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Jun 20, 2017

 [NOTE: Because the names of pictures I included in this podcast interfere with searching for episodes at the DBRP site, I have deleted the pictures here. See the PDF file attached to this episode for the pictures.]

Hi Friends!

If you happen to be a new listener, this is a news update from Phil at the Daily Bible Reading Podcast. To find out about our Bible reading plan and podcasts, please see dailybiblereading.info. If you are a new listening to the Daily Bible Reading podcast, I invite you to join our Digging Deeper Facebook group. And I would like to say welcome to all our new Facebook group members.

Gale and I are glad to be back home after a busy month away. We went to Winder, Georgia to help Gale’s three sisters in their parents’ transition to assisted living. Gale’s parents are doing wonderfully in a brand new facility. We also flew up north from Atlanta to visit Gale’s aunt and cousins near Batavia, in western New York state.

Our daughter, Rachel, is wrapping up her time in East Africa, where she has been serving with Pioneer Bible Translators. She will move back to the States in August. Rachel is sort of like Gale in her long-term health challenges. It is due to the extreme heat in her location and the difficulty of consistently getting certain foods, that she is moving back to the States. But her experience in East Africa will be invaluable to Pioneer Bible Translators main office in Dallas. Instead of managing the finances for several Bible translation projects in one country, she will be overseeing project finances in several countries.

Normally Gale doesn’t travel much, but she is taking this opportunity to visit Rachel in July. We praise the Lord that— due to a diet we have been on, Gale is experiencing much less pain these days.

For you listeners who have been using our dedicated DBRP listening app, in just a few days you should find that an update to the app will be available. The updated version of the app will make it possible to visually sort the DBRP podcasts by category. There are five main categories in the DBRP: podcasts based on the NLT, those based on the GNT, news updates (like this one), text-only posts, and the JoySightings podcasts. So using the new app, instead of seeing a jumble of several podcast types, you can select the NLT category or the GNT category, and more easily find the next episode in the series you are listening to.

Lord willing, I hope to start recording a third translation soon, and I have chosen NET, the New English Translation. The 365 NET episodes will come out as I do them. I am thinking that I will include more comments, and that the NET episodes will be a bit longer than the previous two series. It takes longer for me to edit each episode than it takes to do the recording. I hope that the whole NET will be recorded sometime in 2019. I would be interested in your comments, suggestions, and ideas about all this. A good place to reach me is via Facebook, which you can find me listed as philip.c.fields.

Let me share some prayer requests with you now about our work in Indonesia.

Something important is happening right now in Indonesia! Please join us in praying about this.

Here is a problem I keep pondering: How can we get the new edition 2.2 Plain Indonesian (TSI) New Testament out to all 34 provinces of Indonesia? The archipelago is the width of the continental USA! Factor in that our non-profit organization (Albata) is tiny with only one man (Daniel) in our Jakarta office. Albata has given away several thousand TSI New Testaments, but we don't have the volunteers and resources to give away Bibles like the Gideons do in the USA. Meanwhile, the TSI New Testaments have not been selling briskly in stores. I think that the retail price has been part of the problem. Another problem has been that shipping charges made our New Testaments more expensive in provinces outside of the island of Java. How can we get easy-to-understand, life-transforming out to 34 provinces?

Over a year ago I discussed this problem with our publisher— Andi Offset, a company that is owned and led by Christians. How about if we use their vast distribution network to sell subsidized New Testaments? They were enthusiastic about the idea, and as part of the deal they agreed to provide free shipping to all parts of Indonesia. Great! All we would need is $22,000 to start the subsidy program.

I didn't happen to have that amount in my pocket, but with a gulp, I told them that we would find the money. Then guess what?! Almost immediately and in a most  unexpected way, God provided a donor who gave the entire amount.

Beginning now, a total of 9,000 New Testaments will be sold for the subsidized price of $3 per copy. Here is the advertisement our publisher put in the June edition of their monthly magazine:

 

The advertised price of 40,000 Rupiah above is about $3.10 in US dollars. The promotion lists six great selling points for our TSI translation. My favorites are that it is easy to understand, and it speaks right to the heart.

Let's let the fact that God has provided financially to spur us on to pray now for the more important things!

  • This is NOT about success in sales. Please use your imagination as you pray about increasing the understanding of God's Word, and spreading that to all 34 provinces of Indonesia. One thing we can pray for is that God will cause book store managers (many of whom will not be Christians) to display the New Testaments prominently, so that the people God wants to touch will see them.
  • Let's pray that the subsidized price will encourage ordinary Indonesian Christians to be generous— buying extra copies to give to family or friends. Pray that some would send copies to rural areas.
  • Please pray that 9,000 copies will not nearly be enough! Let's pray that all 9,000 will be sold in three months (by mid-September), and that the Lord will provide again for more.

I send out e-mail prayer requests for Albata in Indonesian every month. Today an Indonesian wrote back and said, “Puji Tuhan! Semoga semua umat Kristen tergerak hatinya membaca Alkitab. Moga donaturnya diberi kesehatan dan panjang umur oleh Tuhan Yesus Kristus.”

Translation: “Praise the Lord! May all Christians be moved to read the Bible. May the Lord Jesus Christ give the donor health and long life.”

Let's pray that many others will feel the same way! May gratitude move them to become God's messengers.

If you would like to receive our updates, Find the link at the bottom of today’s episode notes for for adding your address to our e-mail list. Here it is: http://eepurl.com/-7c1D

May the Lord bless YOU ‘real good’!

Phil & Gale