Ask the Lord for His guiding hand as to who Knox should sponsor. Ask Him to bring on board those who can contribute in prayer, finances, joining a committee, helping in practical ways.
Dear friends and relatives,
A blessed Easter to you all! He is risen, as He said!
Attached please find my prayer letter and a couple of articles that you may find helpful.
Sorry that I never found the time to write you over the Christmas holidays. I was in Ontario for three weeks in December and January. I visited friends and my brother David, who is now living in Meighen Retirement Residence in Toronto.
If you’d like to get together around Montreal for a cup of tea or a meal sometime, please let me know. Now that Covid restrictions have lightened, it would be nice to see you. Also, I hope. DV, to get up to see brother Dave towards the end of May and to be in Ontario for a couple of weeks.
Would you like be a visiting “mystery guest” in my Monday morning International English Class on Zoom? If so, please let me know. A mystery guest converses with the students for about half an hour. It’s a fun way for the students to practise meeting and chatting with people they don’t know. Mystery guests would be welcome almost any Monday morning, sometime between 9:30 and 10:30.
The government has refused permission for them to continue living in their chosen country. They will be forced to leave within days. Remember them with this devastating news and their longing to see God's news flourish in this historic country--the cradle of our faith.
All are invited to join our quarterly Missions Gathering online. It’s a chance to meet and hear from our Knox-supported missionaries, grow in your understanding of God's work in the world, and pray together. We’ll especially hear from our missionary friends who are getting ready for a new assignment in Central Eurasia.
Days are getting longer, and it’s light around the playground at seven in the evening.
A group of boys is tossing a football in the parking lot, and two boys on bicycles are tooling around.
Then quietly, a lady, covered, joins me at the iron picnic table.
We have met briefly before, and she really wants to connect. This is the second family that has appeared from Morocco, Arabic speaking, and eager to make connection. It turns out that she is the grandmother in a family already met on sidewalk encounters, and at the playground with a young girl. The evening is spent viewing a gallery of her four daughters, and one son, the husband of the family with the little girl.
Sometimes, when it seems that connections have dissipated, there are others that God has been preparing. As Ramadan commences, the visiting times will be somewhat more unpredictable. People who have been up at night eating and preparing meals, are more likely to be sleeping during the day, and one doesn’t want to interrupt naps!
Interestingly, this grandmother already knows that my father was Arab, so there is a grapevine of information here. Of course, people intermingle at the mosque. My Yemeni friend who introduced me at the mosque has withdrawn, realizing that my attachment to my Christian community in Damascus is very strong. A teacher at the mosque asserted that there are no Christians in Syria! God has His witness everywhere.
Sometimes He places us here and sometimes there. Christian witnesses have no borders.
Highland Park Pres. has deleted me from their missionary list and dropped my support because my contact information had been somehow misplaced. The business God placed me here in Richardson/Garland goes on and is fully approved by my mission: EastWest Ministries. Thank you all for your ongoing prayers and support.
Sometimes, things just get out of sort.
The African/American family, the smart first grader sat with me on the steps and we read through Bartimaeus, then off to the playground.
There, her brother, Elijah, came over and accepted the concern that climbing on to the top of the play platform was not safe. Braeden, his playmate and very resistant to any wise suggestions, wanted to know what was up, but we kept mum. (11 year-olds).
So now what? Well with a sack full of canned goods wished on me by the African/American grandmother, a stop by my Hispanic grandmother friend found a home for the can of peaches, but no one wants the black-eyed peas.
Then, it seemed that my walk and pray around was not complete: straight up the long walk and across the length of Abram’s Road to the
apartment offices, turn around and retrace the walk and wow! There on the sidewalk, the children of the family long since moved and rejectful of friendship. The teen daughter returned greeting and let me know where they have moved to.
So that’s why that walk was directed. God knows how to keep His eye on the ones He is pursuing.
Does God actually pursue us? Yes, thank God, He pursued me. It may seem a rude imposition to keep up the contact. I’ll just start with a cake offered at the door, after dark, to be enjoyed in the night for Ramadan.
I wonder how spring is shaping up for you in the part of the world you call home. Out here in B.C. we’ve had several dumps of snow and temperatures that sent heating bills soaring. It has felt like we never installed new windows in our townhouse several years back. Still, nature seems to be coping. The snowdrops I purchased at a flea market have languished for years. This year they have done themselves proud, producing nine beautiful blooms that have earned them the right to remain where they are planted. Spring has sprung!
CanIL recently hosted a one-day Bible Translation Computing Tools Expo to showcase the cutting edge in technology being developed to facilitate Bible translation. Anyone with an interest in programming, translation, linguistics, scripting, and related topics was invited to attend. Presenters for Paratext, The Bible Translator’s Assistant (TBTA), FLExTrans, Clear.Bible and Render illustrated the problems their software is designed to address, walked participants through their software’s functionality, and highlighted additional features for development. Sessions were offered both in-person (see photo following) and via livestreaming. I have become very interested in this aspect of Bible translation because Wycliffe’s Vision 2025 (Bible translation starting by 2025 for all the remaining languages in the world that need it) is fast approaching. As well, Briauna, recipient of the 2022 Dave Jeffery Memorial Award, has a particular interest in computing tools for supporting the work of Bible translation.
What we see the Lord doing in Global Partnerships is pretty amazing right now. After so many years of trying to promote and foster it, we're seeing a flood of nationals and national organizations step up to take ownership and leadership to obtain the Bible in their own languages. Last year, Global Partnerships engaged with 491 new languages (319 of which had no Scripture whatsoever)--far more than any single year in the past. This doesn't always mean translation. Sometimes the initial engagement is just awareness-raising. However, in most cases these engagements will lead to translation within a few years. Here in the U.S. in the last few years the Lord has also raised up more financial support for these programs than we had even dared to budget. At this rate, it seems like we might be closer to attaining Vision 2025 than we could have imagined. So, keep training those linguists and consultants, [CanIL]! They will be needed!
It will be the end of Spring Term at CanIL before we know it. We would be happier with more students, especially as we have a large graduating class this year, but we’re grateful for the ones we’ve got and for what each contributes to the CanIL community. We are praying for a student body of 90 for Summer Term. So far, 43 applications have been received.
My work focus continues to be the library, although I also care for all the greenery in the office, plus I’m one of a team of three prayer letter checkers for my CanIL colleagues. When the day-to-day running of the library allows, I am still cataloging the articles in Wycliffe Canada’s WORDAlive Magazine. I have finished with the years 1987 to 2019, which leaves just 1983 to 1986 to go. I thought I might be done by now, but there have been quite a number of interruptions—book donations to catalog, end-of-year shelf reading, and one-off requests for library-related information.
A heavy snowfall and icy roads cancelled Christmas Eve services across Abbotsford, and almost cancelled our family get together that same evening. Robby and Bitsy had a very special announcement to make--Baby Jeffery! The due date is July 28th and Bitsy and Robby have just learned their little one is a GIRL!
On the VanderMeer side, Josiah is now part of a home daycare on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. He is learning in leaps and bounds as he relates to the four children he attends daycare with (all older than him and female). At 16 months, he is running, and can say a few words. His current favourites are “hi”, “daddy”, and “a ball”. I love how the person who runs his daycare will send parents photos of what their kids are up to now and then, complete with clever captions. She’s really creative too—imagine, no-mess finger painting!
Please pray for:
• Miriam, a CanIL faculty member. She will have cancer surgery on March 21st. Pray for a successful operation, and a straightforward and complete recovery.
• many more student applications for Summer Term, CanIL’s major recruiting term of the year.
• recruits worldwide who are willing to train as language surveyors so that languages needing a Bible translation can be identified in readiness for using the new technological translation helps.
• TBTA’s goals for template completion of all the books of the Bible by 2025. As well, there is a pressing need for administrative help to ease the burden on those directing the project.
• Wycliffe Canada’s interim director, Sharyn Thomson. Please also pray for the filling of this key vacancy more permanently.
• Baby Jeffery’s health and safety as she develops; Robby and Bitsy as they prepare for becoming parents.
On Beiruti streets this means ‘go’ if there is any opportunity to beat the traffic. That translates to the perception in Richardson, and so as we sailed past a STOP sign, we were picked up by a Police! And my neighbor who speaks no (as in none) English was handed a ticket for which the officer insisted that she must know English since she has a driver’s license. He informed her in English that she must go to court on a given date. She crumpled the piece of paper on which she had scribbled a signature, then did a U-turn on the street and headed back into the parking lot of the university where the next two days were spent signing up for English lessons. Without an English speaking assistant, it would have been an Impossible task.
Walking around my apartment complex, sometimes I go up one path and sometimes another. I actually ask the Holy Spirit where I should go. This evening He indicated to walk the inner path rather than go around the block. Praying over two muslim residences and my AfricanAmerican family upstairs, voices called from the playground. My sometime walking companion called me over to sit with her and a friend. Hugs and kisses all around, and a delightful intro to Pashto/Dari (Afghani Farsi) conversation. Two more women come and join us, so now we have a party! One lady has a two year old, but the other is happily pregnant. One of them says she can read English. Would she like this book about four men and their paralytic friend? Even my other friends know the words for house, boy, up and down. Thus, a little of God’s Word goes home this evening with a new acquaintance.
It’s prayer time, so we all bid farewell, and head home.
These opportunities present themselves repeatedly, but you have to be there. God always knows ‘when and where’.
God’s business has no schedule, and no designated place.
It is not luck, or some magic formula, that allows the work in and for the people of Nicaragua to continue. God's grace, seconded by your coming alongside, is what furthers the ministry work and the fruit it produces.
We know that soon that day will come,
when we will see the shining Son.
For now, we have these stories to share,
read on and continue to lift us in prayer :)
Hope you and your family are enjoying a good start to 2023! I'd love the opportunity to sit across from you and treat you to a good cup of coffee and thank you for partnering with Josiah Venture as we seek to equip young leaders throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Maybe sometime in our travels we'll get that opportunity. In lieu of that, be encouraged as you take some time to click on the Ministry Update below. You'll read stories and see photos of how God has been working in and through this ministry over the past year. It's really amazing and we realize that this would not be possible without your partnership. Your interest, prayers, giving and for some of you, going, are making an impact for Christ in the lives of thousands of young people throughout Europe! You'll also be able to see a great video on how your generosity has made a huge difference especially in the lives of Ukrainians, to read of key opportunities as we look forward into 2023, and to understand ways you can pray.
Again and Again
Jesus told them again and again, “I am the light of the world…..”
My friend from Yemen is back again, and we had some very open discussion tonight. Again, Jesus is the God and Lord of the world. No, that is just what you think. We think otherwise. But what about the witnesses? OK let's read the Kuran together. Well we’ll get a group together.
Unless you become like little children, you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven…Lean not to your own understanding….without me you can do nothing….Follow Me.
My friend has come two evenings, within the week of his return from Yemen. He’s unsettled. Life and peace are only found in Jesus……..so many objections…Russia and Ukraine are both Christian.