Hard to believe that 15 years ago next week, Keri and I moved into our village and joined the Mengen team. The Lord has done so much in the hearts of the people we came to serve!! It is SO amazing to see the changes in people’s lives and to have been a part of it all almost from the very start.
For one thing, many of our current Bible teachers were just children when we first came, so it has been so neat to see them grow up and become Godly men and women. Our “kids” have come a long way in their personal journeys and it is such a joy to see them raising their own children to love the Lord!
Next week the Laureti family and I will be returning to our village for a few weeks. This trip will be extra-special for all of us as it marks the end of a long era. Although I have already been living out at our mission’s center for the last year and a half, this time around the Laureti’s will be moving out as well. As missionaries, we are now “phasing out” of our work in the village, and the Mengen Bible teachers will continue to carry the ministry without our daily input. This has come gradually for them and we feel confident that they will continue to walk with the Lord and carry on the work of shepherding the Mengen church. Naturally Lourens will visit from time to time and the guys actually can call us on cellphones when they want!! (isn’t technology crazy—phoning from the deep jungle!)
During the next several weeks while I’m in our village, I have quite a few translation goals which I would like to accomplish and I would really appreciate your prayers. The biggest project will be the translation of 6 books of the New Testament. I’ll be working on 1-2-3 John, Jude, James and Matthew. All these books have been drafted out already, but need to go through the next several steps in the translation process. First step is that I have to sit down with my helper Kariang and bring all these books up to a nice polished draft from which I can so come more testing.
All in all, each of these 6 books will be gone through 4 times minimum in the next few weeks!
Lord willing, I will be able to have all 6 of these books “final checked” in January, but I certainly have A LOT of work to do between now and then. Ironically one of the shorter books is giving me the most headaches. Who would have guessed that Jude would be such a challenge?! Makes me realize that some books of the Bible hardly ever get read or even taught on, so I’m not really in familiar territory on this one. Although Matthew is like 27x longer, it is a familiar narrative and thus much easier! Praise the Lord that Keri is able to continue to help in the translation process from her home in California. Her input is literally invaluable and I thank the Lord so much for her insight into the Bible translation.
I would greatly appreciate your prayers in the weeks ahead:
- For good health and clear thinking as I spend many long days in the office working on Bible translation. I tend to get headaches and neck pain being hunched over the computer so much, so pray that this would not happen!!
- Praise the Lord that my helper Kariang is very excited to help with translation and is anxiously waiting to begin!! Pray that she would also have clear thinking and good health in these days.
- Praise the Lord for the opportunity to see my Mengen friends again. It has been 8 months since the last time I was “home”. I can’t wait to hold some babies again!!
- Pray for the Mengen church during this time of transition. They have already been carrying the bulk of the load for many months now, but now it will be more “official” as we move out of the village. We don’t expect to return very often. Just a few days here and there.
- Pray for Laureti’s as they transition into a new ministry here at Hoskins, taking over for some people who are heading on home assignment later this year. There will be many challenges for them in this new ministry.
I appreciate your faithful prayer for me over these many long year!! The Lord has carried me over many hills and valleys during this journey and I appreciate your part in it all also.
Great is His faithfulness,