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.

Friday, June 10, 2022

So that people can understand clearly who Jesus is

How do you go about translating the Bible for people who prefer to listen rather than read? A new translation of the Bible starting in Senegal is using ground-breaking translation methods so more people will be able to hear about Jesus. The translation will be oral in both process and outcome. This is the first time a translation will be done orally in Senegal.

One of the translation team members explains: "First we will go through the passage so the translators understand it and internalise the passage, so they can tell it in a way that is natural in Contemporary Wolof (the local language). Then we will listen to it, check it, and adjust it. We do that over and over until we have an accurate and natural draft. It goes through all the same checking processes that a written translation goes through."

Your prayers and gifts for my Wycliffe ministry impact translation so that others like the Senegalese may understand the Bible and know Jesus. It's why we are on this journey together. You are a part of what God is doing around the world!

So what am I doing now? Well, I was able to help with two online workshops last week. I've been able to pray with and for those in challenging situations. I've helped test some new financial software and helped write explanations of programs yet to come. I've been a part of processing different kinds of budget documents on behalf of other colleagues. My days are not necessarily predictable, but it is such a gift to be able to serve from Indiana. Pray for continued wisdom to learn well and be responsive to the needs of those I serve.

Mom has had three weeks of physical therapy for her gait, and she is beginning to see some progress and increased energy and stability. We are thankful! We're enjoying a little outdoor time now and bought the first flowers that she will be potting soon. May God's blessings be as obvious in your lives, too.

Friday, May 6, 2022

How Will They Know?

Praise God, there have been amazing strides forward in Bible translation in recent years. From the use of satellite internet access to Oral Bible Translation, translation into minority languages is happening with increasing speed and effectiveness. Yet there are still more than 1800 language groups today for which there is not even a translation project started. How will they know?

This man belongs to the Hani people who live in southern China near the border with Viet Nam. More than 750,000 people belong to the Hani language community, which is considered a minority in the vast nation of China. Since they speak a language totally different to Chinese, the literacy rate is low and they have no Scriptures available to them. The Chinese government has recognized that the Hani have the lowest quality of life of all the official Chinese minority groups. Please pray for the Hani people to have access to God’s message so they might understand and have their lives transformed.

Story Source: Elyse Patten,

Personal Update

I’ve found a niche as an occasional online host for services at Faith Church. I’ve enjoyed being able to contribute to and be a part of that community, many of whom are still at-risk and unable to join in the in-person gatherings. Some of you are among that group -- it’s nice to be able to give back in that way. I get to use a little bit a techy-ness to host, too, which is fun for me.

I’ve also been able to get into more predictable routines for some basic things in life, including exercise. I’ve walked the Indianapolis mini (half) marathon multiple times in the past. Perhaps that would be a good goal again for NEXT year! Who’d like to walk it with me?

I drove north to be with Mom on May 12, 2021, which led to my move in November. I cannot thank you enough for the many prayers, encouragements, Zooms, chats, notes, calls, texts, and visits that have helped me transition in this past year. I am grateful!