Wycliffe work in Burkina Faso & 74%

Today one of my friends cued me in to this article on Burkina Faso. Mission Network News was reporting on how Wycliffe was using cell phone technology to get the scripture portions that have been completed in the Kaansa language to the people more readily.

Cell phones are everywhere now, and I could definitely be working on software for phones when I get to Dallas. The developers I’ll be joining mentioned the phone work they were doing when I visited them, and it seems there is an increasing opportunity in that area. I’m celebrating the fact that I’m at 74% of my support and getting close to departure. I’m getting more and more excited to start working in Dallas. If God is moving you to help me with the last 26% of my monthly support needs you can see how on the partnership page.

Another New Testament Completed

I was surprised to see this reported by ABC news, but I’m glad it was! A complete New Testament in the Gwich’in language was just dedicated in Fairbanks Alaska. The Baltimore ABC affiliate’s report mentions that Meggie and Pierre DeMers have been working on this translation for 31 years. Praise God for their faithful service.

The article mentioned that the Gwich’in are the only Athabaskan people to have the New Testament in their language. I did a little digging and found that this isn’t quite accurate. Several other languages of Athabaskan peoples have had New Testaments published, although all the ones I found were in Canada not the United States. I’ll give the reporter the benefit of the doubt and say that perhaps Gwich’in is the only Athabaskan language in the USA with a New Testament.

In any case it is exciting news! But there are still over 2,000 languages out there that still need translation projects to begin. I’m eager to get to Dallas to start my assignment with Wycliffe, and add whatever I can to the effort.

Blogging before the rapture

Isn’t it amazing how much press Harold Camping and his followers have generated? My friend Ben Gerth has put up a very good and sound rebuttal of Camping’s prediction and teaching in general on The Gerth Family blog.

I only have a little to add to the conversation.

Camping is predicting that the rapture will happen today at 6pm EST. Rather than focus all our attention at ridiculing his position why waste this opportunity to ask people the serious question, are they ready? One thing that is clear about Christ’s return in the new testament is that we should be prepared. I think it is worth spending some time reflecting on the thought, “If I knew Christ was coming back in one year, would I be doing anything differently?”

1 John 2:28
And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. (ESV)

As a side note I also find it very intriguing that many of Harold Camping’s views on God are remarkably close to those of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. This interests me as the rise of the Jehovah’s Witnesses as a significant cult was also tied to rapture predictions and such predictions have marked their history. William Miller predicted the rapture in 1874-75. His teachings influenced Charles Russell who founded the JWs. Their end of the world predictions included 1914, 1918, 1925, 1941, 1975, 1984 and 1994 the same year as Camping’s last prediction.

So even though no date setting prediction of the rapture has any credibility, and I don’t think that there is much harm in having a little fun with it, there is a reason people are drawn to it. It might be easier if we knew.

Romans 8:22-24
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (ESV) Emphasis added

Some videos

I saw a couple of videos today which I thought I would share with you here.

The first video is of a dance at a scripture dedication celebration. You can read more about the dedication in this short article.

I hope to get the opportunity to be a part of many scripture dedications as a part of Wycliffe. It’s an exciting thing to look forward to.

The second video is an interview with George Cowan. He has been a part of Wycliffe almost since it’s very beginning. He was part of a team of translators which completed the Mazateco New Testament for a people group in Oaxaca, Mexico. George also served as president of Wycliffe Bible Translators for many years. This is a powerful interview which shows the heart that drives Bible translation.

I know George’s words ring true for me.

I also have some good news on support progress. I’ve reached 65% of my monthly support goal! When God brings in the full 100% I can move to Dallas and start on my actual assignment with Wycliffe. I hope you’ll pray with me that the last 35% comes quickly.

If God’s been moving you to be involved you can look into the options on my Wycliffe partnership page.

DWAP coming up!

Grace church hosts these events which they call DWAPs. It stands for Dessert With A Purpose and they are an opportunity for missionaries to share about where they are going, or where they have been. With my newly acquired official Grace church missionary status I get the opportunity to share on Thursday May 12th!

Often these events are shared by more than one missionary, but I get one all to myself. I haven’t had many opportunities to speak to large groups for more than a minute or two since my Equip training.

Needless to say I’ve got some preparation to do. I’m both nervous and excited and I’d appreciate prayer.

  • Pray that it is well attended.
  • Pray that I am able to clearly convey Wycliffe’s mission, my assignment, and my value.
  • And pray that God will lead many who come to join my support team.

Subtle influences of community

In one of my many bids to put off house cleaning yesterday I sat down to finish the last chapter of “Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl” by N.D. Wilson. We were reading it as a part GraceSLO’s Thursday morning book study for men: Connect.

After I’d completed it I started looking at my bookshelf which was in serious need of dusting. A book caught my eye that I had bought to read before last years mission conference. Thoroughly distracted from cleaning I started thinking about all the books that I had bought over the years because I was a part of Grace Church SLO.

Mission conference books, books for adult bible fellowship classes, books that were recommended by brothers and sisters, or that I bought so I could read and discuss with others. I gathered all the books I could find that had a Grace Church connection and I stacked them on my kitchen table. There are 4 more that I know are missing, lent out, lost and given away. 16 books in all. And those are just the ones that I remember.

With the exception of “Systematic Theology”, where I’ve just read a chapter here and there, I have read nearly every page. Not every book was a winner, some I couldn’t recommend without qualification, but each had its value and place.

Until I stacked them all up I hadn’t really thought about how Grace Church had encouraged and guided my Christ centered reading.

Almost 5,000 pages of my bookshelves.

One more thing about GraceSLO to be thankful for, and one more thing I will miss when I move to Dallas.

The list of titles, authors, and motivation in no particular order:

  • Missions in the 3rd Millenium : Stan Guthrie – The mission team was reading this and the chair, Jim, thought it would give us something to discuss as the two of us met. I read it, we never discussed it. 😀
  • Reason For God : Tim Keller – Connect book study
  • Radical : David Platt – Lent to me by Mike Alshouse, a member of the mission team. After I read it I bought my own copy and promptly lent it out.
  • Madness : Jossy Chako – 2011 Mission conference book, and speaker.
  • Don’t Waste Your Life : John Piper – Grace and other central coast churches brought John Piper to the central coast for a conference in 2008. I bought it and read it in preperation.
  • Heavenly Man : Brother Yun – Mission conference book, our speaker was Peter Xu, who spent some time in prison with the author of this book.
  • The Discipline of Grace : Jerry Bridges – Studied in our 2:42 ABF (I got to teach on the chapter about meditating on the word)
  • Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl : N.D. Wilson – Connect book study
  • 90 Minutes in Heaven : Don Piper – A growth group member wanted to know if I’d read this book and what I thought of it, I eventually picked it up and read it.
  • The Pleasures of God : John Piper – Connect book study
  • Spiritual Leadership : J. Oswald Sanders – Connect book study
  • Crosstalk : Michael R. Emlet – Given out to growth group shepherds during our leaders get together
  • Why We Love The Church : Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck – Connect book study
  • Torches of Joy : John Dekker – Mission conference book for 2010 (I think)
  • A Tree of God’s Planting : Ruthie Peterson – Book about the history of Grace church produced for the 75th anniversary celebration
  • Systematic Theology : Wayne Grudem – The pastors and elders were going through this book and pastor Tim on the Life Together blog suggested we join them, I decided to pick it up as a resource.

April Newsletter

Since I wrote the newsletter I’ve already had more partners join me. I’m now at 56%! Anyhow, here is my latest newsletter.

I spent half of last week in the San Joaquin Valley sharing my Wycliffe journey with friends new and old, as well as spending some time with family.

While I was in town my brother was putting on a charity soccer tournament in London (California) and roped me into refereeing. I’ve played a lot of soccer, but never refereed before, and I can’t say that I was very good. But in the 4 hours of games no fights broke out, and no death threats were made against us so I guess I’d have to call it a success.

I’m looking forward to Easter Sunday tomorrow. It’s time to celebrate the greatest day in history, and the good news that we have to share with the whole world.