensive to fly the translator to the office, so I didn’t want to lose a single day. My thinking was that if he were born on his due day (May 11), I would have a few days to get adjusted to welcoming him into this world and into our home before starting the workshop on May 15. God clearly had another plan, and as it always turns out, His plan was better than mine.

God delayed Eliyas’ birth until Friday, May 19. By that Wednesday evening I had prepared enough material to check through 2 Kings 8 in the workshop. Because I invited another consultant to join us in the workshop so she could do the next workshop in Haiti (I actually hoped she would take this May workshop, but she couldn’t, but wanted to just observe, resulting in my having to prepare an English interlinear for 8 chapters of 1 Kings–i.e., more work for me rather than less work!). I had prepared 6 chapters by that Wednesday night.

Then, Thursday afternoon came around. At 4 pm my wife called saying she felt the contractions coming on. So, I had to cut out of the workshop 30 minutes early. About 28 hours later, our son would be born. So, I lost that full day of the workshop. We were in the hospital until Sunday afternoon, so I was occupied for two weekend days, but no more workshop time was lost. I had to prepare two more chapters for an English interlinear, so I spent an hour doing that in the workshop.

I got back into the workshop on Monday, and we picked up where we left off. We had various other distractions along the way, slowing down our progress. In the end, we finished up to and including 2 Kings 6, which meant that I didn’t actually have to do any more prep work after the previous Wednesday night. God gave me just enough time to do all the preparation work needed for the workshop (except the 1 hour of work in the hospital), and He arranged it such that we basically lost only 1 day of the workshop because of my son’s birth. Plus, because of that, I could focus on helping my wife at home in the evenings during the second week of the workshop, instead of having to prepare more material, as I normally always have to do during a workshop. In fact, if I calculate the number of days we actually spent on 1-2 Kings (7.5 days), I find that we were as productive in this past workshop as any in the past.

I will add that I couldn’t have gotten back into the workshop very easily if it hadn’t been for the sacrificial help of my mom. She stayed all day every day with my mom while I was at the office, and then she stayed until late in the evening while Oksana and I did other tasks. So, I thank God for leading my mom to live close to us so that she could help us bear our burdens!

I also hoped Eliyas would come early in May, because we needed time for him to get into a good pattern before leaving for Quebec in mid-June. Well, God worked that out too. The pastors were very gracious to move the meetings back, giving us an extra week before we have to leave.

It never ceases to amaze me how God orchestrates His plan in my life such that everything works out well for a workshop. Why don’t I learn this lesson and stop getting stressed out about how it’s all going to work out? Maybe I’ll be less stressed out the next time? No, there will be completely different circumstances, causing me to wonder again how it’s all going to come together. If only I could trust God more, work within the time slots God gives, and leave the rest with Him!

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If you are planning on a C-section, you can plan a baby’s birth, and you can pray for guidance on when it should happen. But if you are hoping to have the baby naturally, as Oksana wants to do (and I want that too!), then you can’t really plan when that can happen. But we can definitely pray that God would cause it to happen at just the right time. Of course, His sovereign purposes in our lives are mysterious to us, and He knows when the best timing is, but that doesn’t mean we can’t offer up our requests and desires to Him. I’m praying for our baby boy to arrive on May 11 or a little sooner.

Why? Because I have to lead a translation checking workshop on the Haitian Creole OT on May 15 for two weeks (at the BI office). I’ve tried to find a way to lighten my load in May, but I wasn’t successful. How will I be able to lead the workshop if our son is born during the workshop? Only God knows! But I’m praying for him to come before May 15.

Why else? Well, we are scheduled to leave for Quebec on June 16 (or June 15), and we want our boy and my wife to get into a good routine before we have to hit the road visiting churches. I’ve heard that takes 4-6 weeks, so the sooner our boy comes the better!

Oksana’s doctor explained yesterday that it’s when the baby’s lungs are fully developed and ready to breathe on their own that the baby is ready to come out. Somehow, his lungs will let my wife’s body know that he wants to get out and meet the world. Pray that his body would develop well and that his lungs will trigger this wonderful (but extremely painful) process of delivery…before May 15.

Lord willing, the next picture you’ll see on my blog will include a healthy baby boy, born at St. Mary’s hospital in Grand Rapids, MI, in early May! 🙂

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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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Dear Family and Friends,

Oksana and I hope to become certified biblical counselors, but so far we haven’t made too much progress. We may not get very far until after deputation. But I’m thankful for some of the reading I’ve already done. Robert Smith’s The Christian Counselor’s Medical Desk Reference was particularly helpful. In reference to a Christian and illness, Smith said, “Getting over the illness should not be the primary goal.” Later he said, “Getting well is not necessarily the best thing.” As believers, our focus must always be on glorifying God, even if that means having to endure illness for a long period of time.

PERSONAL NEWS

April was filled with meetings at churches in PA, VA, and NC. We had two more in IN in May and will have another in IL later this month. In July, we will hit the road to present at churches in MD, PA, and NJ. We now have around 80% of our support, since our home church, Grand Valley Baptist Church, voted to double their support. THANK GOD for that and PRAY for more increases!

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(Picture is of Oksana’s first visit to the Atlantic Ocean–Virginia Beach, VA)

We will also be attending the BMM Candidate Seminar for Oksana in July. We praise God for how He enabled Oksana to pass her oral doctrinal exam on May 19. God kept her nerves calm and gave her the remembrance of all she studied. She memorized everything in Russian but had no problem articulating her beliefs in English. PRAISE God!

In addition to the language obstacle, she also had to keep from being distracted by a family tragedy—the loss of her 17-year-old nephew. The Lord provided funds for her to make a one-week trip to comfort the family in May. What makes this loss so difficult is that we are uncertain of the nephew’s eternal state. PRAY for God to use this death to draw family and friends to salvation and for comfort for the believing family members (Oksana, sister, mom). How certain, eternal, and sometimes sudden, death can be!

 

MINISTRY NEWS

In late May, I began conducting the Haitian Creole OT workshop at the BI office. The translator has been quite occupied with complications from the birth of his third child, who has Down syndrome, so he wasn’t able to provide enough material to keep us busy for two weeks. So, we finished the work in seven days and also made last-minute corrections to the upcoming publication of the NT with Psalms and Proverbs. PRAY for him and his family as they adjust to the new child, and PRAY he can get enough material done to hold a workshop in Haiti in November.

 

In August, Oksana and I will travel to Eurasia for another workshop on the Metanoia NT. They have already submitted revised portions of Mark and James. PRAY for Oksana as she produces an interlinear in English from the Russian interlinear, and PRAY for me as I check the English with the Greek.

 

We at BI are thankful that Gary Walton, our Stewardship Manager, has agreed to be our interim director. PRAY for wisdom as he leads BI while also trying to keep up fundraising efforts. And PRAY for God to provide a full-time director soon. PRAY also for my former administrative assistant, Terri Fiebig, who has been told that she has only a month to live. PRAY, too, that we would find a new administrative assistant, especially with the Consultant Seminar coming up in August. I need help on the many details involved with that! Our new Indian consultants were unable to get visas to come to the USA, so PRAY for us as we provide in-house training.

 

For the cause of Christ,

Troy (for both of 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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The biggest news in our lives during the past two weeks is that Oksana passed the oral doctrinal exam by BMM on May 19. Praise God! This brings to completion a very long process for me of finding the right girl who can pass the exam. Truly, I have to admit that it was God who brought Oksana to me, and by God’s grace, I waited for His provision. It tested my faith to wait for the right one who would fit my life and ministry well, and Oksana’s passing of the exam is just one more confirmation that she’s the perfect fit! (So many other confirmations already made it clear she was the right one, so I guess I should have expected she would pass!)

I won’t go into the details, but this passing of the oral exam was not without its hurdles along the way. Oksana and I had to work through some misunderstandings about the qualifications to be a BMM missionary and then some doctrinal points that can be kinda tricky. From Oksana’s perspective, she had to overcome the major language barrier, since she is familiar with the Russian Bible and even studied only from the Russian Bible as she prepared for the exam. I told her that was the right way to go, because it’s so much more natural and accessible for her to learn the verses in Russian. I would be there to help put the verses into good English, if she needed me. It turns out she hardly needed me at all. The Lord really helped all the material to come together so well in her mind.

Now she has to attend the Candidate Seminar in July (I will accompany her) and then she’ll be an appointee. Since I’m already a missionary with BMM, we’ll get commissioned sometime later this year or early next year (we have a lot going on in the fall).

We are still at 80% of our support, but I am so thankful that we have 25 total meetings scheduled for all of 2016 (10 are already behind us). I had great conversations with three more pastors a week ago, and I got two meetings set up from that with one more to be set up eventually.

Oksana and I really enjoyed our time at Faith Baptist Church in Morristown, IN, and Colonial Hills Baptist Church in Indy almost two weeks ago. We went to the former in the morning and the latter in the evening. The people at both churches were extremely welcoming. We especially enjoyed joining Pastor Chuck Phelps at his house to meet three Russian-speaking couples.

Tomorrow I will pick up Pastor Daniel Telfort, our Haitian Creole translator, so we can begin the next workshop on Monday. His wife gave birth to their third child a few weeks ago, but because the child was born with Down Syndrome, he has not been able to translate as much material. That means we won’t be busy the entire two weeks. Pray for God’s protection for Daniel as he travels, for his wife and third child as they are still in Boston, and for his two oldest children who are without their mom or dad (but in good care) in Haiti.

 

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Dear Family and Friends,

At a recent conference that I attended, I was reminded of the powerful grace of God that has delivered us from the power of sin such that we no longer have to sin anymore. We often need to set up “fences” (e.g., accountability partners) to help keep us from sinning, but ultimately we want God’s grace to so transform our desires that we no longer want to sin. Instead, we want to please Him. PRAY that God would give Oksana and me warm hearts of love and thankfulness for all He’s done in our lives so that we might live in a God-glorifying manner.

FAMILY NEWS

Oksana and I are thankful for your prayers for us after the miscarriage in December. After two surgical procedures that month, we finally saw her body return to normal—just in time to leave for Ukraine on January 5. We enjoyed seeing family and friends while there, but we also stayed quite busy with medical appointments. PRAY that the treatments Oksana is taking will help her health condition to improve. She has no serious medical issues but isn’t at 100% either.

We are very thankful that Grand Valley Baptist Church, our home church, has voted to begin supporting us. We are also very pleased that Calvary Baptist Church in Clymer, PA, has become a new ministry partner. Four churches and one family increased their current support, so we praise God for that as well. We have lost some support and a supporter, however, so our current level is 78%. That means we are still doing “deficit spending,” but we have been overwhelmed by some large gifts that have come in to carry us through. PRAISE God! We have nine meetings at churches this quarter, and three are at non-supporting churches, so please PRAY for God’s blessings as we travel and minister.

We rejoice that Oksana was approved for a “green card” on March 2! After almost exactly a year, the immigration process reached this major milestone.

PAST AND FUTURE WORKSHOPS

We PRAISE God for helping us through a very busy first quarter: workshop in Eurasia, helping my mom move, workshop on the Haitian Creole at the BI office, and a missions conference at our home church. The workshop in Eurasia had some unique challenges, but the Lord gave us the strength and wisdom to teach the people there more about Bible translation, how their language’s syntax works, and how to improve the material they have already translated. We didn’t cover much biblical text during this workshop, so PRAY the team produces a much higher quality translation between now and August so that we can move much more quickly.

In the Haitian Creole workshop, we covered Judges and almost finished 1 Samuel. We hope to do at least two more books in early June.

OTHER NEWS

As of January 12, BI has had to adjust to ministry without our director, Dr. Hantz Bernard. We pray God will guide him and his wife to a new place of ministry, and we look forward to how God will continue to bless BI, whose mission ever remains the same. PRAY for God to provide a new director, as well as a new part-time administrative assistant for my department and Projects Management. We also still need projects coordinators and consultants.

Continue to PRAY for Terri Fiebig, my former administrative assistant. In October, she was told that she has only another three months to live because of her pancreatic cancer, but God is working through the treatments so that she is now expected to have another year.

For the cause of Christ,

Troy (for both of us)

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