From the day the Lord called me into missions when I was fifteen, I have always counted it the greatest privilege anyone could have. That doesn’t mean I was never “down”. My first few years in Ethiopia, a godly SIM couple invited me each Christmas to celebrate with their family and sometimes other friends as well. They were from England, and I enjoyed being included in their family. Later, when I lived in the countryside, we missionaries usually celebrated together for at least part of the day. It was all very nice, but I missed my family and seldom got through a Christmas Day without tears.
If I had ever entertained doubts about the wisdom of moving to SIM Sebring Retirement Village, they were laid to rest the day after Hurricane Irma blew into Sebring at 105 mph, her eye passing just 5 miles west of us. One of my neighbors was at my door soon after 8 a.m. to be sure I was all right and to check out the damage (smashed vent cover, shingles missing, siding torn off, many large tree limbs including 2 on the roof and one hanging on the electric wire whose cable had been broken in two)…
My dear friend and accountability partner Jean K. and I had a wonderful time together when she visited me in June. She didn’t see our resident alligator, so she needs to come for another visit as soon as possible.
I was deeply blessed to see many of you as I participated in the Missions Conference at Sovereign Grace Bible Church in Redondo Beach, California, and then shared at the Christian Church in Woodland, Washington, in June. Special thanks to those who made the effort to be there. Thank you, Rosalee, Chris, and John, for your generous hospitality. Friends in Redondo Beach suggested I explain that our basic running expenses for the Kafa Linguistics Project come to about $3000 per month. The rest of the budget is to cover publication, recording, and distribution of the Kafa Bible.
All the Old Testament prophets gave a clear witness for Jesus, pointing to the promised Messiah. We worship Him because He is God. If we want to be useful for God’s kingdom, we need to give a clear witness for Jesus. We can tell others what He has done for us and for them.
Matt completed a 2-week training course for Bible translation consultants in May. He will get practical experience for two weeks in July, doing a consultant check of another translation team’s work. I will be there as his mentor. Please ask God to grow all of us through this endeavor.
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“How strong and courageous will you be in my day of reckoning?”
I am still in Ethiopia, and we are still pushing to complete the consultant check of Kafa Ezekiel. One of the most difficult features of Ezekiel is embedded speech, sometimes up to 4 or 5 levels. In the Kafa language, each level of speech requires a form of the verb “to say” at the end of thequotation. God’s message through Ezekiel speaks to the issues we face today as our culture pushes us toward godlessness. May we live in reverent obedience to Him, knowing there will be a day of reckoning.
Matt graduated from Africa International University with a Master’s in Biblical Translation on July 2nd. His research gave us a basis for planning promotion of Kafa Scripture use. Praise God!
On August 2nd, we met with two SIM Ethiopia leaders to discuss how the Kafa team can promote use of the Kafa Scriptures. One leader offered to work with Matt and Teka in preparing a project proposal which includes Scripture use promotion. Praise God! We also met informally with Wycliffe Ethiopia, part of Wycliffe Global Alliance. They are eager to partner with us in promoting the use of the Kafa Scriptures. Please pray for wisdom, unity, and effective ministry in all of this.
The Kafa Genesis Diglot (Kafa text in one column, English in the other) has been printed. We are delighted with the work of SIM Press in producing such a beautiful book. Teka posted it on Facebook, and within a few minutes Kafa young people were asking, “Where can I get a copy?”
Praise God with us for:
- Matt’s graduation with a Master’s in Biblical Translation;
- safe travel, including a trip to Matt’s home church in Kafa;
- the Kafa Genesis Diglot and enthusiasm with which it is being received;
- good meetings resulting in clearer vision and surer hope for promoting Kafa Scripture use;
- God’s provision of a good, though temporary, place for Abby and family to live when they had to move from their rented quarters.
Please pray with me for:
- completion of the consultant check of Kafa Ezekiel and my return to the US in late August;
- planning and implementation of a Kafa Scripture use program;
- funds to complete the Kafa Bible and promote its use;
- God’s provision of a more permanent place for Abby and family to live;
- the people and leaders of Ethiopia – that the more than eighty diverse people groups will work together for the benefit of the nation and all of its people.
Thank you for your partnership to bring God’s Word to the Kafa people in their heart language!
Weekly prayer meeting: Teka and Matt on far left with Daniel between; Kurt, who typeset Kafa Genesis diglot, 2nd from right.
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