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Posts Tagged ‘prayer letter’

September Prayer Letter

Dear Family and Friends,

At BI’s Annual Meeting, we had the privilege of hearing Dr. Les Ollila challenge our hearts. God has given him a way of putting thoughts into memorable phrases. In one sermon, he reflected on God’s call on Moses and how Moses tried to dodge his mission by bringing up excuses. But, as Dr. Ollila pointed, “You don’t say ‘I can’t’ to ‘I AM.’” When God calls, He equips because He’s the ever-present One who comes alongside to strengthen us!

BEGINNING AND ENDING LIFE

 

There have been significant challenges while getting used to our new little family member, but we wouldn’t want it any other way. Eliyas has brought so much joy into our lives! He just passed the three-month mark, so he’s sleeping through the night without a need for food, and he’s responding more and more to us. We considered taking him to Asia with us in late September, but then we decided to wait on an overseas trip until he gets more vaccines. His passport should arrive soon, and then we’ll begin making plans to travel with him in November. Meanwhile, I’ll travel alone to Asia in September & October. PRAY for preparations for this trip: a New Testament dedication (my first!), strategic planning, and ministering in churches.

Eliyas is just beginning his life course, but a dear consultant, Ross Hodsdon, completed his on August 6. After translating a New Testament in Brazil, he joined BI and traveled to 14 different countries, working with 21 different languages. Twenty-three of BI’s publications have his fingerprints all over them, and countless missionaries have been deeply affected by his life, not to mention the thousands of other souls. What an amazing legacy he leaves behind! His translation work lives on! PRAY for his wife Cathy and the rest of the family as they mourn his loss and adjust to life without him.

SUPPORT ALMOST COMPLETE

Thanks to Bible Baptist Church in Wakarusa, IN, our support now stands at 98%. Indications are that our support will be completed in September. PRAISE God! We have one more church trip for this year in September: Charleston, SC, and then Wakarusa (with a stop-over at BJU and Mt. Calvary Baptist). We PRAISE God with you that He gave us safety and good ministry at six churches in Quebec and two in the US in the summer.

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(Picture: We visited Ross & Cathy in Maine in July.)

MINISTRY

We still await BMM’s input regarding BI’s new constitution. We actually hope to get everything settled this month and have it ratified in November. Please PRAY!

I PRAISE God for answering your prayers about wisdom as I prepared various presentations (a long article for India about the philosophy and methodology of Bible translation, a presentation about literacy in Bible times for the Bible Faculty Summit in WV, and others) and led the Consultant Seminar. God really blessed the seminar, with four attendees seriously planning on joining someday. We also had good discussions about Scripture Use (SU) and other topics. PRAY for God to send us personnel to help with our SU plans. Please check out my blog if you are an interested candidate yourself. We still need a new director as well as project coordinators.

PRAY for God’s blessing on our Harvest Dinner on October 19. We will be highlighting our newest translation projects. PRAY also for our overseas trip to Eurasia, Ukraine, and Chad (Troy only to Africa) later this year. We look forward to introducing Eliyas to Oksana’s family and friends and also getting lots of work done.

For the sake of Christ,

Troy (for the three of us)

 

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Dear Family and Friends,

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

SUPPORT RISING

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

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

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

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WORKSHOPS

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

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

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

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

For the sake of Christ,

Troy (for both of us)

 

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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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December Prayer Letter

Dear Family and Friends,

The “Sussex Carol” (Bramley/Stainer version) has these words that are encouraging my heart this time of year: So how on earth can men be sad, When Jesus comes to make us glad; From sin and hell to set us free, And buy for us our liberty? These words reflect the prophecy of Isaiah 9:3, which says, …You shall increase their gladness; They will be glad in Your presence As with the gladness of harvest, As men rejoice when they divide the spoil. Jesus’ birth is truly news of great joy, because it promises a harvest of righteousness and victory over our preeminent foes. May we rejoice this Christmas season in God’s wonderful gift of salvation! Merry Christmas!

FAMILY NEWS

We had hoped to announce in this prayer letter that we are expecting a child next June, but we found out recently that the Lord has taken our child to be with Him in heaven. Please PRAY for comfort and grace as we go through this difficult trial. PRAY also for us to get wise answers to our questions.

We are thankful for the support that has come in to supply our new needs as a married couple. We currently have 76% of our support. Our short-term goal is to get out of “deficit spending” by early next year. We have 15 meetings scheduled for next year, nine of which are at non-supporting churches. We hope to add four more meetings at new churches. We look forward to our first meeting in 2016 at our home church, Grand Valley Baptist Church in Grand Rapids, MI, on January 3. We are thankful that God has brought us to this loving church family with whom we can join in worship and service to our Lord. We are also excited that my mom, Pat Manning, will also be moving to Grand Rapids to live near us and serve with us at Grand Valley.

NEXT YEAR’S WORKSHOPS

God has provided all the funds necessary for our upcoming trip to Eurasia in January, and He has given us a gift so that we can spend a few weeks of vacation in Ukraine before we start the workshop in another country. We are so thankful that Oksana and I can team up to work on this project together, and we greatly appreciate how doing this workshop also provides a way for us to visit her family and friends in Ukraine on the way for only a small fraction of what it would cost if we traveled directly from the USA. We plan on doing another Ukraine-Eurasia trip in September to do another workshop, and God has already provided $1,000 toward that trip. PRAISE Him!

It’s been exciting to see some of God’s Word already being translated for this new project, which BI is calling the “Metanoia NT.” The translators have already completed most of Mark, all of James, and 1-3 John; and they have produced an interlinear of most of these books in Russia. Oksana has been using a powerful Bible editing program to put this Russian into an English interlinear so that I can compare it with the Greek text. PRAY for wisdom as we prepare for this complicated situation. Oksana will have to function as my Russian interpreter during the workshop.

PRAY for the Haitian Creole Old Testament to be held in Grand Rapids in late February. I will also be coordinating our church’s missions conference during the weekend in the middle of the workshop, so please PRAY for preparations for that.

Continue to PRAY for wisdom as I oversee the technical aspects of our 42 projects and the 28 people in my department.

PRAY also for my administrative assistant, Terri Fiebig, who was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer in October. She and her family desperately need our prayers.

For the cause of Christ,

Troy (for both of us)

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Dear Family and Friends,

Did you notice anything different about the appearance of this letter? Some things have changed in both the header and the footer! That’s because God has wrought a marvelous work in my life by joining Oksana Novikova and me in marriage on July 25. We can testify to the truths of Lamentations 3:25-26: The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. God was good to us throughout our years of singleness, and He’s been good to us as He has drawn us together and is now causing us to be more and more “one flesh.” We thank God for my mom and the dear believers at Victory Baptist Church in Reading, PA, who helped us put together a beautiful wedding and even facilitated bringing friends and family from around the world (especially Ukraine) to celebrate with us. Keep PRAYING for us as we adjust to married life and as Oksana gets acclimated to the USA. PRAY also that churches and individuals would partner with us as we seek 28% of additional monthly support. And PRAY that God would provide funds so Oksana can travel to Eurasia with me in January to be my Russian interpreter. We’ve seen some funds come in, so keep praying! If you want to give, you can send your gift to BMM and designate it “Troy Manning-Passage.” The Lord led me to move the workshop from November to January to give us plenty of time for her to gain the necessary travel authorization. So far, the “adjustment of status” process is proceeding smoothly.

CONSULTANT SEMINAR

Two weeks after the wedding, I headed back into the office to lead our annual consultant seminar, where we had 25 in attendance. We enjoyed learning about how to relate better to the millennials (or “generation Y”). We also discussed ways to improve our translator training. We are close to completing a Linguistics Translator Training Manual that will help our translator know better how his/her language works, so that he/she can write a more consistent form of the language, and so that we can save months of work at the end of the translation work, when we have to standardize all the completed material.

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ANNUAL MEETING

After the seminar, Oksana and I headed to a local B&B for BI’s annual retreat. One of my favorite activities at this event each year has been waking up early to watch the sunrise over the lake and sipping coffee as I have my personal time with the Lord. For the first time, after eight years of passing the morning by myself, I finally had company! B&B’s are so much better when you can enjoy them with someone!

UPCOMING EVENTS

This fall Oksana and I are visiting supporting churches and connecting with non-supporting churches in PA, IL, and MI. We’ll also be doing some recruiting at Maranatha Baptist University. It’s been a joy to have a traveling companion and helper in the ministry. It’s quite evident that support-raising goes so much better when I have a sweet wife to connect with the people. PRAY for God’s protection, power, and provision as we travel together. By late October, though, we’ll be mostly at home, getting settled and preparing for workshops and more church reporting early next year.

Thank you for praying! God is answering!

For the cause of Christ,

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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Dear Family and Friends,

While I was in India recently, the Ranglong translator relayed what one believer said after reading the Genesis stories for the first time in her language. She exclaimed, “Oh, the believers who died before being able to read these stories, how sorry I feel for them!” This comment renewed my zeal to help other people in a similar state and revived my thankfulness for the privileges the English world has.

I’M GETTING MARRIED!

Many probably doubted this would ever happen—I did, too, at times. But now that I can see what God has caused to happen, I realize there’s no way I could have rushed this relationship with a beautiful, godly Ukrainian girl who lives 5,000 miles away from me. Pastor John Conover of Reading, PA, connected me with Oksana Novikova in May 2014. We began corresponding soon after that—first with Facebook, and then e-mail and Skype. Finally, I traveled to Ukraine in August and then again for Christmas. Throughout these months, it became apparent to both of us (and to those closest to us) that God had created us for each other. I proposed to her on February 13, and she gave an unreserved “Yes”! We submitted our petition for a fianceé visa in mid-March, so we are hopeful that the wedding can take place in late September or early October. PRAY for quick processing of the visa! The joyous ceremony will be at Victory Baptist Church in Reading, PA, since that’s where the missionary she translates for, Bruce Tuttle, is from. He has become like a father to her, so she wants him to walk her down the aisle and perform the wedding. Rejoice with me that this long-standing prayer request is finally being answered!

CÔTE D’IVOIRE

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I PRAISE the Lord for the safety He gave a co-worker and me in late January as we traveled to Côte d’Ivoire to meet with the Kaowlu and Neao language groups to evaluate the amount of revision work needed for their New Testaments, determine if their orthography needs updating, give assistance to their literacy program, and establish and train the committee members who would do the work. God provided the personnel and resources necessary to succeed in this very challenging trip! PRAY for the committees, as they have begun their work.

INDIA AND BANGLADESH

The Lord gave me an abundance of energy to keep up a rigorous schedule as I prepared for a consultant seminar and a translation workshop on Leviticus in Ranglong. I ended up having an overabundance of material for both events. Two Indian consultants said they thought this fourth trip of mine to India was my most profitable so far. I PRAISE the Lord for how He answered prayer! My trip to Bangladesh was cancelled due to unrest in the country.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Continue to PRAY for the strategic planning activities at Bl. We hope to finish our work by the end of April. PRAY for my preparations for a checking workshop in Haiti in mid-May and then a translator-training workshop in a Eurasian country in mid-June.

PRAISE the Lord that my support level is now at 100%! PRAY for His provision as I get married and for wisdom in determining when to begin deputation as a married couple.

For the cause of Christ,

Troy

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