While the ministry here in Eurasia is far slower than we would wish, it seems we are finally gaining some traction. We have had our best quarter yet in the area of opportunities to witness and in people receiving Christ. Our language school has increased significantly, and our own language skills improve steadily.
Mid-November brought me to Ghana, West Africa. There was a gathering there of workers from all around the world, and it was, in my opinion, the most beneficial week FBMI has ever organized. It was so amazing to learn how God is using my friends and colleagues in their respective places of service. I was able to lead Africans to Christ while out soul winning and was also afforded the privilege of preaching the Sunday morning service in the tremendous church in Kumasi, where Ted Speer is pastor. The sessions were incredibly interesting and informative. On a side note, I have now eaten Chinese food on three continents. I have even eaten Chinese food in China. Who would believe that the best Chinese food I have ever tasted was in Africa!
Thanksgiving is a non-controversial American holiday about which the people here in Asia are very curious. Each year we feed a lot of people, and this year was our biggest ever. Each year also provides us opportunities to share our faith. This year the first guests arrived in our home around 1:30, and people continued coming from then until after 8:00 p.m. Some did not leave until 9:30, so we were entertaining guests for eight hours straight. Several of these people have maintained contact with us and even expressed an interest in the good news.
One of our most important projects here has been reviewing a Bible translation that is based on Received Text. A group had invested over 40 years in this project but now operates in another country. We are wanting to give our church people a digital version of this New Testament, and I have now completed typing all 27 books into a Word document. Sit down this week and type one chapter. See how long it takes you. Now multiply that by 260, which is the number of chapters in the New Testament. Now imagine doing it in a language that has a different alphabet than ours! We have a group of people working with us on the proofreading and hope to have this available to our people within the next couple of months.
Please pray for many students and friends who are being exposed to the Gospel for the first time in their lives. Many of our students are professionals, including multiple doctors. A couple of weeks ago, I was witnessing to two of these doctors, and the one admitted to me that he got in trouble as a teenager when it was discovered that he had secretly purchased a Bible. He has been curious about the Bible for many years and is now learning about it for the first time.
Pray for our oldest daughter, who is due any day now. Pray for our third-oldest daughter, who is expecting our seventh grandchild. Her husband just found out that the factory where he has worked for years is moving out of state, and he will need to find a new job. Speaking of new jobs, one of my sons just started working for Brinks. Pray for his safety. Pray especially for our eighth child, now in his second semester of Bible college in Mesquite, Texas, and for our ninth, who will be moving to the States soon.