Lord, Thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing older and will someday be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs. Make me thoughtful but not moody: helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all but Thou knowest Lord that I want a few friends at the end.
Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They are increasing and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of others’ pains, but help me to endure them with patience.
I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.
Keep me reasonably sweet; I do not want to be a Saint – some of them are so hard to live with – but a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people. And, give me, Lord, the grace to tell them so.
It was only in the last decade that I was made aware that there was a need for Bible Translations for the deaf. I always thought that deaf people could just read any book and understand it. Why do they need their own Bible?
My ignorance might be shared with others but it was still a subject I knew nothing about! And why would I? I’m not deaf nor do I know anyone who is nor can I speak Sign Language. In fact, when I write “sign language” I’m referring to the American Sign Language, just one of up to 300 different sign languages used around the world.
Sign languages and spoken languages have completely different syntaxes. The way that we order words in spoken languages differs from the way that words and phrases are ordered in sign languages. And spoken languages are phonetic, relying on connections between text and sound. “For Deaf people … they need something that’s visual. … As hearing people read, there’s a connection between text and sound. For us as Deaf people, we cannot hear and we’re never going to have that connection between the sound and the text. … Visually seeing the hand movement in sign language is very important for us.”
I encourage you to click this link and read the whole article. It was fascinating to see how challenging it is to get the translation right!
Would you pray now for those doing this important work?
We were blessed to get away for nearly a week to the TN and NC mountains. We stayed in a place that gave a good price for missionaries and pastors to rest at. Rest we did. Lots of reading, short hikes, and drives on winding roads just talking was so good for us. We feel ready to return to work and serve our Wycliffe Bible Translation members once again.
Distancing socially means distancing physically. We’ve all limited touching others for the last 6 months and it is not a good thing other than keeping us alive [tongue in cheek].
I’ve often read that a person needs about 13 touches and hugs a day in order to thrive. We may survive without them, but we won’t thrive. I for one, am looking forward to giving warm hugs to others, especially my single friends who might not be getting enough these days.
Jesus did a lot of touching in his short three years of ministry. My friend, Diana, made this list of all of them from the Gospels.
Mtt. 8:3 (A leper) “Jesus reached out His hand and touched him.”
Mtt 8: 15 (Peter’s mother-in-law) “He reached out and touched her hand.”
Mtt 9:25 (Jairus’ daughter) “He went in and took the girl by the hand.”
Mtt 14:31 (Peter) “Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him.”
Mtt 17:7 (Peter, James and John) “But Jesus came and touched them.”
Mtt. 19:15 (the children) “When He had placed his hands on them, He went on from there.”
Mtt 20:34 (Two blind men) “Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes.”
Mark 1:31 (Peter’s mother-in-law) “So He went up to her, took her hand and helped her up.”
Mark 1:40 (the man with leprosy) “He reached out HIs hand and touched the man.”
Mark 5:41 (Jairus’ daughter) “He took her by the hand…”
Mark 7:33 (the deaf mute) “Jesus put His fingers into the man’s ears. Then He spit and touched the man’s tongue.”
Mark 8:23 (the blind man) “He took the blind man by the hand…and put His hands on him…Once more Jesus put His hands on the man’s eyes.”
Mark 9:26 (the demon possessed boy) “But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet.”
Mark 9:36 (the little child) “Taking the child in his arms…”
Mark 10:16 (little children) “And He took the children in His arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them)
Luke 4:40 (the people who were sick) “and laying hands on each one, He healed them.”
Luke 5:13 (the leper) “Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man.”
Luke 7:14 (the dead man from Nain) “Then He went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on.”
Luke 8:9 (Jairus’ daughter) “But He took her by the hand..”
Luke 13:14 (the bent over woman) “then He put His hand on her.”
Luke 14:4 (a man suffering from abnormal swelling in his body) “so taking hold of the man, He healed him.”
Luke 22:51 (Malchus) “And He touched the man’s ear and healed him.”
John 9:6 (the blind man) “He made some mud with the saliva and put it on the man’s eyes.”
John 13:5 (the disciples) “…began to wash the disciple’s feet”
John 20:27 (Thomas) “Reach out your hand and put it in my side”
What can we do when we can’t physically touch people? Phone calls, coffee from afar, have them over for dinner on your back porch, write a note….
I know that reading the Bible each day I feel a touch from God when He speaks to me in the way I need to hear it most. Jesus touches me with Joy when I think about spending eternity with God because Jesus died on the cross for me.
How can we touch others this week?
What do you think Jesus would do during a pandemic?
Fear is normal for us mortal beings. God has created us with emotions and when I read the many Bible verses that talk about fear, I am reminded that I am in good company with that particular one! Men and woman have suffered from fear for hundreds of years.
Fear grabs me when someone jumps out from behind a door. It also sneaks in when I’m home alone and can’t figure out what that bump in the night was. Watching the news the last several months can bring more fear than hope at times.
Knowing that the world is suffering together under a pandemic, some terrific writers at Wycliffe Bible Translators have made devotional so that we can tackle our fears together and not just the virus.
Click here to join me! Let’s replace our fears with peace!
We lay in bed in the dark. Both of us tired, but restless. It was the night before Ken’s scheduled second surgery on his knee. We opened our cell phones and read different things to each other about his situation and his types of infections. By the time we said, “Goodnight,” we had decided to cancel the surgery in the morning if we were able.
We’ve heard a lot of good advice the last 5 weeks. Trying to put it all together is the tough part. Today a friend said to me, “God is not a God of confusion.” She’s right, and by noon today we had a bit more clarity.
On Monday, we will return to Ken’s surgeon to have him look over his leg. He is still wanting us to have surgery next week. On Monday afternoon we will see an infectious disease doctor. Today we signed papers with Anne’s orthopedic doctor to see if he would give Ken a second opinion. We may get to do that next week as well.
So we ask you to pray for wisdom and peace for us and that Ken and I would be unified in both of those things. We continue to look to God as the source of our wisdom.
Thank you for your prayers and your notes of encouragement with verses. We read and re-read each one of them.
Thank you for your prayers on our behalf for Ken’s health! We finally saw Ken’s original surgeon today. He asked us if we wanted to wait a few more weeks to see if his leg closed up, but we declined. It’s already been 3 weeks so we feel it is time to do something else.
Tomorrow, Ken will have his second surgery. Because two surgeons are suggesting this, we feel it is the right decision. But I also feel uneasy. I’m not sure if that’s just me or something prodding me.
This week as I studied Hebrews with my ladies Bible study, we talked about the Superiority of Jesus. The question in our study was, “Do people see in you that you believe Jesus is superior is all ways?” I have to say, “No, not all the time.” I often want to take things in to my own hands and my worry reveals my distrust and unbelief.
So we ask for peace and obedience and that God will be glorified once again. Please pray for our doctor by name, Dr. Fosnough and that the infection will be healed immediately.
Thank you so much. As my dad always said, “This too will pass.”
Some years ago, when our long time missionaries started retiring, someone had the foresight to build some low income housing for our members. Anne now manages one of them in Waxhaw, NC. We have another facility in Tucson, AZ as well as one in Dallas, TX.
Today we feature John and Billie Mishler who have lived and served in our Dallas facility for eighteen years.
John served his country in the Korean War, returned to the US in 1951 and enrolled in Arizona Bible Institute (ABI). It was there that he met fellow student and future bride, Miss Billie Jane Blevans.
Billie graduated from ABI and moved to California in ’53 to attend nursing school. In ‘55, John also moved to California to study aviation mechanics. That same year, they married and welcomed their first child a year later.
In June of 1959, they felt called of God to full time missionary service with Wycliffe Bible Translators and began training at the University of Oklahoma.
Preparations completed, they flew to Pucallpa, a city in the rain forest of eastern Peru, to begin their assignment.
Some of Billie’s favorite experiences were visiting Indian villages to do health checkups and give shots. She once spent a month partnering with a Bible translator beginning work with a newly discovered Amazonian tribe, the “Matses.” During her stay, a jaguar attempting to snatch it from its hammock attacked a Matses baby. Billie took the injured baby, treated his wounds, saving his life. In 2011, she had the joy of seeing this same child, now an adult, translating the scriptures for his people!
In 2000, the Mishlers returned to the US and eventually became managers of the Cowan Retirement Apartments in Dallas. Many times I sat as a guest at their table and in awe, listened to them tell of how, for 40 years, God had filled their lives with opportunities to serve the cause of Bible translation!
John now serves as our Senior Services Coordinator and is part of our Senior Benefits Leadership Team. Being the former Marine that he is, John has never used the terms “problem” or “challenge” with me in any conversation. He sees everything as an “opportunity to see God at work.”
I wish we had more space to share more about these special servants and their journey, but I chose this issue to share their story because Billie’s health began to decline this year after several heart procedures. Pneumonia set in and she was again admitted to the hospital. When it became apparent she was not getting well, she asked to be taken home under hospice care. After five and a half weeks at home, Billie slipped peacefully into the arms of her Savior surrounded by her family.
John has chosen to continue his duties at Cowan. We ask you to remember John and their children, Rebecca, Mike, and Julie as they adjust to life without their beloved Billie.
*** Our thanks to our co-worker, Jerry Stuckey, for sharing this story. Ken and Anne continue to work with John.
Our almost 30 years of work with Wycliffe Bible Translators has allowed us to celebrate many finished Bible Translations. Together with you, we continuing the work until it is done! Here are some numbers for you!
Wycliffe USA public statistics for fiscal year 2020: Approximately 1.5 billion people do not have the full Bible in their first language. At least 7,000 languages are spoken or signed around the world. More than 2,000 languages still need a Bible translation started. About 170 million people still need Bible translation work to begin in their language. Work is being done in more than 2,600 languages worldwide and at least 1,900 of these projects involve Wycliffe Global Alliance partners.
Number of languages waiting for Bible translation by regions of the world: ● Americas — 123 ● Europe — 64 ● Asia — 870 ● Africa — 643 ● Pacific — 415