Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I Have Overcome the World

"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the
world." John 16:33

On Thanksgiving morning I (Adam) tried to scan an important document on the
computer only to have the computer die. So I went outside to drive to work
to scan the document there only to find that my car had been stolen. Jesus
never promised us that life would be without its problems, and it seems that
when we are intent on following the will of God in our lives that the
problems increase. But the troubles of this world are nothing compared to
the incredible joy of knowing Jesus Christ. Our car was stolen, but nothing
could rob us of our joy. And on Thanksgiving we received an unusual reminder
of what we are truly thankful for.

Prayer Requests

God's Protection
Additional Ministry Partners

By the Numbers
Months to Departure: 13
Bibleless People Groups: 2,078

Thank You
We have been incredibly blessed by the outpouring of support as we pursue
the vision God has given us to translate the Bible for people in Papua New
Guinea who have never had it in their own language.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Our Journey Toward Bible Translation

Martha and I had the opportunity to share our story on Sunday night at Covina Assembly's missions convention. You can watch the video below.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Heart for Translation

We knew that we would face obstacles as we prepared to become Bible translators, but we never dreamed that one of those obstacles would be heart failure. After Martha’s heart attack on January 2, her heart was not able to supply sufficient blood flow to meet her body’s needs. The cardiologist said that if her heart function did not improve, she would likely need to have a defibrillator implanted to ensure that her heart would not one day just stop beating altogether. We did not want that to happen, and we prayed to God to heal her heart.

On August 23, Martha went in for her follow-up echocardiogram. She did not have an appointment with the cardiologist, so we did not expect to receive an update on her condition. While the technician was performing the exam, she said to Martha, “I have some good news for you.” She went on to explain that Martha’s heart had recovered significantly and was now functioning at nearly a normal level. Martha came home with tears in her eyes as she shared the news, and together we praised God for answering our prayer.

Over the last year there were times when we questioned in our hearts, “Are we going through all of this work to become Bible translators just to find out that we won’t be able to do it because of health reasons?” But God always brought us back to the verse of Scripture that He laid on our hearts right after Martha’s heart attack. Psalm 73:26 says, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Even now, this verse brings tears to our eyes. God is faithful, and we praise Him for being our strength when we are weak.

What will you be doing?
We will produce a translation of the New Testament for one or more people groups in Papua New Guinea that have no access to the Bible in their own language. It is very likely that the group(s) we work with will not even have a written language. That means that we will also develop an alphabet and help the people learn how to read and write in their own language.

How long will it take?
There are many variables that affect the length of a translation project, but a good estimate is seven to ten years.

Which language?
Papua New Guinea has nearly three hundred language groups with a need for Bible translation. After we arrive in country, we will work with the Wycliffe leadership to determine the best fit for our skill set and family needs.

Are the kids excited?

Yes. We have started sharing the news with the kids. They are very excited about living in Papua New Guinea and being a part of translating the Bible for people who don’t have the Scriptures in their own language. We are surprised by how much they seem to understand about what we will be doing.

When are you going?
Our goal is to leave for Papua New Guinea in January 2012. However, we cannot leave until we have raised 100% of the monthly budget that Wycliffe has assigned to us.

How can we help?
God has called us to the work of Bible translation, but we can’t do it alone. We need people who can pray for us, encourage us, and support us financially. All Wycliffe missionaries raise 100% of their own financial support. We are relying on God to provide through the gifts of interested individuals and churches.

What’s next?

Our first assignment as members of Wycliffe is to develop a team of partners who will pray for us and support us financially. We invite you to consider joining our team. Please let us know of your interest by completing our online Invitation to Partnership.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

We Are Now Members of Wycliffe

On June 1, we became approved members of Wycliffe Bible Translators. This means that we are now approved to begin partnership development and finalize our placement in Papua New Guinea. We also expect to be approved by Assemblies of God World Missions in November, which will give us ‘dual citizenship’ as Wycliffe missionaries and Assemblies of God missionaries. In October we will go to Orlando, Florida for two weeks to complete Wycliffe’s EQUIP training. At EQUIP we will learn more about Wycliffe’s history and mission and how to develop a partnership team to support the work God has called us to.

Tornado Morning
This summer we drove cross-country to the University of North Dakota to complete our initial linguistics training. The kids enjoyed seeing the country as we stopped at Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore, Bear World (in eastern Idaho), and the Crazy Horse Memorial. In North Dakota, we stayed in two adjacent dorm rooms with Jacob and Bella in one and Adam, Martha, and Asher in the other. The kids had a fabulous time as they were surrounded 24/7 by other kids their age. The weather was nice overall, but we did experience a couple of tornado warnings that restricted us to the basement until the danger passed. Jacob proceeded to tell everyone about the ‘tornado morning’, which just goes to show you how easily things can get lost in translation and why we needed to study linguistics in the first place.

Which Language?
Many people have asked us what language we studied while we were at the University of North Dakota. Actually, linguistics is the study of language in general. Adam took four courses including Phonetics (speech sounds from around the world), Second Language Acquisition (how to learn language like babies do), Sociolinguistics (how language is used in society), and Syntax & Morphology (sentence diagramming to the extreme). Martha’s primary focus was providing childcare for six energetic 8 to 11 year olds. She was also able to take Phonetics in her ‘spare’ time.

So, Which Language?
Aside from asking about what language we supposedly studied this summer, many people have also asked us what language we will be working with in Papua New Guinea. We actually won’t know the language group we are working with until after our arrival in Papua New Guinea. This will give us a chance to make sure that whatever group we work with is a good fit for us and for the group itself.

Thank You!
We are so thankful for the many people who have demonstrated their support for us in a variety of ways. Many of you have expressed a desire to support us financially, and we thank you for helping take the first steps toward raising our budget. Many have also kept us in prayer, and prayed specifically for God to heal Martha’s heart. Your prayers have been answered. Others opened their homes to us in North Dakota and on our trip cross-country. Everyone at Covina Assembly went above and beyond to make our time in North Dakota happen. Still others have encouraged us by letting us know that they believe in us and what we are doing. We’ve been brought to tears by your outpouring of love and support, and we thank God that He has brought us into contact with so many people that love us and care about us the way you do.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

We Are Now Members of Wycliffe

We are now official members of Wycliffe Bible Translators. Usually Wycliffe requires completion of the first summer of linguistics courses before permitting candidates to become members, but I guess they made an exception in our case. What this means is that we are cleared to continue our final training in Orlando in October and that we can receive donations to our ministry.

Classes at the University of North Dakota are going really well. I am taking Second Language Acquisition, Articulatory Phonetics, Sociolinguistics, and Syntax & Morphology. Martha is taking Articulatory Phonetics and doing childcare for the eight to eleven year olds. Classes are very enjoyable and will serve us extremely well as we learn a language on the field that no foreign speaker has ever studied in any depth. The campus here is beautiful. The picture below was taken just behind our dorm.

If you would like to support our work of Bible Translation, you can do so by making a check payable to "Wycliffe Bible Translators" and include a separate note to indicate that it is "for the ministry of Adam & Martha Boyd (Account 240144)." The mailing address is listed below. Later on we should be set up to receive one-time and/or recurring gifts online.

Wycliffe Bible Translators
P.O. Box 628211
Orlando, FL 32862-8211

Please continue to pray for a full recovery for Martha's heart. Her echocardiogram is scheduled for August 23. We should know within a couple weeks after her test how much of her heart function has been restored. We will be sure to let everyone know how her heart is doing as soon as we find out.

Thank you for all of your prayers and support.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

We're Becoming Bible Translators

Martha and I have some exciting news to share. We have just received initial approval to become missionaries through the Assemblies of God's partnership with Wycliffe Bible Translators.

It all started ten years ago when we were living in Quito, Ecuador. I had just committed my life to Jesus Christ when God planted a vision in my heart to share His word with people who had no access to the Bible in their own language. Little did I know that there are more than two thousand people groups in the world that don't have access to even one verse of Scripture in their own language.

On two occasions in the past, Martha and I began exploring the possibility of doing Bible translation before giving in to our fear of the unknown. How would we raise the funds we needed? Where would our kids go to school? Would we be safe overseas? How could we leave all of our family and friends and go to a distant, unknown land?

I decided to read a booklet entitled Affirming the Will of God so that I could receive some guidance. The booklet said that most of us, if we are honest, seek God's will so that we can decide whether or not we should follow it. What we should do, however, is decide in advance to follow God's will whatever it may be. I started praying that way and telling God that I would do whatever He wanted me to do, no matter what it was. Right away, God placed Bible translation back in my heart, and we knew we just had to step out in faith and trust that God would take care of us, despite not having the answers to our questions.

Our faith was put to the test when, on January 2, Martha suffered an exceedingly rare heart attack related to her recent pregnancy. We considered postponing our plans, but as we sought God's direction, we didn't feel that God was saying, "No," or "Not yet," but rather, "Keep moving forward."

As Bible translators, we will work with one of the more than two thousand people groups that have no access to the Bible in their own language. Because most of these languages are not written, our first step would be to work with native speakers to develop an alphabet. The next step would be to work with native speakers to translate the New Testament from the original Greek to the target language. Finally, we would promote the use of Scripture through literacy training, audio recordings, and other media formats.

The process of becoming Bible translators is rather lengthy. We have already completed the application process with Wycliffe Bible Translators and received a formal invitation to serve in Papua New Guinea, a country of just under seven million people and just over eight hundred language groups! On May 28 we will go to the University of North Dakota for about ten weeks so that I can complete my initial linguistics training. In November, we should receive our assignment to work with a specific people group as well as final approval from Assemblies of God World Missions. Thus we will be able to maintain our connection with the Assemblies of God while working with Wycliffe Bible Translators in the field. Once our approvals and assignment are finalized, we will focus our efforts on raising monthly support commitments with the goal of leaving for the field in the beginning of 2012.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle we have yet to jump is Martha’s health. We will find out by September if her heart has recovered enough to allow us to serve overseas. Please pray for complete healing for her heart and that no further medical intervention will be necessary to ensure her ongoing health. Pray also for the kids that they will have a smooth transition to life in North Dakota. And if there is any way we can pray for you, please let us know.

We expect to have support accounts established with Wycliffe Bible Translators in August and Assemblies of God World Missions in November.