You know the expression, “that’s Greek to me.” Even though you hear something spoken, you do not understand it or do not learn the language, so you have no clue what was said. These types of phrases (idiomatic expressions) are sometimes very different in other languages. If you speak to someone in Spanish and want to express the same sentiment, you need to say, “That’s Chinese to me.”
I have seen many Chinese lately. Every day my computer screen has been filled with various sets of Chinese Bibles in different scripts. This morning in my email inbox, a colleague wrote, saying, “In your report to churches, you must write down.., working for an audience of 1.4 billion this month!” So here goes a glimpse of translation (and Bible) work in China.
The main languages of China have had a translation of the full Bible for many years. Last year more Bibles were distributed in China than in the United States. In recent years, all reports indicate that the church is growing, especially in the rural areas of China. Like in many contexts throughout the world and history, translation and revision of the Bible is an ongoing process, especially for a thriving church. One aspect that reflects growth and maturity is the desire for study material in the language. This past month I have been working on numerous Study Bibles in Chinese. There are excellent Study Bibles in various languages, and those can be used as models for new work. I have helped new projects get a running start by mirroring the published content to their latest projects. Translators still need to do a lot of work to adapt the study material, but the time to do so is reduced.
With the United Bible Societies and many other organizations, our primary goal is to make the Bible available to everyone in the language and format they desire. For some, that means we start a translation project in a language that has never had the Bible, and for others, it means providing a Study Bible. The Bible is indeed useful for teaching… and training in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
On a more personal note, I keep very busy helping teams from our home in Iowa. Even though travel is not yet allowed, remote work is possible, and we are progressing. These past weeks have focused on Chinese Study Bibles, but most months, it has helped teams prepare for publishing – many of which are in Africa. Pray for those translation teams that were hoping to finish this year. Final edits and agreement on precise wording require many meetings. From east to west, north, and south, no better time than now for God’s Word to be shared.
Partners with you in mission.
I recently heard of Pandemic Fatigue. We are tired of hearing about the virus, fretting about the health of our loved ones, waiting for a vaccine, planning for the new normal. Adding to our apprehension is the contentious election season that is upon us. Hopefully, the election will be over in a month. Some of our friends will be happy and some unhappy. All of us will be disappointed sometime in the future if we place too much hope in politicians, after all they are mere humans – just like us. We want to share the good news about Jesus, who will not fail us. He is our Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer. Thank you for partnering with us as we strive to share the love of Christ with those we have been called to serve.
The effects of the Covid pandemic are becoming more apparent as the months go by. Historically, the Appalachian region is among the first to feel the effects of an economic slowdown and among the last to enjoy a recovery. Adding to the affliction is the feeling of loneliness and isolation. The question of how we can share God’s love during these difficult times is answered by looking for ways to make a difference one opportunity at a time. The opportunities included helping an elderly lady without family that needed to move to a different residence. An opportunity did arise to join forces with another faith organization in distributing food boxes. This past month over 2,000 boxes of food were distributed in Jackson County. Our thrift stores are also providing a blessing to area residents.
Recently, we received a note stating that “we can never repay or thank you enough for your help to us”. That thanks goes to you through your partnership with us. Your prayer support is cherished. You are helping us to make a difference in our community.
Located on the coast of Indonesia, Manokwari is the capital city of West Papua. Unlike the rest of the Muslim-dominated nation, the majority of the residents there identify as Christians. In the 1800s, Christian missionaries brought the Good News to people in the area. At the time, people there were known for worshipping nature and practicing black magic.
Despite being known the “Gospel City,” few there know the true meaning of salvation, or are engaged in the Word of God. Instead, Christianity is more of a tradition or a label than a lifestyle. “These people know who Jesus is; however, that doesn’t mean that they recognize Jesus as their Lord and Savior,” says Romi, Bible League International’s communications specialist for the area.
But, thanks to people like you, pastors and religious leaders in the area are working to change that. Local churches in Manokwari are now introducing Bible League’s Project Philip Bibles studies and Bible-based Literacy to help residents learn about true salvation. Bible-based Literacy is especially appealing to people in the capital city, one of the poorer towns of West Papua. Many there have limited educational opportunities, so they embrace the opportunity to learn English. They know it’s a skill that can open many doors. But even more important, the adults and children taking part in Bible-based Literacy are learning the Gospel.
The government of Manokwari is supportive of Christianity, and even helps build churches around the city, especially in under-resourced areas. But buildings aren’t what make believers. Thanks to your support, people in Manokwari are learning the true meaning of Christianity.
A New Church in Haiti
When Pierre was growing up in Cornillon, Haiti, life was by no means easy. His commune is in a very neglected area without infrastructure or sanitary systems. Many are farmers or people who sell goods on the streets. He notes, “We don’t have good roads, hospitals, or drinking water.”
While Pierre was able to go to school, he had to walk an hour and a half every day to do so. “But I didn’t think it was a problem,” he explains. In high school, he left his community to go to Port-au-Prince to attend a public school.
Though Pierre grew up going to church, he didn’t see God at work in his life until he went to a friend’s church. He explains, “That day, the Holy Spirit persuaded me, and I received eternal life. From that moment on, I made it a priority to serve God and go to school.” Pierre finished college and got married. He’s been married for nine years. After college, he returned to Cornillon to work.
Pierre felt God calling him to plant a church in his hometown, but he wasn’t sure how he would do it. Then, a friend told him that he was going to Bible League’s Church Planter Training. He notes, “So, I felt encouraged to enroll as well.”
As he began, Pierre realized his true mission in life and how he could work for the Lord. His pastor helped him implement the skills he was learning in the training.
Pierre has successfully planted a church that now has about 150 members. He’s using what he learned through Bible League to help his church members engage in the Word. “Today, we use Bible League International’s materials because they are very easy for our people to understand,” he beams. “Many people here have received eternal life through Bible League’s programs.”
Influencing His Family
Elidio, a 24-year-old in Mozambique, grew up in a Christian family. But he admits that at one time he was a “backslider.” Brothers and sisters from the local church kept inviting him to Project Philip Bible studies, but he wouldn’t go. He had no desire to go to church. But one day, that changed.
“I thought to myself, ‘No, this is not happening by mistake. It is God who is encouraging me to come to this program. Today, I’ll go and see what’s going on at that church,’” he remembers.
He headed to the church that day and found people learning about God through a Project Philip Bible study. He had always thought that his family’s church was the only good church, but he soon learned that it was not about the church itself, but about God. “Until that moment, I was living according to my own desires. But when I came to this church, I discovered that Jesus wants us to live according to His will,” he says.
For years, Elidio was very judgmental. “I even judged my own parents,” he says. “But since I’ve been here, I have discovered that the Bible says to not judge. I was looking down on other churches and believers. Here, I learned it is not about the churches. No, it’s about Jesus who called people to be in the Church. We have to live according to the will of God.”
Today, Elidio is praying for his father, a Christian who has now gone astray. “My mother and I are battling to change his mind,” he says. “It’s not easy to live in harmony as a family.”
Despite his father’s resistance to the Word of God, Elidio doesn’t stop. Many days he sits with his father and his Bible, trying his best to share the Good News. “Often, he says he doesn’t want to speak with me about that, so I’m limited,” he says.
Still, Elidio is thankful for the materials that changed his life and will hopefully change his father’s life. “The Project Philip materials are like gold. We are receiving so many good things from those booklets.”
Give While You Shop!
Did you know that you can have a portion of your Amazon purchases donated to Bible League? The AmazonSmile Foundation recently surpassed $200 million in donations to charities worldwide, including Bible League International! With holiday shopping quickly approaching, be sure to head to smile.amazon.com, choose Bible League International as your charity, and a portion of your purchase will be donated directly to the ministry. Thank you!
Bible League International Prayer Calendar
Join friends around the world in prayer! Click here to download the October prayer calendar.
Additional Prayer Requests
Bible League Brazil is providing 1,500 Bibles to doctors and nurses across the country. Pray that these health care workers would find comfort and rest in the Lord through this initiative!
Praise God for nearly 2,000 people in Ethiopia who recently completed Project Philip Bible studies and received Bibles! Pray that they would continue to study the Word of God and draw nearer to Him each day!
Thank you for your prayers and financial support. Your gifts to Bible League International help provide Bibles and training to a world in need.
The church is doing well in the Canary Islands as everyone is being faithful to the online services via WhatsApp. I continue to preach from here in the states but right now more are attending by video call rather than in person. Some of this is from fear of the virus, as well as for other reasons, but please pray that they would decide to be physically present in church. Juan has been coming and is growing in the Lord, for which we are grateful. I believe his sister Loli was listening with him online this past Sunday and heard some of the preaching. Pray for her salvation, as well as all of Juan’s brothers and sisters. Leo and Frank continue to take turns teaching the adult Sunday School and are doing a good job.
I have been visiting some of our supporting churches and will continue to do so while we are here. Since our return plane tickets were cancelled due to the virus, we have been seeking the Lord as to when he would have us return; and as of now we will be staying probably another two or three months in the States. I will be mainly in the states of OH, PA, NY, and surrounding areas; however if you would like me to come and give an update and/ or minister I would be glad to do so, as the Lord allows.
God has opened some doors of opportunity since I have been back. One was in a Walmart in Englewood, Ohio, where I was talking with a store attendant named “V!” I had asked God to direct me to someone to talk to about the Lord while in the store, and he did! I gave him a tract and asked him if he knew where he was going when he died. He said he didn’t know, and I was able to give him the gospel. When I was finished, I asked him if he wanted to be saved, and he said YES! He prayed to the Lord Jesus Christ to save him right there in the store!
While babysitting for five of our grandchildren in Manheim, PA, God allowed me to fill in preaching for my son in law Michael Hunt who pastors Heritage Baptist Church. A lady named Tiffany came in after the song service started and stayed for the preaching. When I asked during the message if everyone knew they had the “Light” (Jesus) in them, she shook her head “no.” At the end, I gave an invitation for salvation and she came forward! I spoke to her another 45 minutes afterwards, and she asked the Lord Jesus to save her! She has had a hard life. She just gave birth to a child and had to give it up to adoption because of her drug addiction. Please pray for her. Then, I went to the Lancaster plaza to witness on a Friday and met a young man named Israel. To make it short, I gave him the gospel on the street corner, and he ended up getting saved! Pastor Hunt is following up on him, so please pray for his Christian growth.
I preached a little message to a line of people outside a DMV store in Ohio, and afterward was walking toward my car when I ran into (divinely) a young man named Ronaldo. He stopped and listened intently and humbly for 40 minutes to the gospel! He said he never heard it before in his life! Please pray for his salvation.
We dropped Leanna off at Fairhaven Baptist College in August, and notice the new picture on our prayer letter—yes, Carolee and I are officially empty nesters and will be going to field for the first time in 38 years of marriage without children. Thank you for all you do for us, we really appreciate it!
Things are starting to settle down a little and we may soon be starting to feel a rhythm.
Because of Covid, the students aren’t able to meet in groups in the school building, but only outdoors. So since our family has a big enough yard, we have invited students over for us to get to know them, and even for them to get to know each other. We had 50 show up for our bonfire night and they really enjoyed getting to actually be together without masks and just hang out.
The next weekend we had a game night held outside. We underestimated how many people would show up and after the 3 tables were full we had to start up a bonfire for the rest of the people. We can see how they love being together and are really looking for opportunities to spend time together.
Please pray for the students as it gets cold outside to find ways to be able to spend time together as groups. A huge part of Bible School is community and they are trying to make a way, but it sure looks different in these Covid restrictions.
Staff can only have a couple students in our home at a time. Please pray for good ideas and ways to reach out and connect with the students who are really needing it.
1. Dave is teaching Bibliology, where the Bible came from, and the students are learning about the reliability and authority of God’s Word. This is HUGE! They are asking so many questions and meeting with Dave everyday!
2. Dave really enjoys his Hebrews teacher at seminary and is learning so much! He will be using what he is learning in classes here, and also at a church he will be speaking at these next few Sundays.
3. I love spending time with my mobilization team and they make me feel valued and appreciated! We are starting quite a few new initiatives, and it is exciting being in on the action right from the beginning!
4. Clark really likes his welding teachers at college and is acing his work!! He looks forward to going to class and is learning tons! He’s also doing well in his regular 12th grade classes!
5. Reece is busy at buses and taking care of all “his school kids” in masks.
Thank you so much for praying for us in these first 2 weeks! We are each settling into a routine and so thankful to be here, even if this semester looks pretty different with masked faces! God has GOOD GOOD plans for each of us!!!
Partnering with you,
Dave, Kim, Reece & Clark Field
I have been listening to a sermon series based on Habakkuk questioning God about the many calamities surrounding the prophet. At the end of his book we read: “yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign LORD is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights”. (3:18-19 nlt) As we struggle to figure out what the “new normal” will be and how we can proceed safely with our programs, we also are mindful that we can rejoice!
A few of the schools in our area are having in-classroom sessions. Most students are attending classes over the internet. And a few schools are offering a hybrid approach to learning. Plans for winter activities are in a “holding pattern”. As we plan for next spring and summer, we are thankful that some new options for outreach are being presented to us. We ask for your prayers for wisdom as we contemplate what programs can be feasible in the new normal.
We rejoice with the donation of kitchen utensils for the planned kitchen in Lincoln Hall. The utensils are located in Wyoming, MI. We are asking for help in bringing them to Annville. There are enough boxes to fill a van. If you know of someone traveling to our area and can bring part (or all) of the boxes to us, please contact Tommy. They are presently being stored in a garage and need to be moved before winter arrives
During fall, many churches have a mission festival. We are willing to help through video conferencing (zoom, face book live, etc. ) Your support is helping us to make a difference in our community. Thanks again for your prayers. With the apostle Paul may we “ Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4 nlt).
Thank you for taking the time to read our monthly e-newsletter that communicates Mission news, updates, prayer requests, needs, events and success stories.
Keeping the Mission Safe & Healthy
As we are entering the seventh month of disciplined practices related to the Coronavirus pandemic to ensure safety throughout the organization we want to thank all of our donors and volunteers as you have faithfully supported the work that’s changing lives. Of course, many are still unsure what will transpire over the fall and winter months with COVID-19 cases, but the Mission is fully committed to the task of keeping our homeless community as safe as possible. Thank you for your ongoing prayers and gifts of support.
Addiction Recovery Program Spotlight
Our most recent graduation ceremony of four men in our addiction recovery program took place this past July. (left to right) Devin, Chris Ernie and Simoeon have completed the Mission’s year long program and our now preparing to leave the nest and start a new life in Christ.
Volunteer Service Opportunities
We are currently seeking volunteers to give of their weekday time to support our emergency clothing program and fundraising department at our Caring Center facility.
Visit our website and register as an individual or group today. We’ll be sure to follow up when we receive your inquiry.
Over the last week, a group of our student leaders have spent time learning what God’s Word says about imitating Christ in being humble servant-leaders and preparing for the rest of our student body to arrive this weekend.
This year is unique for each of us. Dave: He will be teaching a class of students who have masks on! He will need to learn to read their understanding in a new way! The classes are also divided in half, so he will teach one class and then go to the next group and teach the same material. Kim: I am joining the mobilization department! I am excited to be a part of the team as they try new ideas of online efforts to invite prospective students to come visit. I am really looking forward to learning so much this year! Reece: We are thankful we get to have him back at home for this year. He will be working full-time and waiting to see what the Lord has for him next. Clark: He is a senior in high school! He is enrolled in community college and taking welding classes to get his certificate by the end of the year!
Students: There are quite a few covid-changes: like only 2 people per table in the cafeteria, only 2 people per dorm room, and classes divided for smaller sizes. However, all the amazing classes remain the same! In 2 years they will have been taught the Bible from front to back with an emphasis on God’s heart for our walk with Him and for those who don’t know Him.
Another thing that has not changed is how we staff get to have students in our home and there is no distancing or masks required!
We are super excited for this Sunday when we get to start off the semester!! Dave is one of the main speakers for the kick off, so please pray for him Sunday evening as everyone will be sitting in the grass on the school lawn for social distancing. Please pray that the squirrels and birds and mosquitoes would all disappear for a couple hours.
Thank you for supporting us with your love and partnership as we begin our 12th year here at Bible School!
Dave, Kim, Reece and Clark Field