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Posts Tagged ‘support increase’

Dear Family and Friends,

In preparation for the arrival of our son, I read Tedd Tripp’s Shepherding a Child’s Heart. Tripp focuses on parenting that addresses the heart of the child, not just his behavior. He makes his point strongly with this statement: “A change in behavior that does not stem from a change in heart is not commendable; it is condemnable.” May God enable Oksana and me to raise our son with a gospel-saturated focus on his heart.

OUR SON IS BORN!

We PRAISE God for bringing Eliyas (pronounced EL-i-yas) Joseph into this world on May 19! He weighed 8 lbs and 15 oz, and was 22 inches long. Oksana was in labor for 27.5 hours, but we praise God for strengthening her to delivery normally. The timing was not what we had planned, but it turns out that God’s plan was better than ours. Oksana called me to come home at 4 p.m. on Thursday and, after everything was completed at the hospital, we went home Sunday afternoon. So, I missed only one day of the Haitian Creole workshop. I was able to do the second week of the workshop, because my mom helped Oksana at home during the day. Also, we got our first two meetings in Quebec moved into July, so we have a little longer for Oksana and Eliyas to get into a good routine.

Eliyas’ name means “my God is Jehovah,” and that’s our prayer for him—that he would follow only Jehovah all his days. Please PRAY with us in that regard and PRAY for us that God would enable us to lead him in that way. You can read more about the birth story and our choice of his name in previous posts on this blog.

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Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. (Psa 127:3)

God makes a home for the lonely. (Psa 68:6a)

SUPPORT NEARING 100%

Our support increased again this past quarter, thanks to our sending church, Grand Valley Baptist; Lake County Baptist in Waukegan, IL; Calvary Baptist in York, PA; and a family, who are dear friends. Due to some anticipated expenses, our support estimate went up some, so the bottom line is that our support level is at 94%. Please pray for the remaining support to come in this year. During the summer, we will be visiting four supporting churches in Quebec and two non-supporting churches in the US.

MINISTRY

We PRAISE the Lord for giving me a safe trip to Myanmar (consultant seminar), Singapore (two churches), and India (school partnerships). The seminar was a tremendous team-building experience, the visits to Singapore churches were refreshing, and the exploration in India was very profitable. PRAY for wisdom as we strategize on how to move forward in India, which will include another trip to India in October.

We also PRAISE God for His help in writing the BI constitution. The committee worked very hard, and we should have the rough draft complete by the end of this week. PRAY as it will be sent to BMM for input at that point.

The Lord really helped me to stay focused for the Haitian Creole OT workshop in May, and we finished checking 1 Kings and 2 Kings 1-6. PRAISE God!

PRAY as I try to finalize plans for the Consultant Seminar at BI in August. PRAY for wisdom as I lead my department and prepare various presentations.

PRAY also for God’s provision of more laborers. PRAISE Him fo His provision of financial support for BI, though we continue to wait for His choice of a new Director and the filling of other strategic roles.

For the sake of Christ,

Troy (for the three of us)

 

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Dear Family and Friends,

As we witness the protests and uprisings around the world, we may wonder if we will ever see the peace the angels announced would be ushered in with the coming of Christ (Luk. 2:13). Henry Wadsworth Longfellow expressed similar consternation in his song, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” He writes, ‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said. ‘For hate is strong and mocks the song Of peace on earth, goodwill to men.’ But with the eyes of faith he rises above the raging of the nations, and writes, Then pealed the bells more loud and deep, ‘God is not dead: nor doth He sleep; The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, With peace on earth, goodwill to men.’ Praise be to the Messiah, especially during this Christmas season, that God’s will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven.

HAITI

I had asked you to pray for a safe and productive trip to Haiti in November as I worked with the translator on the Haitian Creole Old Testament. I hesitatingly asked you to pray that we would be able to finish the Psalms, wondering if that goal was unrealistic. Well, the Lord allowed us to finish all of the Psalms! And we completed our work a day and a half early and in spite of the fact that I contracted a viral infection during the second week of the workshop (I’ve since recovered). PRAISE God for His grace! Next time, though, I’ll ask you to pray for good health as well! PRAY as we strive to print a revised New Testament with Psalms/Proverbs by 2014.

DEPUTATION

The Lord has also answered your prayers in regard to my support. It has increased by 8% since my October letter and now stands at 93%! Tabernacle Baptist Church in Virginia Beach, VA; Worthington Baptist Church in Worthington, PA; and Pasir Panjang Christ Church in Singapore have all joined my support team. I PRAISE the Lord for these new partnerships. Also, Faith Baptist Church in Laval, Quebec, and another supporter increased their current support amount. Please PRAY as churches may be voting on support needs through the end of January. PRAY for my remaining support to come in without my having to add more meetings. I have four meetings in 2012.

COMMISSIONING

On November 30 at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Greenville, SC, I was commissioned into the missions ministry of Bible translation. The director of BI, Dr. Hantz Bernard, gave a charge to the church to help them realize their privilege of being involved with me in Bible translation and of their responsibility in supporting me in prayer. His words were encouraging and sobering both for the church and for me, since he explained the spiritual, physical, and intellectual rigors of this ministry.

Pastor Minnick then gave a charge to me. Using 2 Timothy 2:15 as his text, he challenged me to be faithful in life and ministry so that I might be an “approved workman.” He also took advantage of the opportunity to help the church put into perspective all the riches we have in the English language. On this 400th-year anniversary of the KJV, he encouraged me to consider that maybe translations I help produce will have such lasting value for their language groups. Please PRAY with me that I would be faithful and fruitful as I seek to help millions of people around the world gain access to the Word of God in their own language. The first quarter of 2012 will include a five-week trip to India, southeast Asia, and Singapore in January and February, and meetings in churches in Illinois and Wisconsin in March.

UPCOMING PRODUCTIONS

Speaking of helping people gain access to the Word of God, we are going to just that in 2012 for many different people groups: Kabiyé NT (Togo); Quechua NT (Peru); Bualkhaw, Zotung, and Tedim Chin NT’s (Myanmar); Dagba NT and Rito NT (Chad); Dagaare NT portions (Ghana); Chakma and Inpui Naga NT’s (India);  and Warao OT portions (Venezuela). We are excited about the completion of these projects, but we are pleading with the Lord to provide the funds to print these Scriptures. The printing costs make up a significant portion of the overall expenses of a project. We are thankful for the giving of God’s people, especially recently. PRAY for the remaining thousands to come in. We PRAISE the Lord that we raised $44,000 at our Annual Banquet in October. It was the best-attended banquet yet.

God bless your Christmas and 2012! Thanks for your prayers!

That All the World May Read the Word,

Troy

 

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On Thursday of last week, Daniel and I were able to finish checking the Psalms! Praise the Lord! I felt we were crawling across the finish line, since we were both suffering from some sickness. Daniel had just a common cold, but mine seems like it might be the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Wednesday of last week was a very long day, as I had to lead the workshop in the morning and then prepare for the next day the rest of the afternoon. The Lord gave me enough energy to get through the day, and I barely had enough strength for the next morning’s work. I spent the rest of the day and all day Friday resting and trying to recover.

But Haiti is not very conducive to good rest at night, since there are so many night-time sounds. I seemed to be making good progress but then lost ground on Friday night. I was waken up at 1 am with a nearby church blasting their leader’s singing. Plus, there was a huge crowd of people gathered for some games or something. I could hear chanting, singing, and cheering. When I finally figured out how to get back to sleep, I was again waken at 5 am to another church service. So I couldn’t get any more sleep that morning.

I woke up completely drained of energy and having a hard time not falling over because of dizziness. I wondered how in the world I would be able to fly to the USA and then drive to a hotel at 10:30 pm that night. Somehow I made it through the whole day. I got to sleep around midnight and had to get back up around 5:30 am to drive 2.5 hours to a deputation meeting in Nags Head. God gave much grace, and I was able to teach in SS and then present that evening at Still Waters Baptist Church. The whole day was kinda a blur, but I made it through and even had good fellowship.

I decided I should go to an urgent care center on Monday when I saw my hands and feet swelling up and getting a rash all over my body. Thankfully, I was given antibiotics to take, so I’ve been getting better each day since then. I still don’t feel completely back to normal, but that might be another sickness that’s making its way through my family!

I praise the Lord for a restful and refreshing Thanksgiving at my SC church and with my family. I was given a very special reason for thanksgiving on Friday when Pasir Panjang Christ Church notified me that they will begin supporting me in January. That brings me up to 91%! That’s great news, especially since my commissioning service is coming up on Wed. Pray for God to be glorified in that special service.

Tomorrow I drive to Rocky Mount, NC, for a meeting at Shenandoah Baptist Church. I’ll present in the evening service and then drive back to Greenville on Monday.

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I was hesitant to even ask for prayer that we would finish the Psalms by the end of this workshop, because I thought that goal was unrealistic. Knowing the amount of material we covered per day at the last workshop (around 12-15 pages of material) and knowing all that we had to cover during this workshop, it didn’t seem possible to be able to finish. But after finishing the first week of the workshop, I’m beginning to think that such a high goal is actually attainable. In fact, we might actually finish a little early on Friday! We covered 81 pages in 3.5 days worth of work, and we have 103 pages left to go. If you do the math, you’ll see that with 5 days left, we should have plenty of time to finish! Praise God! Thanks for your prayers. Please keep praying that the Lord would keep us free from distractions so that we might finish well during the second week.

It turns out that we are not conducting the workshop here at the house where I’m staying. Instead, we drive slowly down a bumpy, dusty road to a nearby church, the same one that Dr. Hantz Bernard pastored for 9 years. The current pastor there, Pastor Jeanty, has graciously allowed us to use his air-conditioned office. I’ve actually found that the ceiling fan is often sufficient to keep us from getting too hot. It’s just nice to be able to have a separate place to do the work (though I am also having to work each night at “home” to prepare more material).

Tomorrow evening the translation committee will gather at this house for a “Celebration in a Suitcase.” Since this is BI’s 30-year anniversary, we consultants get the opportunity to take that celebration with us in our suitcases. Around 12 people will gather tomorrow to recount BI’s history in general and our history in Haiti, to celebrate 30 years, and to pray for God’s grace for the future. I’m looking forward to rejoicing with the group. I’ve never seen everyone in one room at the same time, so this is a real privilege!

I’ll now give you a taste of the complex issues we sometimes have to face. In Psalm 105:22 the psalmist notes that Joseph was given the authority “to bind princes according to his will.” In the first draft Daniel used a verb that means “constrain,” thinking that “bind” (i.e., chain) communicated a dictatorial type of leadership. He knew that such wasn’t the type of leadership that Joseph provided. Before dealing with the issue, we got a good laugh at another version that says that Joseph was given a “blank check over all his chiefs.” Clearly, that was not what we wanted to go with!

I explained to Daniel that binding princes was not simply an act of dictators. If the princes were rebellious and not submissive to his authority, he might have sent them to prison. Such would have been appropriate justice. I also noted that many versions use the verb “bind” or something similar. I also questioned Daniel’s use of the verb “fose” (i.e., forced or constrained). I said that this verb might actually communicate the idea that he was trying to avoid.

When he agreed that “anchene” (imprison or bind) really does work, I threw out a question to make sure he didn’t come to easily to “my side.” I asked if “according to his will” was actually what made him think of dictatorial rule. He responded by concluding that “bind according to his will” is truly the best translation.

God continued to give us help through such complex difficulties, and He helped us with the easier ones too (e.g., add a comma here, change this comma to a semicolon, add a conjunction here, etc.).

I was pleased to see on my account that a current supporter has increased their monthly support, raising my support level to 86%! Praise the Lord for this increase after not having one since September!

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I spent the first two weeks in Grand Rapids in the Haitian Creole OT workshop, so this past week was the only week I had to get caught up on other responsibilities. Since I was traveling back from Ohio on Monday, my week basically began on Tuesday. Tuesday began with a 2.5-hour meeting with the director and the other manager. That afternoon I met with the director and another co-worker to evaluate how things went for the Haitian Creole workshop. That took an hour or more.

On Wednesday I spent an hour and a half meeting with the director to discuss various aspects of my department. On Thursday morning I spent another hour and a half meeting with another manager and our administrative assistant to evaluate her work over the past few months. That afternoon I met with the head of the translation consultants and the other manager to discuss the Sango Bible revision project and the new project in Luxembourg. On Friday I spent an hour with the other manager and a research coordinator to discuss a new literacy project in Myanmar. We are testing the waters to see if we can launch a translation project there soon. I spent most of that morning preparing for that meeting by reading a string of emails, some of which dated back to 2009.

Between meetings I wrote personal notes to my supporters on my Christmas prayer letter. Thankfully, during that time an IT guy improved the functioning of my computer.

So, I’d say this was quite a busy week! I’m glad it’s over and that I’m beginning my Christmas vacation on Monday. I’ll be taking a break for two weeks before jumping back into things. I head to South Carolina early next week and will be there until January 8. Please pray for safety!

During this busy week I set up things to be part of a missions conference at Community Baptist Church in South Bend, IN, in October. I look forward to being with Pastor Pennington and his people.

Yesterday, I found out that a couple took me on for support. I met these people at a missions conference in Ohio in early October. They had mentioned their desire to start supporting me. I’m so thankful the Lord has enabled them to do that! I now have 69% again. Keep praying for the Lord to provide all my support by Easter of 2011. Praise the Lord that I was able to fill all empty slots in my schedule for early 2011!

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