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Posts Tagged ‘Quebec’

I’m sure you anticipated it: Eliyas’ first trip. Troy the traveling translator doesn’t let grass grow under his feet long, and his wife and his son are happy to travel with him. Well, we hope so (regarding Eliyas)! We are still trying to get him into a good pattern of eating and sleeping, so please pray for that to happen before we leave for Quebec next week. We look forward to seeing our 4 supporting churches up there, and then we’ll head to NJ for a meeting with Pastor Troutman and his church.

Eliyas’ first trip was technically to Grand Haven, MI, when my sister and her son were in town last week. It was a good opportunity to take a few days vacation for some R & R and to help my wife more at home (especially at night). I’m not sure how much of Grand Haven Eliyas got to see, since he slept most of the time, but the rest of us enjoyed it (and yes, I know, newborns can’t see far anyway!). Oksana’s first visit to Grand Haven was for our first Valentine’s Day together, so it was nice to actually see the water this time, not a big mass of snow and ice!

Grand Haven

Eliyas and Oksana will get their first exposure to French when we visit Quebec. Oksana has already been exposed to languages she doesn’t know, since we hear them in Eurasia during our workshop trips. But this will be the first trip where I’ll be able to be an interpreter for her, if my French isn’t too rusty. Not only will we really enjoy visiting friends up there, we’ll also spend a few days touring the old part of Quebec City. It’s the closest thing for Americans to see a European city, so it’s going to be fun.

What are some things I’m working on at the office? Glad you asked! I have to write two papers for our India partner’s (BIIS) 25-year celebration later this year. They are publishing a booklet to commemorate this event, and they’ve asked me to write about the philosophy and methodology of Bible translation, as well as whatever other message the Lord lays on my heart. I’m also refining a presentation on “Literacy in Biblical Times,” which I will present at the Bible Faculty Summit at Appalachian Bible College in early August. I’m also putting together a promotional PPT for an Indian consultant to show to a group of Bible college professors in July. Oh, and I’m preparing to report and preach in French in Quebec. And of course, many other things…

 

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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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Please pray for me as I’ll be preaching at my church here in Michigan tomorrow. I’ll also be teaching SS. The pastor had to leave suddenly to take care of family matters, so he asked me on Thurs night if I could preach. I’ll be delivering two messages I’ve preached before in my deputation travels.

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Dear Family and Friends,

I’m slowly working my way through an abridged version of John Owen’s Sin & Temptation. His words can be both convicting and encouraging at the same time. In one spot he writes, Christ’s treasures of grace are unsearchable, His stores inexhaustible, His life full and eternal. Why then do we not grow and flourish with these resources? It is not lack of Christ’s gracious communication. Rather, it is because of the blockages that lust and sin make within us. That is all! Please PRAY with me that we would remove all blockages in order that Christ’s grace might have free course!

CONSULTANT SEMINAR

I believe that this year’s Consultant Seminar in August was the best we’ve had since I joined BI in 2007. The seminar began with lectures by a visiting Greek professor, who gave us greater insights into verbal aspect theory and other complex issues that help us better understand the original Greek text. We also had excellent sessions on Non-Print Media, Trial Editions, Skype workshops, and other topics. I led a session on First Bibles, in which I reminded the consultants that 2,252 languages still have no Scriptures but have a definite need. I was thankful to see that half of the 51 projects we have helped through the years have been “first Bibles.” The other projects would be for languages that have inadequate Scriptures, which is also a significant issue. At the seminar, I also presented a tool whereby we can better manage consultant availability and project needs, so that we are using our personnel more wisely. We consultants often have to work day and night during our workshops (and sometimes before the workshop too) just to be ready for the next day. But we cannot continue to run at that pace for long, lest we burn out. This new tool will better monitor consultant workload.

FURLOUGH AND VACATION IN QUEBEC

In September I visited four supporting churches in Quebec (and two others that are very interested in hearing about BI again). I PRAISE the Lord for enabling me to preach in French again after having not done so since August 2010. It was such a blessing to make new friendships and to strengthen old ones. I also took a five-day vacation while I was there. I enjoyed a variety of activities: hiking in a park, seeing historical sites, spending extra time with the Lord, and sleeping.

END OF THE YEAR

October is a significant month on BI’s calendar. On October 18 we will have our annual Harvest Dinner, in which we host over 700 friends. We look to the Lord to bless this event with a significant boost in fund raising. Please PRAY for success once again this year as we highlight our projects in the Americas and Caribbean. Also, please consider how the Lord might use you to help sponsor a project in this region or in other places where we work.

The day after the banquet I’ll taking a one-month trip to Chad and Benin. I’ll be checking one OT translation in each country. Please PRAY for my preparations. PRAY also for my safety as I travel. PRAY too that the Lord would give us undistracted times of work, especially considering the “political” turmoil going on in some of the Chadian churches.

This December I will not be traveling to Haiti, as I normally do. Instead, I’ll be taking a longer trip in 2013. I will tell you more about that in January. But I do look forward to Christmas and New Year’s in Greenville, SC. God bless you this holiday season!

For the Cause of Christ,

Troy

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Today is my last full day in Quebec. The Lord has really blessed my time here, just as He did during the first time in 2008. When I came in May of that year, I was able to see some of the sites in Quebec City and became fascinated with that French city, so that’s why I decided to plan a week-long vacation there for last week. My first day actually began far north at Parc du Bic, a park I hiked in 2008. At that time it was too early in the year to be able to see seals, but not this year. I saw around 30 in a bay, relaxing on rocks during low tide. I was too late, though, for a whale-watching boat trip that I tried to do Monday, so I’ll have to plan my next visit to Quebec a little better.

Two days out of the week I toured various sites in Quebec City and just enjoyed taking in the European spirit of the city. I gained a greater understanding of the context that underlies some of the issues that Quebecois wrestle with to this day. It’s amazing how various issues continue to repeat themselves during their 400+ year history.

I was also able to spend extra time reading my Bible, praying, and doing some leisure reading, as well as sleeping. Overall, it was a very restful and relaxing vacation! I’m very thankful for Jen & Ray Teachout, who let me use their church’s prophet’s chamber. We had great fellowship together, and I had a good place for R & R.

Before I began that vacation, I had my meeting in Rivière-du-Loup. Pastor Rioux and his church received me graciously. It was such an encouragement to be with them. They were excited to hear my report in SS and seemed to understand well when I preached in French in Sun AM. Yesterday morning, I gave a report and preached at Eglise Baptiste de la Vallée du Richelieu, where Claude Jutras is the pastor. That was actually my first time to preach in a Catholic church, or should I say former Catholic church that is now a Sports facility on the first floor and a Baptist church meeting place on the second floor. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that Baptist church could purchase the entire building and turn that entire facility into a Baptist church building?!

In the afternoon I drove through Montreal for my final meeting in Quebec. Pastor Faucette and Faith Baptist Church was also very welcoming. This is an English-speaking church, so I was able to go back to my native tongue. The only problem was that I didn’t have time to print off my sermon notes in English, so I had to preach from my French notes. But I guess that’s fitting for this bilingual country!

Tomorrow I begin the long trek back home. Today I began the daunting task of trying to catch up after a week of vacation. I think I’ll need the break tomorrow to pace myself as I tackle the mound of work that has been waiting for me!

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I’m so thankful for the time that I spent in Quebec.  The Lord truly met all of my needs and exceeded my expectations.  I praise the Lord that I never had to find my own housing in a hotel, and I had to purchase only two meals the entire 34 days.  Since the churches are so small in Quebec (most have around 20 people, though a few had as many as 70-80), I was praying that the love offerings could at least cover my travel expenses.  But as it turns out, the people gave so generously that the offerings were at least three times higher than my travel expenses, and there are still some gifts on their way!  I’m also very thankful for the church and a young couple who promised to begin supporting me.  Most importantly, I greatly appreciate the ministry I accomplished by God’s grace, the friendships I’ve established, and the prayer supporters I’ve gained.  The people truly gained a vision for the worldwide needs of Bible translation.  One Quebec pastor sent me a message yesterday saying that he sees my prayer card on the refrigerators of the members of his church.  The people continue to pray.  Praise the Lord! 

I began the long trip back to the USA on Thursday morning.  I drove 6 hours south to stay with the Claude Jutras family.  I left bright and early on Friday in order to get back into Grand Rapids before the banks closed.  I ended up missing my target by about half an hour, but I’m thankful for the safety and the good fellowship with the Lord that I enjoyed on the trip. 

That evening was quite hectic as I had to unpack, do laundry, sort through the mail at the office, and re-pack for my trip the following morning, as well as find time to squeeze a supper in.  I ended up finishing all those activities by around 1:30am on Sat.  I was up at 5:20am to make final preparations for my train departure at 7:30.  The Amtrak trip from GR to Chicago was uneventful and enjoyable, but the fun began in Chicago.  I had to walk two blocks to the commuter train, but I never could find it.  After lugging four heavy pieces of luggage around a few blocks on a hot and steamy day, I hailed for a taxi.  The commuter train took me straight to O’Hare airport. 

Because of bad weather in Chicago, we were delayed in leaving.  The delay caused me to miss my second flight, which means I also missed my third flight.  I ended up staying the night in Minneapolis and took a plane on Sunday morning to Grand Forks.  So, after around 28 hours, I finally arrived at my destination, tired but thankful to be here! 

I’ve learned much since I arrived on Sunday, both about the course material and about this program in general.  The University of ND has outsourced their entire linguistics department to SIL (Summer Institute of Linguistics).  Though SIL is a Christian organization, they have to operate within the confines of a secular university.  This interesting mix leads to a unique situation here.  Though most of the 140+ students are evangelical Christian, some are not.  Classes aren’t begun in prayer, and chapel is optional.  There’s much more that could be said, but I’ll leave it at that. 

My schedule is nicely grouped around the middle of the day–Translation of Texts at 9am, Typology and Discourse at 10am, chapel at 11am, lunch at 12pm, and Semantics and Pragmatics at 1pm.  On T and Th I will be taking the students’ kids to the pool for a couple of hours; this is my work assignment to help keep the costs down. 

Please pray that I would be salt and light here.  Please also pray that my studies would not suffer too much as I take a trip to Chicago this weekend for my sister’s wedding. 

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La Belle Province

The Quebecois call their province “the beautiful province,” and I’ve found it to be exactly that.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my travels through this province.  I started in the SW and then headed north along the St. Lawrence River for my second meeting.  My third meeting required that I go SW along the River again.  I ministered in Mike Webster’s church last Wed and then again on Sunday morning.  Dick Teachout, a stewardship representative for BI, pastored this church for a number of years, so it was good to see this work.  I enjoyed getting to know the Websters and their work in this city which is so full of historical significance for Quebec (more on that later). 

As I ministered with the Websters, I quickly came to realize that the composition of this church is quite unique.  Among the believers are 4 missionary families (the Websters, the Garrises, and two families in language school), a Quebec couple working in a translation ministry based in the church, and a former linguistics professor.  So, I enjoyed being able to speak to Americans, linguists, translators, and of course, Quebecois. 

The translation ministry is called “Editions Ekklesia.”  I’ve come to realize that the French people are truly deprived of conservative Christian resources.  They have much more than the minority languages of the world, but that doesn’t say a whole lot.  While I was there, Mrs. Webster, Guy (the former linguistics professor), and Sylvie (whose with EE) were working on the translation of Berg’s Changed into His Image.  I’m thankful for the opportunity to see a translation ministry of a different sort, and I’m glad I was able to offer some suggestions.  This ministry needs prayer that the churches will get behind them fully so that they can produce much needed resources for the edifying of the Body.

On Friday Mike took me to the old area of Quebec city.  We were able to tour the Museum of French America where we learned much about the Catholics’ founding of the city.  The first bishop, Francois de Laval, did much to gain control over the people, even after the French lost the battle to the British.  He founded the University of Laval, the third oldest university in North America.  The greed and emptiness of Catholicism were quite evident.  Many of the Quebecois are so disgusted with this religion that they have jettisoned all religion.  In fact, some of the French swear words evidence this, since they profane even the words for the instruments of worship.

It was refreshing, however, to visit the exhibition of the Huguenots.  After the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, the Huguenots faced great persecution, but thankfully, some remained true to the faith.  In this exhibit the musuem stated some of the core truths of Protestantism–the sole authority of the Word of God and the equal access of the believer to His God.  What a stark contrast to what we saw in the other exhibits!

While in Quebec city we were also able to visit the Canadian Bible Society, where we came across a treasure trove of technical French resources.  I was able to stock up on some for my use and for the use of our French consultants, and I plan on going back later this month as I travel back through there. 

The Lord gave me a great morning of ministry last Sunday morning in Webster’s church.  I preached on Psa. 19 in the morning service, and then did my Prov 2 lesson in SS.  But instead of teaching out of my French Bible as I do in the US (to give the believers a sense of what it’s like to have to listen to Scripture in another language as many around the world do), I used my English Bible.  Though the French translating was more difficult for me, I think it went well. 

I had to drive all afternoon to head south to Laval, which is near Montreal.  I think the combination of fatigue and pride (because I thought I had this French thing down), I had a hard time preaching.  But the Lord helped me through, and I think I was able to connect with the people.  The Q/A time felt more like a linguistics course, because the people had many language-related questions.  It was a blessing to minister in Paul Pelletier’s church, especially since they support BI and since Paul’s wife’s parents were members of my uncle’s church a number of years ago. 

John Van Gelderen is coming to Laval later this week, so Steve Faucette (I’m staying at his house now and will be speaking at his church on Wed) were able to pass out some literature yesterday.  The Lord gave us a couple opportunities to share the gospel.  Please pray for God’s working in these hearts and in the meetings.

Today I’m going to tour Montreal with some friends.  I’m looking forward to seeing this diverse, cosmopolitan city which is actually situated on a large island.  Tomorrow I get to minister in English in Faucette’s church, since they have an English ministry.  Please continue to pray for the Lord’s strength. 

I’m so thankful for His provision and protection.  It was a blessing to eat with the Rob Spare family yesterday.  I was very encouraged when their two oldest boys (ages 4 and 6) volunteered to give my monetary gifts toward my ministry out of their own allowances.  What a blessing to see their giving hearts for the work of the Lord!  Please keep praying for God’s provision and protection.

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The Lord gave me a good day of ministry at my church (Westside Baptist Church) on April 20.  The pastor and his wife were out of town for the weekend, so he asked me to fill the pulpit for the day.  It was an honor and a privilege to minister the Word.  The Lord graciously gave us a couple of visitors that morning, so we had 15 in attendance.  The evening service was lower in attendance, but we still had a good time of fellowship in the Word. 

This past Sunday I went to Hope Baptist Church in Hope, MI.  I enjoyed the fellowship with Pastor Neil Wiggins and the people at Hope.  I was able to teach adult SS, give a short blurb in the AM service, and present my ministry in the PM service.  I’m thankful for their generous gift, the increased prayer support, and the opportunity to see what God is doing in Hope.  Please pray for this small, struggling church out in the country.  They need to see the Lord bring to them some young couples to continue the ministry.

The Lord worked it out that I have to go to Lansing only one time this week.  Two of my final exams are take-home exams, so I need only to email them to my teachers.  Thankfully both of them are already done.  I have only one in-class exam and that’s on Friday.  I’m so thankful for how the Lord has met all of my needs and that I can complete this semester with absolutely no debt.  I’m also thankful for how He has protected me over the many miles of traveling back and forth. 

Speaking of traveling and Friday, on Friday evening I’m going to start making my way toward Quebec.  I will stay the night with some friends in Port Huron and then travel the rest of the 9 hours to my first church.  I’m excited about this trip to Quebec, but I’m concerned about how well my French will come back to me.  I’ve already translated my DVD script into French (I will have to read it live each time I show my DVD), and I have some sermons to translate by the end of the week.  Please pray for success in French and for the Lord to burden hearts about my ministry of Bible translation.  Please also pray for safety in travel as I take a rental car across at least 3,000 miles of Quebec.   

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