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Golden Anniversary

There were many notable events in 1973. The infamous Supreme Court ruling Roe vs. Wade made legal the murder of sixty-six million babies over the next forty-nine years. The Watergate scandal was a top story for most of the year, and President Nixon assured us that he was not a crook. Vice president Spiro Agnew resigned over a tax evasion issue, and Gerald Ford was confirmed by the House of Representatives to replace him. The Twenty-fifth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. The American Baseball League adopted the designated hitter position, and Secretariat won the Triple Crown. After the loss of over 58,000 men and one woman, we pulled out of Vietnam and gave South Vietnam to the
communists. Also, that year Papua New Guinea gained its independence from Australia.

It was not announced on national news or even on local news, but in September of 1973 the Baptist Bible Translators Institute (BBTI) began in a Sunday school classroom of Rolling Hills Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. Before that time, no Baptist school existed to train missionaries in linguistics, language and culture learning, and Bible translation principles. The vision for BBTI grew out of the frustration of a Baptist missionary trying to minister in Spanish to a group of Indian people whose understanding of Spanish was extremely limited. George Anderson thought maybe he had missed the class at his Bible college that dealt with language learning. He inquired and found that no such class was given at his college or at any Baptist school in America, Canada, or England. In light of Christ’s command to teach all nations, George thought this was very strange. He learned that there are still thousands of unwritten languages with not a word of the Bible and where language schools do not exist. George correctly reasoned that if these people were to ever hear the Gospel or read God’s Word, they needed missionaries with specialized training to reach them. There are two kinds of men: One says, “This is not right. Someone ought to do something about it.” And the other kind says, “This is not right. I am going to do something about it.” George learned that training in linguistic and cross-culture communication was available at the non-denominational organization New Tribes Mission. The New Tribes leaders graciously agreed to accept George and his wife Sharon and train them with the understanding that the Andersons would use it to begin a similar school for Baptist missionaries. George asked his supporting churches to be patient with them for two years while they acquired this valuable training.

BBTI began with the Andersons and three other families: the Duffees, the Huddlestons, and the Cobbs. Realizing that a Sunday School classroom is not an appropriate place to train missionaries, we began praying and searching for a larger rural property. We had no money, but with the help of Paul Henderson, pastor of Central Baptist Church in Bowie, Texas, we were given one hundred seventeen acres of land with three houses five miles from Bowie. The move was made on April 1, 1974, and by then a fifth family, the Christensens, had joined the group.

Missionaries need to learn building skills, and repairs to our old houses provided plenty of on-the-job experience. The many hard and unpleasant tasks such as digging a ditch were classified as GMT (Good Missionary Training), and we did them as to the Lord, knowing that we were building something that would last. Today there is housing for four staff families and a dozen other families or single students. A multipurpose building was constructed in 2004 and an addition to it is currently in progress.

Advancements have been made in the field of linguistic and cultural anthropology, and BBTI has tried to keep pace. The courses of Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Chronological Bible Teaching, Greek, and Jungle Camp have been added but much is still the same. Certainly, the goal of training missionaries has not changed. BBTI has had three directors: George Anderson, Charles Turner, and Rex Cobb.

The tuition-free specialized training is given in one nine-month school year.Enrollment has never been large; it has averaged thirteen students per class. Our best representatives have been our graduates and students that visit churches on deputation. We accept students from like-minded churches with their pastor’s approval. Since 2006, we have promoted the work of missions and our Advanced Missionary Training weekly on fifty-five radio stations and in this quarterly publication. Our graduates have worked in Bolivia, Uruguay, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, Bahamas, China, Mongolia, Taiwan, Nepal, Russia, Israel, Tajikistan, Korea, Japan, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Papua Indonesia, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, India, Jordan, Uganda, Kenya, Liberia, Tanzania, Ghana, Zambia, Cameroon, Malawi, Cape Verde, Republic of Congo, South Africa, Ivory Coast, Botswana, Ethiopia, Lithuania, Hungry, Romania, Republic of Georgia, Armenia, Croatia, Greece, Greenland, and to the Chippewas Indians in the United States. Others are preparing to go to Iceland, Burkina Faso, and to some countries mentioned above. Graduates are using the skills they learned at BBTI in cross-cultural evangelism, Indigenous church planting, Bible translation, and literacy.

Thank God for half a century of blessings. We glance back, but we gaze forward. The task is still before us, even greater than it was fifty years ago because the population has doubled. By the grace of God and with the prayers and support of God’s people, we plan to continue to prepare missionaries for their challenging task of language learning, cultural adaptation, and communication of the Gospel. If we were on the right path a half century ago, and we believe we were, then we plan to stay on that same path. Technology is helpful in some ways, but it will never replace flesh and blood missionaries going where people have no knowledge of Christ and staying until there is a thriving church with a well-translated Bible and a desire to take the Gospel to the regions beyond them. That is the plan for the next fifty years or until Jesus returns!

Since I could not get animal crackers for our Noah’s Ark lesson, I decided to be creative and make cutout cookies. At the store, I found what I thought was flour. The packaging read Heljedino Brašno, and I knew the word for flour was brašno so I grabbed the package and headed to the checkout. I learned the hard way that heljedino is the Croatian word for buckwheat. Let me just tell you, buckwheat sugar cookies do NOT taste good! —Sarah, Croatia

Stephen Metcalf 1927-2014

On June 7, 2014, Stephen A. Metcalf, a faithful church planter and evangelist to Japan, passed away. He ministered in Japan for forty years with his wife Evelyn and their five children. However, Stephen did not always want to be a missionary to Japan.

Stephen was born on October 23, 1927, to George and Bessie Metcalf. The Metcalfs were missionary translators in Taku (now Dao-Gu), a mountainous Lisu village one weeks walk from Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province in Southwest China. At a young age, Stephen learned to fluently speak English, Mandarin, and Lisu. In 1934, when he was seven years old, his parents took Stephen to join his sister Ruth at a boarding school in Yantai. Except for Christmas visits, Stephen grew up in Yantai and rarely saw his parents.

By 1937, World War II was imminent. The Japanese invasion of China did not affect Stephen until 1942 when he and his schoolmates were imprisoned. Sickness continually plagued the filthy, cramped attic where the nineteen young men were initially quartered. Hepatitis A and a raging fever nearly killed Stephen, but God miraculously spared his life. As he lay weak and alone, his conscience convicted him of his sins. Overwhelmed, Stephen confessed His sins and believed that Jesus Christ died and rose again for him. In the following months, Stephen’s faith grew through missionary biographies that fellow inmates lent him. By the time Stephen was moved to the Weixian internment camp, God had taught him perseverance, faithfulness, and thankfulness. However, Stephen struggled to learn forgiveness.

Who could blame Stephen for despising the Japanese? His circumstances appeared to justify his attitude. Over two-thousand men, women, and children were confined within the sixty-acre internment camp. Sanitation was deplorable; water was inadequate; food was rationed; and medical supplies were scarce. Self-preservation was the daily mode of life. Individuals who retained ethical and religious convictions were either admired or scorned. Yet one such man’s godly character influenced others in Weixian.

Eric Liddell, famous Scottish Olympic gold medalist and missionary, chose Christlikeness over self-centeredness. Of all the prisoners, he easily could have demanded his rights and misused his influence. At the pinnacle of his athletic career, he left Scotland to be a missionary teacher in China. Instead of evacuating the country with his family in 1941, Liddell remained. He firmly believed that only faithful obedience honors God, despite any personal cost. Even in Weixian, Liddell continued obeying God as he served his fellow prisoners.

In 1945, just months before World War II ended, Stephen heard the words that impacted the rest of his life. During a Bible study on Matthew 5:43-48, Liddell taught: “When you hate, you are self-centered. When you pray, you are God-centered. Praying changes your attitude. It is hard to hate those you pray for.” Listening, Stephen was deeply convicted. He realized Liddell’s personal obedience to the Truth had changed his attitude toward the Japanese guards. God used Liddell’s testimony to break Stephen’s unforgiving heart. Together, the men began praying for their captors.

Days later, Liddell approached Stephen with a pair of patched running shoes. Stephen’s own shoes were completely worn, useless protection against the winter temperatures. Unconscious of his friend’s personal sacrifice, Stephen gratefully accepted them. Only weeks later did Stephen realize that he was walking in Liddell’s shoes.

One month later, tears stung and blurred Stephen’s eyes as he gazed down at his shoes. He tried to steady himself under the weight of his friend’s coffin. Though a brain tumor silenced Liddell’s earthly voice, his words echoed in Stephen’s memory. As he reflected on Liddell’s life, Stephen’s grief suddenly turned to resolution. At that moment, before God, he vowed to go to Japan as a missionary after the war.

Liddell’s obedience influenced Stephen’s obedience. Years later, in 1952, Stephen recalled Liddell’s words again as he began his life-time ministry in Japan. He no longer wore Liddell’s physical shoes, yet he daily walked in Liddell’s spiritual shoes. Both men’s obedience resulted in countless Japanese salvations!

When we obediently live the Truth, others will believe the Truth. Obedience reveals Absolute Truth which powerfully transforms lives for eternity. Through His own obedience, Christ fulfilled the law and the prophets, demonstrating that the Word of God is Truth. His obedience to the Father’s will changed men’s eternal destinies (John 5:30, 6:38)! Christ set the example for us (Phil. 2:8; Heb. 5:8; 1 Pet. 2:21). His obedience cost Him everything. Likewise, obedience will cost us everything. Nevertheless, Christ’s obedience commands and compels our own obedience. We have a choice. We know the Truth. Yet Truth without obedience will never save a lost and dying world.

Christ wore the shoes of obedience, and He commanded us to follow Him. Obedience is a personal choice in response to a personal command. Though initially individual, our choice is eternally influential. Will we obey the Truth? Will we walk in Christ’s shoes? Will others walk in our shoes?

Spring/Summer 2023

Marco Paulichen Family
Missionaries to Uruguay

Marco Paulichen was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 1978, and his wife Patricia was born in Ontario a few months earlier. But two could not have come from more distinct backgrounds.

Marco’s mother was from Argentina, and his father was from Uruguay. Marco’s first language was Spanish. His parents were devout Christians and raised Marco in church where he heard the Gospel often. At age five, his Sunday school teacher led him to Christ.

Patricia’s mother was an unsaved, single mother who left Patricia soon after her birth. Though she eventually returned, Patricia grew up in broken homes feeling unwanted and unloved. By age twenty, she was using drugs daily and attending drinking parties each weekend. By the grace of God, Patricia was given a gospel tract by a street preacher. It showed her that she was lost and on the way to hell, but she did not know how to respond. She asked her friends about the way of salvation, but none of them could help her. She tried self-reformation, attempting to please God. This only led to deep depression and thoughts of suicide.

Patricia was in an office building for a job interview when she literally bumped into the young electrician working there. She gladly accepted his invitation to attend his church: later he led her to Christ on their first date. Her life changed drastically; she was a new person. Eleven months later, she married that young man! They have been serving the Lord together for twenty-four years.

Marco and Patricia felt led of God to go take the Gospel to Uruguay. Along with their teenage children Josh and Josephine, they attended BBTI from August 2017 until May 2018. Josh and Josephine studied BBTI classes in the morning and worked on their homeschool assignments in the afternoon. They all excelled. Marco, a master electrician, made many needed electrical improvements at BBTI.

In October 2018, the family arrived on the field prepared to learn the language and culture of Uruguay. Because of Marco’s paternal roots in the country, he and his children are allowed dual citizenship of both Canada and Uruguay. Patricia has been granted residency. They do not struggle to obtain visas like many other missionaries; they are allowed to travel in other countries of South America without restrictions. The children are also entitled to educational benefits. While in Canada, Josh and Josephine studied music at the Royal Conservatory, and in Uruguay they were admitted into a classical music conservatory. This has resulted in many good contacts for the family’s church planting ministry in the interior city of Salto.

Having never lived in Uruguay, Marco has had to learn the country’s unique Spanish. He was able, however, to soon begin the Iglesia Bautista Fundamental in their home. The church began in the living room, kitchen, and under the carport. God blessed and the church grew. They currently meet in a rented building but are looking for a building in a better location. Marco preaches on the radio five days a week and sets up a literature table in two open-air markets where he witnesses for Christ. Thank God that the Paulichen family is faithfully giving the Gospel to the lost in their city. However, many more missionaries are needed for the places where the people wait for someone to bring them the Good News. Pray for laborers for Uruguay and the surrounding countries. Remember that the Gospel is not Good News if it gets there too late!

Dong man

Standing before you is a famed Drum Tower, a remarkable architectural achievement held together with groove joints instead of nails. As you admire the abundance of carvings and paintings on the multi-storied structure, music plays and a traditional song and dance begin. You are at a festival in one of the few Dong villages open to tourism.

Early mission work among the Dong began in 1910-1930 but was halted by communism when it was introduced in 1949. However, the Gospel never took a firm hold. Today only 1% of the Dong people claim Christianity. The 2020 census numbered the Dong at 3,495,993. Roughly half of them is Northern Dong and the other half is Southern Dong. While the customs and beliefs of the two groups are similar, their languages are different. The Northern Dong have no Bible.
The Dong practice Chinese folk religion. They worship their ancestors and believe in spirits and ghosts. Dong shamans use drums during rituals to appease any offended spirits.

The Dong have lived in a subtropical area of south-central China for generations. They cultivate rice, wheat, maize, sweet potatoes, cotton, and soybeans. Some raise pigs and hens. Under communism, the Dong’s standard of living has increased through the building of a solid rural infrastructure and improved education and health care. However, the Dong do not know how they can have eternal life through Jesus.

Bible translation is an awesome task. Nevertheless, it can and must be done in the right way with the right method. Bible translators do not translate by inspiration. If they did, the task would be quite simple since there would be no need for checking or revising. The translator must struggle diligently to find the best possible way to say, in the target language , what God has said in the source language. He must pray for God’s help. It would be easy for us to decide translation is too much responsibility and risk. Are you not glad though, that when he gave us our first English Bible from the Greek received text, William Tyndale did not decide the risk and responsibility were too great? Speaking of risk; Tyndale was martyred by the Roman Catholic Church for his work!

The Bible does not easily fit into the target language. Though Greek did not perfectly fit into English, we can confidently say that we have God’s Word in our language. The goal of translation is to maintain the integrity of the original while making the target translation understandable and readable to the people. If the translation does not sound right, people may carry it to church, but they will probably not read it. We want the people to say, “This is our Bible” not, “This is the missionary’s Bible.”

Some passages are a challenge to put into the target language. However, after finding what does not work, you look for what does. Your native translators are your best asset because they know their language and culture. Perhaps a fellow team member may find or know the answer, or you may consult someone back home.
Challenges may arise if the grammar of the source language differs from the grammar of the target language. Many languages have two words for we. You must choose. One of the words includes the person being addressed; the other word does not. (This is third person plural inclusive and exclusive.) For example, the disciples woke Jesus in the storm and said, “… Master, carest thou not that we perish?” Does the word we include or exclude Jesus? Did they think they would perish but Jesus would survive? Or did they think Jesus would sink with them? Since neither English nor Greek have this grammatical feature, those texts cannot help you make a decision.

Another grammatical challenge is the pronoun their. When the four men let their paralyzed friend down through the roof, Jesus saw their faith. At least one Tibetan language has five words for their. One word is a general reference to six or more people, but the other words depend on whether there are two, three, four, or five people involved. So, did Jesus see the faith of four or five men?

Some languages, such as Melanesian Pidgin of Papua New Guinea, have only active, not passive voice. They cannot say, “John was hit by the ball” (passive), but rather “The ball hit John” (active). This language requires that passive voice phrases change to active voice. While we cannot change the grammar of the target language to match the grammar of the source text, our Bible translation must conform to the grammar requirements of the receptor language. This is not bad translation; it is reality.

Another language challenge is the use of verbs and verb phrases rather than abstract nouns such as faith, love, repentance, salvation, etc. In the story of Zacchaeus, Jesus said, “… This day is salvation come to this house…” This little phrase is full of challenges. For example, the Coatlán Zapotec of Oaxaca, Mexico, does not have the word salvation. They have the verb save, but how does a house get saved? House is used to represent the family. This phrase also presents a collocational clash. (Languages differ in what words naturally fit together.) How does salvation come? Abstract nouns and figurative language are often challenging, but translation must be done. Team members can brainstorm, and someone may determine an acceptable way. You can also consider how other translators have rendered the verse. However, you must be careful. Not all translators have the same convictions or methods of translation that you have.
Translators also face challenges in languages and cultures that do not contain words or concepts such as circumcision, baptism, fasting, or housetops. If people live in houses with thatched roofs and bamboo walls, shouting from the housetop may be totally ridiculous. No one would stand on the roof. We cannot say to announce it over the loudspeaker because doing so is an anachronism, introducing something into the Bible that did not exist in Bible times. Some may suggest a cultural substitute like announcing it in the town square or in the men’s house. But that is not what Jesus said; He said house. A footnote might be used to explain the type of house with a flat roof found in Israel or a picture of such a house with a caption below it. What do we do with words like snow, camel, and lamb where these are not known? The solution might be to borrow or transliterate the word from the country’s trade language. If there is misunderstanding with these words, the checking process will reveal it, and we can look for a better way.

These are just a few of many challenges that make translation interesting. While we must maintain a healthy fear of the awesome responsibility of translating, we must not let fear stop us from getting involved. We must not say, “Let the experts do it.” Look at the junk “Bibles” the “experts” have given us in English! Bible translation requires serious-minded, hard-working, Bible-believing, careful, diligent, godly men and women who will accept the challenge. Translation is not for everyone. However, we need many hundreds more missionaries who love God, love the lost, and love the Bible to complete the task!

Before we learned the importance of pronouncing Thai with the proper tones, we would get into a taxi and tell the driver where we wanted to go. The drivers always did a double take and looked at us strangely. We later learned that instead of saying that our destination was Muang Ake, we were saying “knock on your head.” —Vicki

Bro. Ed Waddell
hewj1261@gmail.com

In January 1990, during a Sunday morning service at First Baptist Church of Mayport in Mayport, Florida, God saved me, a twenty-eight-year-old Navy electrician, under the preaching of a guest preacher. At that time I was stationed at Mayport Naval Base in Jacksonville, Florida, serving aboard the USS Saratogo CV-60.

In 1987, aboard the submarine USS Mendell Rivers, my right hand and arm were injured in a machine accident. I served for seven more years, receiving an honorable discharge and a partial disability after twelve years of service. God’s timing and ways are ALWAYS perfect (Romans 8:28; Philippians 1:6; 2 Timothy 1:9). Doing my best to trust and obey according to Proverbs 3:5-6; 16:3; Philippians 3:13-14; & 2 Peter 1:10, I have served God in my local church in whatever ministry capacity He has given me.

This was never more important than in August 2021 when God answered my prayer for strength to end the grieving process after my wife died from cancer in March 2021. God used a missionary family who visited our church to turn my attention toward the mission field and show me that I should be personally involved in missions.

God pointed me directly to the Advanced Missionary Training that I am now completing here at Baptist Bible Translators Institute. I knew about BBTI from their radio program on the Fundamental Broadcasting Network and from seeing Rex Cobb’s articles in the devotional booklet, Baptist Bread. So, I moved from Charleston, South Carolina, to Bowie, Texas, to begin preparing for the ministry the Lord was leading me to. On September 21, 2022, at East Side Baptist Church in Bowie, I met a native Navajo missionary, Aaron Nelson. God showed me how I could also serve as a missionary to the Navajo Nation. I saw the great need for indigenous Bible-based churches that have an accurate, textually pure copy of God’s Word in their native language.

Please pray for me as I move forward in the direction God has given me and begin serving in this capacity (as well as in any others that are necessary).

From the Navy to the Navajo: God is good!

Winter 2022-23

Lilias Trotter 1853-1928

“Satan knows well the power of concentration.” Do we? Do we dare to focus on Christ with such genuine intensity that His glory is our only motive and consideration for every choice we make?

In October 1876, John Ruskin, a famous English painter and severe art critic, consented to evaluate a young woman’s artwork. Astonished by her exceptional portrayal of artistic elements and principles, Ruskin immediately offered to train the artist. As time progressed, he declared that she was a rare talent destined to become one of the century’s greatest English artists.

The young artist, Isabella Lilias Trotter, was born on July 14, 1853, to an affluent family in London. Her godly parents intentionally instilled spiritual truths in her life which blossomed following her salvation. Lilias’s love for art was matched only by her passion for ministry. When faced with a choice between the fortune and fame of an artistic career and a simple life of service, Lilias chose to relinquish her rights to her talent and follow Christ. In 1879, she journaled: “Are our hands off the very blossom of our lives? Are all things—even the treasures He sanctified—held loosely, ready to be parted with without a struggle when He asks for them? It is a loss to keep what God says to give.”

After she surrendered her life and talents to Christ, He opened His way before her. At a mission conference in 1887, Lilias clearly knew that God wanted her to go to Algeria, North Africa. The following year, she moved to Algeria where she ministered to Arabs until her death in 1928. Although she worked closely with North African Mission, the ministry never accepted her as a missionary because her heart was weak. However, Christ was Lilias’ focus; nothing could dissuade her obedience. For the next thirty-nine years, she faithfully ministered to Algerian women and children through Bible studies, prayer meetings, and literacy classes. Her artistic and literary talents enabled her to write and translate many tracts, parables, Christian literature, and Scripture portions into both classical and colloquial Arabic. During her later ministry, Lilias and her team pioneered work among the Arab Sufi mystics in the Southlands of Algeria. When her weak heart left her bedridden, she continued writing. The famous hymn, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,” was inspired by Lilias’ booklet Focussed, in which she wrote: “Dare to lay bare your whole life and being before Him, and ask Him to show you whether or not all is focused on Christ and His glory.”

Lives are legacies, yet only Christ-focused lives leave legacies of faithfulness. Focused lives fearlessly follow Christ without hesitation at the cost to oneself, family, friends, or ministries. “Christ—Christ—Christ—filling all the horizon. Everything in us: everything to us: everything through us. ‘To live is Christ.’—Amen.”

Is our focus changing our lives? Do we dare?

Quotations from A Passion for the Impossible by Miriam Huffman Rockness

Winter 2022-23

Cindy Stacy
Missionary to Zambia

Cindy Stacy is not another Mary Slessor. She does not trudge alone through the African jungles facing the danger of lions, cannibal tribes, and pythons. (She does need to avoid contact with black and green mambas and other venomous snakes). Much of what she does as a missionary in Zambia is what she did for many years in New Mexico.

On March 24, 1964, Cindy was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Eight years later, she was born again at Temple Baptist Church. After graduation from the Temple Baptist Christian School, she earned a bachelor’s degree from Eastern New Mexico University.

Cindy joyfully served the Lord in her highly active church, Gospel Light Baptist, in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. She taught in the Christian school for twenty-three years. Why did she not stay where she was comfortable and safe? She was drawn to Zambia because she saw a much greater need there. Of the 13,800,000 people in this Southern African country, half are under the age of fifteen. Cindy saw wide-open doors and opportunities. A church-planting missionary family needed her experience and expertise. Though most of Cindy’s peers are willing to serve the Lord in the United States, few of them want to go overseas. However, Cindy was willing to serve outside her comfort zone. Instead of asking, “Why should I go?” she asked, “Why should I stay?”

Mission work requires preparation. Once Cindy’s church commissioned her as their missionary, she began presenting her plans to other churches. Knowing full well what children need, she began asking God’s people for school supplies to take with her to Zambia. They responded generously to the need. Cindy also began saving for passage and setup expenses. A single missionary may require a smaller amount of monthly support, but plane tickets, visas, housing, furniture, and vehicles are expensive. Cindy worked diligently. Seeing the benefits of BBTI’s Advanced Missionary Training, she arrived for training in August 2014, graduated in May 2015, and left for Zambia in January 2017.

English is not the first language of Zambian young people, but they need to learn it. Cindy teaches grammar, reading, and ESL classes to the youth. She has Thursday and Friday evening Bible classes for neighbor children and conducts a successful Children’s Bible Hour on Saturdays. Cindy enjoys teaching her Sunday school class of seventy-eight children as well as discipling ladies.

Missionary work is not simply teaching people but training people how to teach other people. Through the Solid Rock Bible Institute, Cindy is training two young ladies to be future teachers. Though they are not allowed to have their own class in the church before they graduate, they have begun a neighborhood Bible class on their own. One lady asked Cindy to teach her four children to read. Instead of teaching the children, Cindy trained the mother to teach her own children. The team wants the young people to have Bibles, but they do not simply give them out. The children must earn their Bible through the Faithfulness Campaign which requires church attendance and Scripture memorization.

While church and school duties keep Cindy very busy, she still finds time for her cat, dog, and vegetable and flower gardens. Zambia, like many places, has its share of difficulties, and Cindy must share those difficulties with the people she loves. Often there is no daytime electricity, and water is very scarce. Prices have increased by seventy-five percent, and, of course Zambia was plagued by Covid-19. Nevertheless, Cindy is very content and does not want to be anywhere else! She extends this invitation: “If you’d like to come work in Zambia, you can teach the two-to-seven-year-old children. I will give you thirty children, chairs, a room, the curriculum, a helper, and all the hugs you’ll need for the rest of your life.”

Winter 2022-23

 

 

Al Jazeera – Flickr
Creative Commons

The Kingdom of Bahrain is an archipelago nation located in the Persian Gulf off the coast of Saudi Arabia. Most Bahraini live on the main island. The town people usually live in apartments or houses made of cement and lime brick. The villagers live in thatched huts. The arid climate allows some dairy and vegetable farming, but most of their food is imported.

Bahrain has diversified its petroleum and commerce-based economy to include manufacturing, tourism, and international banking. This prosperous nation has a rich Middle Eastern heritage. Its people enjoy a relatively high living standard as well as free education and medical care.

Over 763,000 Bahraini Arabs are living in deep spiritual darkness. Islam is the state religion, and most Bahraini are either Shi’ite or Sunni Muslims. The Sunni monarchy rules over the Shia majority. Resulting dissension between these two Islamic sects led to the removal of political and civil rights. Due to western influence, the Bahraini are less strict than mainland Arabs. However, Islam is their culture. While they are more open to many western ideas, Christian beliefs are deemed pagan.

Arabic is the official language of Bahrain, but the people primarily speak Bahrani Arabic. Linguists have developed a Bahrani Arabic alphabet, yet there is no Bible in this language. Will you pray for the Bahraini?

Winter 2022-23

With eight billion souls in our world, and three hundred eight-five thousand being born every day, the words of Jesus still ring true, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few.” We need thousands of new missionaries; and we need the present ones to stay the course! No one announces their intention to go to the mission field without a desire for a long, fruitful ministry. Yet, it seems that missionaries who spend decades on the field have become less common. Why? Recently, a missions-minded pastor asked me to share my thoughts on selecting missionaries to support who will stay the course. This article, which I pray will be a help to both missionaries and pastors, is the result.

While we encourage all to consider missionary service, presenting yourself to the churches as a missionary is like matrimony—it should not be entered into lightly. Some missionaries have asked churches to invest in them only to fail to reach the field or to depart prematurely. William D. Taylor with the World Evangelical Fellowship Missions Commission claims that 71% of early missionary departures are preventable. God’s people want to invest in new missionaries, but they deserve some measure of assurance that the missionary will stay the course and do what he promises.

Missionaries are expensive but well worth the cost if they accomplish their goals. We understand that sometimes it becomes impossible for a missionary to reach the field or remain there. He may face political unrest or visa problems. But if this happens, it may be God’s direction to a different field, not His leadership back home. Sickness is a common reason for leaving the field. Missionary friend, if this happened—we should say when this happens—consider getting medical help there or in a neighboring country. If you must return stateside for treatment, determine to return to your field as soon as possible. Give up your support and stay home only as a last resort.

Sometimes missionaries leave their field due to unresolved conflicts with other missionaries or nationals. If these painful incidents occur, seek counsel from your pastor and others. Separate yourself from that location, if necessary, but not from your mission field. (See Acts 15:36-41.) God put you there; don’t let a man send you home!

Failure to learn the language well and become comfortable in the culture is often an underlying factor in early departures. Inability to communicate is very frustrating. Determine to spend at least your first two years in nothing but language and culture learning. Our pre-field linguistic training will help you learn quickly and accurately and help you to recognize and deal with the language and culture shock you will inevitably face. Your ability to adapt is vital to success in communication. It is difficult to remain in an uncomfortable place when you struggle to communicate.

If you are a supporting pastor, we suggest you not simply rely on a questionnaire or brief phone conversation before adding a missionary for monthly support. A personal call to the missionary’s sending pastor might reveal some valuable information. Does the pastor have any reservations about sending him? Is the sending church completely behind him, and how much money are they investing in him? Is the pastor willing to visit his missionary couple on the field to ensure that they are adapting well and learning the language?

Next, ask questions about the missionaries’ family life and active ministry. Are they humble, hospitable, and ministry-minded? Have they served faithfully in the church? Have they taught Sunday School or Junior Church, cleaned toilets, worked in the bus ministry, the jail, or in the nursing home? How well does the pastor really know the man, his wife, and his children? Does he only see them on Sundays and Wednesdays? What is the home really like? Is the couple training their children? Is the wife completely dedicated to a life on the foreign field? Are they willing to make sacrifices for the sake of the ministry?

Discover the character of the missionary. Is the pastor quite sure his missionary is not viewing pornography? Is he (or his wife) addicted to his cell phone or social media? Can he stick with a task? Can he put down his electronic toys and get his hands dirty? Is he an extra-mile Christian or does he do only what is expected? How does the missionary react to adversity? Can he respond Biblically to interpersonal conflicts? Is he faithful and consistent in giving of his finances? Language learning and missionary work require that he endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Finally, discover all you can about the missionaries’ preparation. Do they know their Bible? Have they been to Bible college, or do they have a good explanation why it was not necessary? Do they plan to get specialized linguistic and cross-cultural training before going to the field? Do not accept the response, “We don’t have time.” They take time for financial preparation. Nine months of Advanced Missionary Training will prepare them to communicate clearly in a new language. Have they researched their country and know its history, heroes, culture, and government? What have they learned about the Bible they will be using? Do they care about its accuracy and purity? Do they know or care about the status of people groups in the country? Are they reached, unreached, or Bibleless? Is the missionary willing to find answers to these questions?

Before taking a missionary on, it is wise to have a face-to-face meeting. If you have concerns related to any of the topics above, share them. Be kind and gentle and do not expect perfection. Remember that God holds us all to the same standard. Give the missionary godly suggestions in the areas where he may be lacking and schedule a future interview; give him six or eight months to implement your suggestions. Be willing to qualify and slow to disqualify this precious missionary family! Above all, pray for discernment. God knows who will stay the course!

Winter 2022-23

To get acquainted with people in Siberia, you invite them to your home for tea. As outer clothing is considered dirty and hot to wear inside, a host greets visitors by saying, “Come in. Take off your clothes (meaning hat, coat, gloves, and boots). Have some tea.”

A Russian English-speaking teacher/translator was hired to receive American visitors and she hospitably invited them to her home for tea. However, something got lost in her translation from Russian to English when she told them, “Come in. Get undressed. Have some tea.”

Brother Johnny Leslie, missionary to Croatia, was preaching about John the Baptist having his head cut off. He should have said odrezati but instead said narezati. Both words mean “cut,” but the congregation roared with laughter because narezati is only used when talking about slicing something like salami!

 

Charles V. Turner in 2021

Charles V. Turner was born in Greenville, South Carolina, in 1934 and born again in 1951 at a summer camp ministry of Marcus Hook Baptist Church in Pennsylvania. It was at this church that he dedicated his life to the work of missions in 1952. The following year, he enrolled at Columbia Bible College and graduated in 1957.

Classmates of Charles were Wanda Sifford, Mary Lou Pruitt, and Joshua Crocket. Charles married Wanda and they served the Lord in Papua New Guinea as missionaries with New Tribes Mission. Joshua married Mary Lou, and they were home missionaries helping struggling Native American churches.

Charles was busy in 1957. He finished Bible College, took the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) course in Norman, Oklahoma, got married, and began training with New Tribes Mission (NTM). No sense wasting time when you know what God wants you to do! During summer vacation of 1959, while still students at New Tribes, the Turners returned to Norman to re-take the SIL training.

In 1960, after six years of formal training, the Turners were sent by Marcus Hook Baptist Church to Papua New Guinea where they served until 1980. First, Charles and Wanda learned the trade language, Tok Pisin. Then they learned the unwritten language of the Sinasina tribe. Applying the linguistic skills, they learned at SIL and NTM, they developed an alphabet, giving the language a written form. They produced literature and taught the people to read. In 1975, they completed the translation of the New Testament. After several years of use in the churches, Brother Turner and the church leaders revised and improved the Sinasina scriptures. For twenty years, Charles and Wanda spread the Good News, baptized converts, taught literacy, and began four or five churches and a Bible institute. In recent years, the work has flourished, and many more churches have been established in the Sinasina area. According to family members and medical experts, Wanda should never have gone to the mission field because of a heart condition. However, she did go and was a good missionary/linguist. In 1975, Wanda had open heart surgery, and then returned to the field.

In 1980, the Turners returned to the NTM training center where Charles taught Bible translation, linguistics, and language and culture learning. He began writing the book Biblical Bible Translating. In 1982, they transitioned to Baptist Bible Translators Institute (BBTI). They took the BBTI training which was a review that prepared Charles to teach the same courses at BBTI. In 1991, he became the director of BBTI and served in that position until 2005.

Wanda passed away in December 1994. Later, Charles married Mary Lou, whose husband, Joshua had died a few years earlier. Mary Lou took the BBTI training and served the Lord and the BBTI students. She went to be with the Lord in November 2020.

Charles desires to visit the Sinasina people again; pray that his health will allow it. He currently serves the Lord as a BBTI trustee, a deacon at Truthville Baptist Church in Truthville, New York, and a teacher in their Christian school. Servants of Christ may change locations and job descriptions, as Brother Turner has, but when he signed on, it was for a lifetime of service.

Fall 2022

 

Isaac McCoy 1784 -1846

Isaac McCoy was born in Fayette, Pennsylvania, in June 1784. He was the son of a Baptist preacher who, as incredible as it sounds, did not believe in evangelizing. Isaac and his father argued over this, but Isaac was not afraid to stand for the truth. He became a missionary to the Native Americans. Before moving west to the wilderness of Indiana and Illinois, Isaac pastored a church for seven or eight years. His first missionary assignment paid him $500 per year, and he worked with the Weas, Miamis, and Kickapoos in Indiana. He later worked with the Pottawatomie tribe in Michigan.

McCoy used education as a tool to evangelize children. In 1820, he moved to Fort Wayne and opened a school with ten English pupils, six French pupils, eight Indian pupils, and one African pupil. By the end of the year, he had thirty-two Indians living in his own home as members of his family! A year later, he reported that he had forty-two pupils. In 1822, he began a temperance society and made his first trip to Washington D.C. to plead for fair treatment for the Native Americans. Our government was shamefully famous for making and breaking treaties with the Indians They stole their land, relocated them, and viewed them as something less than human. However, Isaac McCoy did not see the Indians this way. He loved a people that others despised.

For many years, McCoy served under federal appointment as a commissioner, surveyor, or teacher among the Native Americans. On a trip to Washington [believed to have been in 1829] to report on his exploration, he visited the Mission Board in Boston. He found them making pleas for missionaries to Burma (Myanmar), Africa, and other countries, but not to the Native Americans. Not everyone shared McCoy’s burden to reach them. Some believed that the Indians would soon die out; therefore, they believed there was no need to evangelize them.

In 1828, McCoy preached the first Baptist sermon ever heard in Chicago. In 1832, he was present in the organization of the first Baptist church in the Oklahoma Territory. He was instrumental in the founding of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Kansas City, Missouri, where he lived until 1842. At that time, McCoy moved to Louisville, Kentucky and established the Indian Mission Association. On a return trip from Jeffersonville, Indiana, he was exposed to severe weather which resulted in a serious illness that caused his death on June 21, 1846. His dying words were, “Tell the brethren to never let the Indian mission decline.” It was said of him, “The American Indian never had a better friend than Isaac McCoy.”

Fall 2022

Madison, a graduate of Pensacola Christian College, currently studies at BBTI.

By Madison Lehman

Why do missionaries go? Why do they stay? Why do believers risk their lives? Why do martyrs die? We have all heard that the need for lost souls to hear the Gospel is great; and the need is great! In fact, the need is numbing. However, the answer to these questions is not the need. Those who embrace the need struggle to maintain their zeal, while those who suppress the need struggle to minimize their indifference. So, the questions remain.

I heard a man answer these questions on Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) Radio. He said, “They do not go because the need is great. It is. But they go because God is worthy.” When I heard that, God pierced my heart! I serve the same God. Isn’t God worthy of my complete surrender and obedience?

I have heard about the need my whole life. Growing up overseas, reading VOM and Open Doors magazines, collecting missionary books, and hearing missionary testimonies continually kept the need fresh in my mind. I told God that I would go. Then, I told Him that I could not go. God gave me a taste of missionary life, and I shrank back. But last fall, He began convicting me of my need to yield to Him. God showed me that He is worthy of my obedience—at any cost to myself. He broke me and called me with Acts 26:16-18. By God’s grace, He will not let me be “disobedient to the Heavenly call” (v. 19). God has specifically called me to minister to Arab Muslims. I do not know many things, but I do not have to know to obey. I must obey.

The need alone is insufficient motivation for any missionary or ministry. God alone is The Motivation. I am not going because the need is great. I am going because God is worthy. God promises to save souls (Isaiah 45:3), but God doesn’t promise that I will get to see Him save souls. I may minister my whole life and never see one soul saved. Or I may die. If I live, I shall live unto the Lord; if I die, I shall die unto Lord; whether I live therefore, or die, I am the Lord’s (Romans 14:8). God alone is worthy of my life.

“This year, will you follow Christ, or will you ask Christ to follow you?” (Dr. David Jeremiah). Your answer to God’s call will change your life. My answer is changing my life.

Fall 2022

There are forty-four subgroups of the Jula, a sub-Saharan people, one of which is the Odienne Jula. The majority of the 183,000 Odienne Jula live in the northwest town of Odienne, Côte d’Ivoire which is an historic trading center. Odienne lies within the savanna region of Côte d’Ivoire where the soil is fertile. People make their living as merchants, craftsmen, and farmers. Rice is grown in the region and cashews have recently become an important cash crop (2019 Indiana University Press).

The Odienne Jula are resistant to the Gospel because they are both religious and clannish. They are 95% Muslim but also adhere to much of their ethnic religion. Ethnic religions consist of rituals, charms, and involvement in spirit worship which are entrenched in the people due to strong cultural and generational ties. The Odienne Jula are organized by clans, the lineage of which is traced through the men. Rather than viewing themselves as individuals, they find their identity in their clan. They guard against anything that might divide or weaken their kinship ties.

This unreached people group speak Wojenaka, a language also spoken by 18,000 Wassulu people, also of Côte d’Ivoire. It is reported that a Bible translation has begun; however, there are no scriptures in Wojenaka. Translators need prayer to overcome obstacles and wisdom to produce a faithful translation.

Fall 2022

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Seventy-five percent of our military age men are unfit for service. Some military branches are lowering standards and increasing financial incentives to recruit personnel. Sadly, recruitment for overseas missionary service is very low as well. The apostle Paul declares that salvation is available to everyone everywhere. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). Then he launches into a series of rhetorical questions intended to motivate us to deliver the good news to the world. “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?” They cannot. “How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?” They cannot. “And how shall they hear without a preacher?” They cannot. “And how shall they preach, except they be sent?” Send preachers! God must send them, of course, but the church must recruit and prepare them for Him to send. “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:38). Prayer is not a suggestion but a command. However, we seldom hear a public prayer for more laborers. We have not because we ask not! But why do we ask not? We ask for what we want. Apparently, we really do not want missionaries; or, we want them to come from other churches, not ours. The Antiochian church was a missionary recruitment center. The believers prayed for missionaries and produced them. According to Acts 13:14, God sent them; “So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed….” As co-laborers with God, we are failing to produce laborers for Him to send.

A few missionaries are coming from a few churches. Why so few? Why not ours? Childbearing is normally not a problem for a young couple, but when it is, they may seek medical help. We must admit our missionary infertility and consult the Great Physician.

Failure to produce foreign missionaries is so widespread that it seems almost normal.We would all agree that missionaries should come from our churches—where else would they come from? Yet most churches do not produce missionaries. This missionary barrenness may be common, but we must not accept it as normal.The purpose of the church is missions, and missions cannot be accomplished without missionaries. So, our missionary scarcity is a grave problem that must be addressed. A first step toward fixing the problem is to increase missionary emphasis in our church services. Look at the amount of time given to missions in the church services. What does it say about our missionary priority? We wonder why God is not calling enough missionaries to reach every kindred, tongue, people, and nation. Missionaries do not magically appear! They are developed in the home and the church where there is a strong missionary emphasis.

While we thank God for what churches do for missions, we must do more. There are many ways local churches can be actively involved in missions. We could give missions more priority by reading prayer letters from the pulpit and praying for the requests. A church could purchase good missionary books and strongly suggest that people read them. Someone could read short, interesting portions from these books to whet the congregation’s appetite. Occasionally, we could show missionary videos or short presentations downloaded from the missionaries’ websites. Someone could research and give a brief report on the spiritual condition of a certain country. Before the service, why not project pictures of missionaries that you support? Get to know them. Hosting missionaries is expensive; they need meals, money, and often a motel. But they help keep our minds on missions. They convey a burden for their field and make a plea for help. A church could also display the current faith promise goal and giving along with a list of missionaries that could be supported if the mission giving increased. Missions must be emphasized all year long, not just during the annual missions conference. Sing missionary songs occasionally; preach missionary sermons. If reaching the world is your church’s priority, keep missions before the congregation. If it is not, repent! Encourage communication with missionary wives and children. Use different creative ideas to promote missions in the church services. Do not just say world evangelism is important; show that it is! Let us prepare our young people for missionary service and let them go! For too long we have cautioned them to stay unless they are absolutely sure that God wants them to go. It is time to challenge them to go unless they are absolutely sure God wants them to stay!

Pastors must call people to the altar of total surrender (Romans 12:1-2.) We preach, “Give God your heart.” But God says, “Give me your body.” He demands that the body be holy, and not conformed to the world. Look at the worldliness of our people. They often wear the immodest clothes of the world. They deface and stain their bodies like the heathen. Worldly music and sinful images enter their eyes and ears, and worldly speech comes out of their mouths. Most Christians probably do not even try to “prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” They are neither transformed, nor renewed, and are anything but missionary material. Perhaps one young person out of one hundred has an inclination toward fulltime missions. One percent is pathetic! We need a radical change in thinking about missions! Let the world provide its cab drivers, plumbers, lawyers, and programmers. Let the church produce missionaries!

Change is needed because what we are doing is not working. There remain thousands of unreached people groups and Bibleless languages. At the rate we are producing missionaries, billions will never hear the Gospel. When we compare what we are doing with what we are not doing, we must conclude that something is terribly wrong. God, give us a revival in missions. Make our churches recruitment stations that produce laborers for You to send!

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Cassie, James, Emily, Melana & Lilyanna Dean love life in Siberia

By James Dean

At age thirteen, under conviction of sin, I repented and placed my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, believing that His blood alone was able to save me. A few years passed and I began to grow spiritually. During the summer before my freshman year of high school, the Lord started to deal with me about going into the ministry. I did not respond to the call at first, because I felt unable, not possessing great oratory abilities. God showed me that is just the point; we are unable, but God is able. The ministry is such that we must rest in the power of God and not our own natural abilities. The Holy Spirit continued to deal with me. I yielded and upon completing high school, went to Bible college.

While attending Midwestern Baptist College, a chapel speaker came and presented the need for missionaries in the arctic regions. He spoke of the many distinct groups of people within the circumpolar region. One of the people groups mentioned was living in northern Siberia, Russia. During his presentation, the Lord broke my heart for the arctic people. I did not want to mistake God’s will, but clarity came as I prayed for direction. The Lord wanted me in the arctic, particularly Siberia. Unbeknown to me, during that same chapel service, the Lord dealt with my future wife about missions in the far north. Upon completion of Bible college, we married, and I returned to the Ohio Valley to work in my home church as my pastor’s assistant before beginning deputation.

During our final stages of deputation, we attended the Baptist Bible Translators Institute (BBTI) where my wife and I spent nine months studying linguistics, culture, and missions. We are so thankful for the training we received. At the time of this writing, we have been on the field for over thirteen years. We have studied language and collaborated with veteran missionaries in both children and village ministries. We are currently beginning in a fledgling work in a northern village with the goal of planting an indigenous church.

Summer 2022

 

Since I could not get animal crackers for our Noah’s Ark lesson, I decided to be creative and make cutout cookies. At the store, I found what I thought was flour. The packaging read Heljedino Brašno, and I knew the word for flour was brašno so I grabbed the package and headed to the checkout. I learned the hard way that heljedino is the Croatian word for buckwheat. Let me just tell you, buckwheat sugar cookies do NOT taste good! —Sarah, Croatia

Before we learned the importance of pronouncing Thai with the proper tones, we would get into a taxi and tell the driver where we wanted to go. The drivers always did a double take and looked at us strangely. We later learned that instead of saying that our destination was Muang Ake, we were saying “knock on your head.” —Vicki

To get acquainted with people in Siberia, you invite them to your home for tea. As outer clothing is considered dirty and hot to wear inside, a host greets visitors by saying, “Come in. Take off your clothes (meaning hat, coat, gloves, and boots). Have some tea.”

A Russian English-speaking teacher/translator was hired to receive American visitors and she hospitably invited them to her home for tea. However, something got lost in her translation from Russian to English when she told them, “Come in. Get undressed. Have some tea.”

Brother Johnny Leslie, missionary to Croatia, was preaching about John the Baptist having his head cut off. He should have said odrezati but instead said narezati. Both words mean “cut,” but the congregation roared with laughter because narezati is only used when talking about slicing something like salami!

 

We asked our language helper for the two statements: (1) That is a shovel. (2) That is not a shovel. I felt certain he didn’t understand my instructions because the two statements sounded identical. I challenged him by confidently saying, “You are saying the same thing.” What was I doing, correcting my language helper when I knew so very little about his language? I felt so foolish when I realized that though the two statements did have identical sounds, there was a difference in the stress placed on one of the syllables. —Charlie, Ghana

 

The missionary’s  audience was a little perplexed as he told them the disciples were all on a “rock” in the middle of the sea.  The audience wondered why the disciples were there and how they even got there. It was even more confusing when the missionary illustrated that Jesus Christ is our “boat” that never moves.  They were curious to know how the motionless boat represented Christ.  The message was clarified when the missionary realized he had confused the word “dunga” (boat) with “dhunga” (rock).  —Justin

 

In Nepali culture, as in many cultures around the world, children are often a conversation piece. You often hear compliments such as kasto ramro chhori! which means, “What a GOOD girl!” given to the parents. However, an untrained foreigner who attempts to reproduce this compliment could easily offend the other parent by saying, kasto ramro chori! which means, “What a good THIEF!” —Justin

We finished our first semester of Hebrew a few weeks ago. We are enjoying a break but are also looking forward to getting back to our studies. We now know enough Hebrew to be dangerous, and if we’re not careful, get into conversations past our understanding. The word for the phrase see you later is “lehitraot,” but I didn’t say it right. What I said was the word for pasta; it’s so easy to get some strange looks! —M.P.

 

While visiting a church in  the USA, a missionary told of one occasion when he was preaching a sermon (possibly his first) in Japanese. “Sin will ruin your life; you must forsake your sin!” he cried, only to see bewilderment on the faces of the congregation. After the service, a kind Japanese man explained, “I think you meant to say sin; but the way you pronounced the word, it means wife!”

 

An American missionary was preaching in Romanian on the subject of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Vividly describing how the people shouted praises as Jesus rode into town, he failed to realize that he had mistaken the word Magyar (Hungarian) for măgar (donkey). The Romanians, of course, enjoyed a few laughs over the idea of Jesus being carried around on the back of a Hungarian.       —G. Sutek