Friday, December 23, 2022

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! Think of it -- this year, there are communities hearing and reading and seeing the story of Jesus' birth for the first time in a language they best understand, all because of Bible translation. Your prayers and gifts for my Wycliffe ministry have been a huge part of bringing the Good News of great joy to all people. Thank you!

Dr. John Chesnut serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Wycliffe Bible Translators USA. John and his wife, Kelly. wish to bring you Christmas greetings!

For a personal update, please visit my Google Group page.

Friday, October 14, 2022

A Day in the Life

Your prayers and gifts for my Wycliffe ministry are a part of the larger picture, as together we ask God to bring his Word to the marginalized people of the world. Wycliffe Bible Translators partners with many other organizations, working together in Scripture translation. A representative from one of those partner organizations, the Deaf Bible Society, joined us in a prayer meeting recently. I learned much from this video in which she's the "hearing" person.

October is the start of the new fiscal year for Wycliffe, which means all the new missionaries I am working with need revisions to their ministry budgets, to align them with new costs. Since they are in the time of initially asking God to provide through the generosity of individuals and churches, it's important that they have an accurate budget in mind. It's been fun to work through a new app on our HR site to get those budgets completed. I've had opportunity to touch base with each new coworker assigned to me and see how we might help them. In the other part of my role, we continue to celebrate colleagues as they reach their anniversaries with Wycliffe. I'm encouraged as we recognize the faithful legacy of so many.

Thank you for your many notes and prayers for Mom and me as we do life together. We seem to be in a time of one step forward; two steps back. Each day is the same and yet can be very different. We're grateful God has written all our days in his book before they ever came to be. We rest in that truth.

Friday, September 9, 2022

Translating Across Continents

The Kunama Bible translation process is unique because the community is displaced from their home country of Eritrea and are dispersed around the world. The Kunama New Testament team works from North America while the Old Testament team works from Ethiopia. The translators have overcome significant obstacles and challenges, but they serve faithfully and humbly to bring Scripture to the Kunama diaspora. One translator's motivation:

When you read it, if you don't understand well, you don't go back next time. But when they have the Book that's easy to read, it's written in the dialect they use every day... they will go deep into God's Word.

(For those of you from Faith Church, Jeff Shrum makes appearances at 3:54 and 4:39.)

Thank you for your prayers for my trip to Orlando. God answered them by providing encouragement and renewal through the things we learned and from the extended face-to-face time with colleagues, some of whom I had never met in person. The Lord is using your partnership with my Wycliffe ministry to provide ongoing encouragement as we each do our part within his plan of bringing the Bible to the world.

Mom seems to be entering a more challenging stage of her journey. Thank you in advance for your continued prayers for grace as she walks through these life changes.

Friday, August 19, 2022

Oral Bible Storytelling

Pastor Laban is an oral Bible storyteller in a project in northeastern Nigeria. He visited a village where the people were devout idol worshipers and told them Bible stories in their language. They all accepted Jesus to be their Lord and Savior! Hallelujah!

They immediately requested a church to be started for them and began gathering for worship under a tree near their now-abandoned shrine. The community leader donated a piece of land for a building to be built. It has now been erected with a roof, though it's not plastered and is without windows and doors. Yet, they are faithfully gathering for worship and using the building for Sunday church services and other activities. Join me in praising God for the power of his Word in a language and form that the people understood!

Story and Photo Source: Amy Easterlin

I leave on Monday for a two-week trip to Orlando where I will attend meetings with other Wycliffe USA colleagues. We will learn more about how Wycliffe is partnering with other Bible translation organizations around the world to be more effective together. I'm looking forward to reconnecting with friends from Orlando. I'll also have the opportunity to meet some of my new co-workers face-to-face. I look forward to taking in some Florida scenery and climate, too. Thank you in advance for your faithful prayers for good learning and connection and renewal.

Today, we celebrate Mom's 89th birthday! We are grateful to God for her continued stability and obvious trust in the Lord. Praise God with us for his care for her and for us.

Friday, July 8, 2022

What do I do now?

You might have wondered what my new roles look like. This past month, the Member Finance team of Wycliffe USA has been a part of facilitating economic helps for those who depend on the gifts of churches and individuals. In this time of uncertainty, many colleagues and their financial partners have experienced financial challenges. Through the provision of gracious donors, funds were made available for those who qualified for and requested help. Our team was responsible to process those requests. It’s a privilege to be a part of the background happenings, knowing that our part of Bible translation is to help other Wycliffe personnel continue to focus on their part in Bible translation, rather than on financial concerns.

In my other role, the Stateside Care team began celebrating anniversaries -- years spent with Wycliffe. This month, we’ll send cards for a 1st anniversary, a 50th anniversary, and several in between! We hope to remind these co-workers that what they do is being used by God. Our prayer is that they will be encouraged to continue serving well.

In just that same way, what you do matters -- your prayers and gifts for my Wycliffe ministry are being used by God to serve others. Thank you for your faithfulness!
Personal Update

I’ve enjoyed being in Indianapolis and the opportunities to reconnect with many of you. And, as the “Crossroads of America,” Indiana is on the way to a number of places for some Wycliffe colleagues I coached or taught virtually. It has been a joy to meet some as they come through. I look forward to meeting others face-to-face after spending so many hours online together.

I’ve also been able to enjoy immediate and extended family gatherings. God has blessed me with an amazing family. It’s a gift to be within driving distance of so many now.

For praise and prayer items, visit my Google group.