Friday, July 19, 2019

Connections

The quick trip to Indiana was wonderful. It was a blessing to attend two family gatherings and reconnect with those special people in my life. It was also a joy to see so many of you at Faith Church.

This past week, we hosted colleagues who serve with Wycliffe Bible Translators in eight different countries. It's sometimes easy to forget that the twists and turns of life that we all experience in God's sovereignty are exactly the same for those who serve overseas. They just have the added complication (and often heartache) of being thousands of miles away when challenges occur. Most who are here this week have experienced hardship... the sudden loss of a parent while the colleague was overseas; parenting a special-needs teen; parenting a teen who develops a health issue that could be life-threatening; the joy and loss of grandparenting from overseas. Yet the stories of God's faithfulness are amazing. Our privilege to be a listening ear or a hand on the shoulder is an opportunity to minister grace. As so many of you have ministered grace to me -- it's a gift to be able to be that same kind of blessing to these co-workers.

Carl & Carol, who've served 10 years with Wycliffe, Photo by Mark Borland

These are the servants who are extending your ministry to the Bibleless. Would you ask God to renew them and empower them to continue to serve faithfully? The Lord knows their names. Just pray for the participants of The Wycliffe Connection #52.

Next week, we'll host a group of Wycliffe colleagues who live in the US, but whose jobs are all around the world, thanks to technology. Pray for those same kinds of grace-filled conversations and times of renewal for Wycliffe Stateside Connection #33.

May the Lord minister grace to your life this week as well. Please let me know how I may be praying on your behalf.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Hello from Indiana!

Hello from Indiana! I had a last-minute opportunity to come up for a quick weekend of family events. We had a wonderful day enjoying time together yesterday and will celebrate another milestone on Saturday. Lord willing, I will be at Faith Church on Sunday and will fly back that evening.

Thanks for your prayers for Equip! We finished well and that group of new missionaries is off to continue sharing their story and Wycliffe's story on behalf of the Bibleless. We are now preparing for two Connections -- caring for and celebrating two groups of co-workers who will be with us, July 15-19 and July 22-26. And, two gals I coach are getting very close to complete partnership teams. Then they will be released to their field assignments -- one in Dallas, one in Romania.

I'm so grateful for your prayers and encouragements regarding my hips. I've continued physical therapy and have seen some progress, thankfully, especially on my stride. Now to just get my stance figured out! My follow-up doctor appointments are August 1.

The Lord has been so gracious in providing all of you to be alongside on this journey. Your faithfulness through your prayers and gifts for my Wycliffe ministry is a constant blessing to me and spurs me on as it also accelerates Bible translation. Please let me know how I might join you in prayer.

(Prayer requests are in bold above!)

Friday, June 21, 2019

Equip Update

Hello from the participants and Crew of Equip #43! I told the participants you are praying for them -- they asked me to thank you!!

We have all been healthy through the first week and are doing well. This is a very focused group and has been working hard... but they also are a very personable group and have come to know and enjoy each other on meaningful levels in this short time together. Please continue to pray. Each of the adults will be presenting a "Five-Minute Talk" on Saturday morning and then a "10-Minute Talk" (or a "16-Minute Talk" for couples) next Thursday as part of the process of learning to share their story and Wycliffe's story.

Reviewing Wycliffe history with Equip #43, Photo by Mark Borland

I received much news this week regarding my stride and stance. The hard news was confirming that I do have an unusual and significant "functional leg-length discrepancy." My right leg behaves as if it is longer than my left leg now. But I also received some very hopeful news and am on a new plan for physical therapy. In the meantime, I have some accomodations so that my stride and stance are better as we still work toward reducing or possibly even eliminating the discrepancy. I would appreciate it if you'd ask the Lord not only for continued improvement, but also that He would guard my heart as I go through the ups and downs of this process. I know this is no surprise to God and I need to trust that He has gone ahead of me every step of this path.

The many blessings the Lord has provided through your encouragements especially these past six months have been overwhelming. Your faithful prayers and gifts for my Wycliffe ministry make it possible for me to continue to serve. Thank you!

Friday, June 7, 2019

Equip #43 is coming!

Next Saturday, June 15, we will welcome 26 new colleagues and 14 of their MKs (missionary kids) for the two-week Equip onsite orientation to Wycliffe. These folks will serve all over the world helping accelerate Bible translation as translators, pilots, human resource professionals, project managers, media specialists, maintenance technicians and teachers.

Our goal is to give them the tools they need to have a good start in understanding Wycliffe as an organization and to help them as they ask the Lord to build teams of prayer and financial partners for their own Wycliffe ministries. After Equip, I’ll continue to coach one of the couples who is preparing to help translate in French-speaking Africa. A fun thing - they are Cedarville grads, so we have some common experiences in our backgrounds!

Because of your prayers and gifts for my Wycliffe ministry, your partnership will now extend to all those who will one day have access to the translated Scriptures because of their service. Thank you! Isn’t God’s plan to involve us all a wonderful plan?!

Personal Update

Once again, after my surgery, the Lord provided in amazing ways during my recovery. My yard work was done, meals were brought and someone took me to appointments before I was able to drive again. There were cards and emails and texts and calls and more prayers than I could ever know. I am so grateful. God used it all!

My healing has gone well and my stamina is returning. I was able to go back to the office full-time this past week. The expectation is for my stamina to be “back to normal” by the end of July.

Because of some differences in my right hip, it wasn’t possible to use the same type of prosthesis as was used in my left hip in November. The two prostheses function in very slightly different ways, so I am still working (and getting help!) on stabilizing my stride and finding ways to stand for long periods without fatigue. Thanks in advance for your prayers for a good resolution.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Post-Surgery

Praise God, I am now 17 days post-surgery (right total hip replacement) and am recovering well. This week, I "graduated" from in-home physical therapy. I'll continue out-patient physical therapy for the next four weeks so that I might gain strength and be fully recovered in time for June Equip new missionary orientation. Thank you for all the prayers and notes and texts and messages and calls and gifts and visits that have once again surrounded me with God's love.

As I continue rehab and recovery, I will not be with the "Crew" who facilitates these next two weeks of Connections (May 13-17 and May 20-25), designed to celebrate and care for our colleagues who have served overseas and to connect them with resources available to them through the Orlando office. The tasks I normally do are being shared by others on the team... in addition to the things already on their plates. Would you pray for health and strength for them and for things to go smoothly? As you and I pray, we are still a part of what God will accomplish through these events!


My prayer is that the Lord would bring you grace and renewal as you approach the daily things of life. It would be a privilege to pray other specifics for you, too. Please let me know how I might join with you in prayer.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Equip #42 is in the books

Thank you so much for your prayers for these past two weeks. We just finished Equip onsite orientation of 19 new colleagues and their 10 MKs (missionary kids). This group connected well with each other and learned much during their time in Orlando. As they shared about ways they are growing and ways that the Lord is increasing their faith on this Wycliffe journey, those of us who helped facilitate the program were very encouraged. We were all able to stay healthy, too, for which I am especially grateful.

They now go out to build teams of prayer and financial partners before going on to serve around the world accelerating Bible translation. As you have prayed for me and given for my Wycliffe ministry, YOU have had a part in helping them get a good start. Thank you!


For a personal update, take a look at this.

Friday, April 5, 2019

March Meetings

The meetings in March with other coaches and our part of the Human Resource team were productive and relational. The vast majority of these colleagues are distributed around the US and serve other Wycliffe workers around the globe.


As coaches, we continue to seek ways to better help our co-workers as they build and sustain teams of prayer and financial partners. This team has a heart to see all our colleagues thrive, so that they are able to serve effectively and accelerate Bible translation.


All the pre-operative appointments are scheduled within the next two weeks. Surgery for a RIGHT total hip replacement is set for Tuesday, April 23, 9:00am. One of my friends will send a brief update later that day to let you know how things went. It’s again anticipated that I will spend two nights in the hospital and then head home with in-home health services for two weeks after that. My colleagues from the Orlando office are planning to provide meals for me… and that will let them come check up on me, too!

For more details of what is next, visit my Google Group.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Grateful

In the last update, I mentioned that March is usually a slower-paced month. My expectations have been fully met! Once it was apparent that my surgery would not be earlier than April, it was possible to make arrangements for Mom to come down for a visit. We had a great time. I am only sorry that somehow I took no photos while she was here. I'm grateful for the continued health and strength the Lord provides for her and for her faithful encouragements.

It's not very exciting stuff to write about, but this month there has also been time to plan and prepare and update curriculum materials for the sessions we teach. We're always looking to be more effective in what we do. I'm grateful for the brain space this month to help those things happen.

Next week, I'll be involved in meetings with other coaches and our larger department, Member and Care Resources (MACR). It's our time to be face-to-face, as the majority of this department is distributed across the US. Our time is about relationships with each other and also continuing to learn to be more effective as we coach other members who are building and sustaining teams of prayer and financial partners. I'm grateful for time with some amazing colleagues.

I'm still doing ok waiting for the April right hip replacement surgery -- 39 days and counting! I'm grateful for your prayers.

My prayer for each of you is that the Lord would sprinkle joy and peace through your day. It would be a privilege to pray other specifics for you. Please let me know how I might join with you in prayer.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Wow...

Wow. That's my first reaction to these past two weeks. Week one, we heard stories from a couple who needed to leave their host country (where they had lived for several years) on very little notice as the challenges for those who follow Jesus intensified. The Lord's hand of protection was clearly on them. They plan to return for a brief time to finish up details there. Would you pray that they would be granted access and good closure? Praise God for technology, which should permit them at least some future contact with those in-country who will continue to translate the Bible.

Week two, more than half of the 17 participants were recognized for over 40 years of service with Wycliffe. What a privilege to serve colleagues who have committed their lives so that others may know God's love through the translated Scriptures.

Both groups gave testimony to the refreshment and encouragement the programs provide. They also know you have been praying for them. Thank you so much -- God will multiply your impact for His Kingdom through their lives.

March will be a slower-paced month: prepping for next things, meeting with other Wycliffe Human Resource co-workers from around the country. I'm doing ok waiting for the April surgery and am grateful for your prayers.

My prayer for each of you is that the Lord would draw you close to His heart and give you His wisdom and grace for each day. It would be a privilege to pray other specifics for you. Please let me know how I might join with you in prayer.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Connections Coming

Part of my role with Wycliffe Bible Translators is helping provide resources, encouragement, and accountability for some as they develop their initial teams of prayer and financial partners. Megan is one of the new missionaries I had opportunity to coach. In this video, she shares about the journey the Lord took her on to bring her to Wycliffe. It's such a joy to work with these "newbies." It's a privilege then to stay in touch with many once their teams are completed and they go on to their field assignments. Megan is now in her second year of teaching in Cameroon.

These next two weeks, we will have groups of "established members" on campus for Connection programs. The first week will be those who have returned from overseas. The second week will be those who live in the US. Pray that we might serve and encourage them well.

I'm now at 12 weeks post hip replacement and am doing very well, thankfully. I also was able to have a cortisone injection in the right hip that has been highly effective. After months of not feeling good, it has been nice to feel so much better. We're still looking at a second surgery in April. I am thankful for the modern miracles of medicine and for your many prayers and encouragements along the way!

Friday, January 25, 2019

Adjusted Expectations!

Adjusted expectations! That would summarize these past two weeks of Equip new missionary orientation. First, the Equip Director came down with the flu the day before we began... and was down for nine days. The Lord provided a number of folks who each picked up a few pieces she would normally cover. Though we missed her, things went generally well. The participants did a good job of going with the flow as we made adjustments. It was great to have her back this week and for us all to finish well together.

Also, this week I learned that the surgery I had hoped to have at the end of February is now scheduled for late April. (If there is a cancellation for February, I am on the waiting list!) The delay means I will miss two Connection programs in May, but the Director for those events is already making plans to cover things in my absence. Another adjusted expectation.

Thanks for your prayers for wisdom and learning for us these past two weeks. Much learning took place, not only among the participants but also among the "crew" as we facilitated the sessions. We got to learn new ways to depend on the Lord and on each other. The Lord provided much timely wisdom. It was comforting and encouraging to know that even though many things were not as we "expected" them to be, God was sovereign over all and was not surprised by any of it.

We are so grateful for your prayers and for God's provision. Your partnership now extends to these colleagues who will serve in Canada, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, West Asia, and the United States of America -- all helping to accelerate Bible translation!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Equip #41 Begins Tomorrow!

December was a good month of rest and recovery. My stamina has greatly improved, now that I am seven weeks post left hip replacement surgery. Thank you so much for your prayers and encouragements. God has used them mightily.

To make things interesting, I did tear the lateral meniscus in my right knee before I returned to Florida. Thankfully, an MRI showed that the tear is small enough to not require any procedures at this point. I am still on schedule for the right hip replacement at the end of February. Both hip and knee are doing well enough that I am able to complete all the tasks I need to complete.

Tomorrow, we will greet the next group of 15 new Wycliffe missionaries as they come for their two-week onsite orientation we call Equip. Thank you in advance for your prayers for all of the participants (and their seven children) and the "crew" for...
health
strength
wisdom
learning
...as we work together these two weeks. Your partnership through your prayers and gifts for my Wycliffe ministry connects you with them and all the people they will one day serve, as we each do our part to see that the Bible is accessible to all in a language and form they best understand!