Friday, May 22, 2020

The Word that Brings Freedom

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)

This was the first verse from the Bible that Afaafa* had ever read. As a Kenyan who had been taught another majority religion, she had refused even to touch a Bible. She had planned to convert her Christian friends, but one of them challenged her to read the Bible for herself. She decided to read the first verse she set her eyes on, and there it was, Galatians 5:1. When reading it, she felt something powerful come on her. And that night she had a dream where God invited her to choose slavery or freedom. She chose freedom and became a follower of Jesus. Her two sons are growing up knowing Jesus.

Since 2005, Afaafa has been a Bible translator because “if God can change my life through one verse, then I expect every verse I translate will impact the life of another Bydla* person.” She longs to see her people receive Scripture in their language and know the freedom that comes in Christ. God’s Word has power to change individuals, especially when it is in the language that speaks to them best. It can bring freedom to communities and cultures, too. Thank you—your prayers and gifts for my Wycliffe ministry are helping train colleagues who will one day impact people just like Afaafa, all around the world.

*Names changed for security reasons.

Personal Update

My family and I are well. Working from home continues to be productive. The goal now is to prep for June virtual Equip using all we learned in April. I am not sure I realized how thankful I could be for predictable internet, but it is a blessing, keeping me in touch with family, friends, and colleagues. Your many encouragements have also been a blessing. Grateful for you!

Friday, May 8, 2020

Day 52

Today is day 52 of Sheltering in Place for me. While this is not the plan I would choose, I am thankful for the Lord's gracious care. My family and I are healthy and able to connect regularly. The weather has been so amazing that I've had the house open and a wonderful breeze comes through. I've been reading YouVersion's Blended Plan (some Old and New Testament passages each day, but pairing Genesis and Romans, for instance) and have seen the holiness of God and the sacrificial love of Jesus more clearly.

But I am reminded that there are still more than 2,000 language groups who do not have any portion of the Bible in a language that speaks to their heart. They are unable to access God's Word clearly while we may choose from hundreds of English versions.

Together, we have been working and asking the Lord to change that -- to give all people His Word in a way that their lives are transformed. Your prayers and gifts impacted this group of Equippers who are also accelerating Bible translation. As you have prayed for me and given to my Wycliffe ministry, you have a part in their ministry, too. Thank you! We (Virtual Equip #46 crew and participants) are grateful!

Map by Marty Pelton

As a crew, we're processing all we experienced and praying that the Lord will use each of these colleagues mightily. Would you pray for them, too, as they continue their Wycliffe journey in this distinctive season? Thank you.

Thank you for your faithful partnership. The Lord uses you to encourage my heart as we serve together, each of us where He has placed us. Please let me know how I might pray with you.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Virtual Equip Update

Wow. The Lord has been answering your prayers. Equip virtual orientation is going well. The internet has been generally dependable for all, praise God.

God has also provided grace and strength. The total number of online hours makes this significantly more fatiguing (in a different way) than if we were together. And it's been more challenging to make relational connections.

But this group has been amazing and persistent and flexible and engaging and grace-filled. They've been taking advantage of every opportunity we do have and making the most of them. Those with small children have been especially resourceful when it comes to staying engaged and also keeping the "littles" happy.

The Crew has been brainstorming regularly to adjust and tweak all types of little things. God has granted us enough time and space and mental energy. Very grateful to be a part of this team.

Please keep praying. We'll have most of Saturday and all of Sunday off. Pray for rest and renewal. We will finish at the end of the day next Thursday.

So grateful for you. May the Lord bring you moments of sweet joy today. Let me know of ways I might pray with you.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Praise and Prayer

This is a time to praise the Lord:
  • God is Sovereign over all and Jesus is RISEN!
  • Equip orientation planning is almost complete
  • My family and I are healthy and sheltered in our places
  • Technology helps me continue to serve and to stay connected with family and friends


Equip orientation, April 18-30, will be held "virtually." Pray for:
  • The participants and crew as we all navigate technology in new ways
  • The crew as we "practice" with all the technology this coming week
  • Wisdom and deep insight for the crew
  • Consistent internet for all
  • Good rest and renewal for all between our online sessions
The two Connection (reentry/care programs) for May have been canceled.
  • Pray for encouragement for those who had planned to come
  • Ask God to provide love and care for each missionary and family where they are 
Very grateful for your faithful prayers and gifts for my Wycliffe ministry. The Lord is using you to impact so many colleagues. May He continue to encourage your heart today with His faithfulness. Let me know other ways I might pray, too.

Peace to you,

Friday, March 27, 2020

Video Update

Thanks so much for your prayers and encouragements over the past two weeks. With the current immersion in video conferencing, I thought I'd try a brief video update. There are captions available if it's difficult to hear or understand me. Welcome to my home office!

I am so thankful for you and your faithful prayers. Please let me know how I may pray with you. It's a privilege to stand together in prayer, especially now.