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Oct 30, 2016

Hi there!

It feels great to be home. Thanks to all of you who prayed for me and Gale while I was in Indonesia for seven weeks.
In my news podcast before I left for Jakarta, I told about how I wanted to change the face of our non-profit organization into this:

Albata is a network of friends who pray that the understanding of God’s Word will increase everywhere in Indonesia.

I was unhappy that the business of running Albata (our organization) had taken our focus away from one of our main spiritual founding principles: We were supposed to be basing everything we were doing on prayer. Instead, forgetting to pray, we were spending our time thinking about adding personnel or programs and wondering how we would pay for them.

I am thankful that the Lord has given me four key men in Indonesia that God used
  • To keep me from tearing down things that didn’t need to be done away with,
  • To modify my impractical ideas into practical ones appropriate to Indonesian people,
  • To recognize that some people were kind of idolizing me and to avoid building anything on that,
  • To help me mentor Daniel, formerly our operations manager, to become our prayer and communications coordinator.
When I left for Indonesia, I was really frustrated with our operations manager, Daniel, because I blamed him for things that were probably my own fault in not leading effectively. Prayer really does change everything. Daniel helped me figure out that our new prayer emphasis needed someone to shepherd it. He was right. We changed his job description, and I have seen a transformation in him. Before, he was a capable manager. Now he is showing new talents in networking with people in multiple provinces to encourage and coordinate a spiritual ministry: the increase of the understanding of God’s Word all over Indonesia. Some of the things that he has encouraged are seen in the pictures I will share at the Digging Deeper Facebook Group. (below) One can see the results of his work popping up at the Friends of Albata Group. They include a man writing short devotional texts using our TSI New Testament, a weekly radio program quoting from our translation, and new groups praying that the Plain Indonesian Old Testament will all be drafted by 2020. Volunteers are spreading news about our translation and prayer requests, and all this is a huge answer to prayer.

One thing I asked prayer for is that 30 people would join our online Bible translation course by the end of September. We didn’t get even close on that. Right now there are 17 members in the course. Unless things change, I anticipate than only 4-5 will finish and be able to help our team. I praise the Lord that one of the students is taking our course, not to work with Albata’s team, but because she is working in an ethnic language translation project.

Albata and our publishing partner have agreed that starting in January, our second edition TSI New Testament will be sold all over Indonesia for a subsidized price of $3. Please pray that this special price being available at all bookstores will move Indonesian believers to give copies to friends. Pray also that some people will moved by the Lord to distribute copies to rural people groups. Giving a discounted price means that we will need to come up with the subsidy of $2.25 per copy, and that mounts up when we’re talking about 10,000 New Testaments! That means that I took the step of faith that the Lord would provide $22,500. Praise the Lord that He has already brought one donor who will help with this project.

Our translation coordinator and I are busily working on revisions to the TSI New Testament. We’re especially trying to improve verses where the phrasing is odd or hard to read. We need to have the revisions all done by the end of November, so that typesetting can be done in time for printing in January. Please pray for us in making very exacting decisions, and I especially ask you to pray for my accuracy in typing in changes. I don’t want to add any errors.

Perhaps some of you are wondering what I will be doing with the DBRP for 2017. I am planning to continue with my on-one-year off-one-year schedule. This means that I do not plan to re-record the whole Bible again next year. If the Lord wills, I do plan to make another set of recordings in 2018. Here is what I am planning for 2017: I will publish a new blog post every day with links to both the NLT set and the GNT set of readings. I’m doing this as a service to any new people who find the DBRP and want to start their reading plan in the first week of the new year. I won’t actually have to work at this every day, since the blog posts can be scheduled in advance. I plan to make another news podcast in December where I will give you recommendations for other Bible reading podcasts that you can listen to in 2017. One year listening to me is plenty.

May the Lord bless you ‘real good’!