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Posts Tagged ‘support’

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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One activity that gives me great delight is organizing stuff–putting things in the proper place and attaching labels to find them easily later. I took the time before I left my BI office to do that before Christmas. I filed away all papers and made sure every folder had clear labels. I also got basically caught up on all urgent emails. Considering that I was around 90 behind in the fall, that was quite a challenging task! It was such a good feeling to leave the office on December 23, knowing that I could go back on Wednesday with basically a fresh start–nothing lingering from the previous year.

I also found delight in organizing our storage room at home during the past week of compensation days (which I earned from traveling so much in the fall). I put up drywall so that I could mount shelving and then get everything into its proper place. But before I installed the shelving, I put bright white paint on the drywall and also covered the grey foundation walls with two fresh coats of bright white. It feels good now to know that things that had remained somewhat unorganized for as much as a few years are now in their proper place. My larger motivation was to prepare the house for the baby coming. Since my office will become the baby room, I need to find another place in the house to set up shop. We have a nice area for that right outside the storage room, and that room can function as a place where I can keep office supplies.

Another activity that brings me great delight is reviewing God’s workings in our lives over the past year. I was able to do that yesterday, and here are some highlights of our year on a personal level:

  • Early January started with our final appointments concerning the miscarriage of Salem.
  • We were cleared to travel to Eurasia and Ukraine for 4 weeks in January.
  • While in Ukraine, we heard that the BI director, Dr. Hantz Bernard, was released by the new BMM President, Dr. Vernon Rosenau.
  • On Feb. 2, my mom moved up to Grand Rapids and stayed with us for 2 months until her newly renovated condo was ready to move into.
  • In late Feb and early March I conducted a Haitian Creole OT workshop at the office.
  • During the workshop (3/2), we drove to Detroit where Oksana had her Green Card interview and passed with flying colors!
  • At the end of the workshop (3/4-6), I led a missions conference at our church.
  • Our first deputation meeting was actually on Jan. 3 at our home church here, but then the meetings really began in March. We ended up having 16 deputation meetings throughout the year. 4 of those churches have taken us on for support, and we gained 2 individual supporters. We also visited 8 supporting churches. I spoke a total of 70 times throughout the year in 28 churches and 3 schools. Oksana probably spoke about half that number. We put 6,282 miles onto our car, and we added around 5,000 to two rental cars.
  • We started the year at 74% and saw it go up to 83%. But then because of insurance and baby-needs increases, it went down to 73%. Now, it’s back up to 83%.
  • On April 15 we found out that Oksana’s nephew, Roma, died early on April 16 morning. Oksana flew out on April 16 for a week.
  • On May 19 Oksana passed her BMM doctrinal questioning with flying colors!
  • On May 30-June 10 I led another Haitian Creole OT workshop at the office.
  • In early July Oksana attended the BMM Candidate Seminar.
  • Later in July I began taking courses to become a certified biblical counselor.
  • On July 19 we found out that Oksana’s unsaved father died at the age of 69.
  • Right after the BI Consultant Seminar and Annual Retreat, Oksana and I flew to Eurasia and then took vacation in Ukraine.
  • After the overseas trip we had 2 days before we had to leave for 5 weeks of deputation.
  • We had a week after that before we headed out for another 3 weeks of deputation.
  • Throughout the busy fall, I was also administering a graduate-level Discourse Analysis course to 4 consultants in training.
  • On September 8 we found out that Oksana was pregnant. A few weeks later that was confirmed with doctors, and we were told the due date is on May 11. We are quite excited and thankful!
  • In addition to taking vacation in Ukraine, we also took short breaks in Grand Haven, Chicago, Washington DC, and the outer banks of NC.
  • I read the following 12 books throughout the year: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus (John Gray), The People’s Bible (Derek Thomas), Christian Counselor’s Medical Desk Reference (Robert Smith), The Bible Translator (Aug 2015 & April 2016), The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert (Rosaria Butterfield), Sticking Points (Haydn Shaw), Pioneer Missions (Forrest McPhail), Holistic Discourse Analysis (Longacre and Hwang), A Theology of Christian Counseling (Jay Adams), What Is a Healthy Church Member? (Thabiti Anyabwile), and A Bible for Every Hand and Heart (Michael Grant, ed.)

It was a good year–filled with God’s blessings and trials. I am thankful that He carried us safely through and look forward to the new year. This year will include:

  • Jan/Feb: Eurasia/Ukraine
  • March: 2 missions conferences
  • Mar/Apr: Myanmar/Singapore
  • May: BABY!!
  • June: Quebec
  • July: missions trip to British Columbia
  • Aug: annual events at BI
  • Sept: Haiti
  • Oct/Nov: India, Chad, Eurasia, Ukraine

May God bless and guide in all our endeavors!

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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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We’ve already announced this to most people we know and we published it in the Facebook world, but I haven’t yet written about it on my blog. Oksana suspected she was pregnant back in early September and we had it confirmed by Oksana’s doctor’s office when we got back to the US in mid-September. We were so thankful when we heard our baby’s heartbeat on November 7. When we met with the doctor at the same point in the pregnancy last year, we heard no heartbeat at the office, and then the ultrasound confirmed that evening that our baby had died. So, when we heard the heartbeat with the sonogram that morning, our hearts leaped for joy. It was a moment when I wanted to laugh, cry, and shout for joy at the same time. We certainly praised God for His protection over our yet-to-be-born baby. He or she is due on May 11. We’ll get an ultrasound done in early January so we can find out the gender (though we may not tell anyone!).

With the baby on its way and the increase in health care costs, our support estimate had to be recalculated. We were at 82.4% of reaching full support with the former estimate, but with the new one, we are now at 75%. It’s tempting to get discouraged, because we’ve worked very hard to get the support from 66% (when we first got married) to 82.4%. But on the other hand, much of that increase came simply because of God’s blessing. And we know He can bless again and bring the support back up. We have already heard from 2 new churches, one currently supporting church, and a new individual about increases. Pray that they would be able to do it and that others would take us on! We hope to hear of many increases when the new year starts and budgets get settled.

We are thankful for a great meeting at Southwest Community Baptist Church in Parma, OH, a few weeks ago and then another at Thompson Road Baptist Church in Indianapolis, IN, last week. Southwest is searching for a new pastor, so they aren’t in a position to take on new missionaries. But Pastor Slutz at Thompson Road said we are on his “short list.”

After our meeting last week we stopped by Widow’s Jar Ministries to pick up supplies that they collect to give away for free to missionaries. We focused mostly on provisions for our baby. We ended up filling our Ford Escape from front to back and from top to bottom. We are thankful for the labor of love of the many volunteers who help there and for God’s provision for all these supplies. We probably had $1,000 worth of supplies in our vehicle.

We stopped off at the Ukrainian embassy in Chicago on our way home to settle some paperwork concerning Oksana’s mom’s apartment in Ukraine. We hope the paperwork will arrive on time. Though we had to spend a lot for this trip, parking in Chicago, and FedEx to get the paper to Ukraine, we hope it will save having to change our Ukraine trip plans, which are currently for after the Eurasia workshop. If the paperwork doesn’t arrive, we would have to go to Ukraine before Eurasia, which would mess up other things in the works.

 

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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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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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Oksana continues to work at the Translator Training Manual in Russian. She got through the chapter on translation philosophy, so hopefully the rest will move more quickly. It’s not easy to find the Russian equivalents to “formal equivalence,” “discourse structure,” “kernel sentence,” etc. There are plenty of technical words in the rest of the manual, but there is not as high of a concentration of them as there is in the philosophy chapter.

I continue to prepare for the Haitian Creole OT workshop that starts on Tuesday. I have finished preparation for Judges and 1 Samuel 1-6. I have fallen behind a few chapters, since I haven’t always been able to keep up with studying 4 chapters a day (because of many other matters that come up during the week), but I’m thankful that I’m making steady progress.

Since Oksana and I have gotten married, we have watched our support steadily increase. In fact, it went up 15% since we got married. But recently when BMM and I studied recent giving, we discovered that it has dipped down a little bit, such that we now have 78% of our support. We trust God will raise it back up higher and higher when we go to churches beginning in mid-March. We are also thankful that two churches gave large gifts earlier in the month to help us with the shortfall of monthly support. God is so gracious! Our immediate goal is to get out of deficit spending (our current expenses are $140 higher than our committed support). God will provide, as He always has!

I am also thankful that the missions conference at our church, that I am coordinating, is coming together well. Basically, all of the missionaries (3) and speakers (5) have submitted information for the conference booklet and “passport” for the kids. My mom and others are working on preparations for the social events. Now, we speakers just need to put together our messages. Please pray!

We are thankful that my mom’s move to our area went well. Many friends came to help her move her stuff into her condo. She’s been living with us, though, as she waits for her condo to be transformed into the “condo of her dreams.” Oksana and I are thankful to have her cheerful spirit and servant’s heart with us.

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