Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Peterson's November Newsletter

Gary here: You just never know who will walk through your doors. I’ve heard that expression many times at Wycliffe—even said it a few times myself—but this autumn we’ve had some of our most amazing visitors. It started with a phone call from a colleague. “Gary, we have some special guests showing up at WordSpring in 30 minutes from _____ (country name withheld for security purposes). Can you give them a tour and tell them about our work? They know nothing about Bible Translation.” “I’m available,” I replied. Two+ hours later the two men (leaders in the underground church) thanked me again and again and said how much they had learned.
Pray for long term results from this visit.

A week later a colleague, Chris, was to lead the regular 10am tour of Wycliffe. This day no one showed up. She was about to go back to her desk when our visitors center received a call
from someone saying they were on their way, but running late. Chris felt compelled to wait. Eventually 3 Americans and 3 Romanians showed up. Ironically Chris and her husband first got interested in missions after a trip to Romania. It turns out that the three Romanians were gypsies, commissioned by the King of the gypsies to visit Wycliffe and see if we would come
and translate the Bible for his people. He had become a Christian and wanted his people to have
God’s Word in their language. They said there are around 4.8 million gypsies in Romania and 8.1 million throughout Europe speaking many different distinct languages. These are just two stories from the thousands of visitors we’ve had this year, and you have had a part in many of them through us. If you haven’t seen the WordSpring website yet, please check it out: www.wycliffe.org/Wordspring.

I am enjoying my new role as Youth and Young Adult program director at the Wycliffe USA headquarters. We’ve been running our 4.5 hour A-Z mission education program for elementary school kids for several years now, but we haven’t had anything “official” for older students until recently. As word is getting out, we are having more students come to our new “Mission Encounter” program for middle schoolers to College age. It has been a blast to watch them get excited and make comments like “I thought this was going to be a boring field trip about the Bible, but it was a lot of fun—and I learned something too!” Now that’s what we like to hear. In one month alone we had visits from over 200 college students from all over the mid west and east coast. These were hand picked student leaders with groups like the Navigators, Campus Crusade and Campus Outreach. I have no doubt we’ll see some of them in the future joining us in Bible Translation.

Robyn here: Esther had a successful first semester at Trinity College of Florida* and returned in August to continue her preparations for ministry. She is grateful for a part-time job in the college office to help with expenses. She loved the chance to be a part of a team from the college that did a 10-day mission trip to Costa Rica during Spring Break. Using Spanish again was a highlight, and she enjoyed the ministry to women and children. She is really enjoying her studies and fellow students.

Earlier this year Josiah led a Truth Project small group study for 14 weeks. It was a stimulating experience with some 20 participants (youth and adults). He took his leadership role very seriously and did a great job. He expects to continue taking new groups through this thought-provoking, worldview curriculum in the years to come. He also had a special opportunity to attend a 10-day National Student Leadership Conference on US Policy and Politics in Washington DC this past summer. That was a great learning experience! He was excited to meet Florida Congressman, Dave Weldon, during the conference. It’s been fun to see Josiah discovering his passions and interests. He is now a Junior (11th grader) in the International Baccalaureate program. He looks forward to getting his drivers’ license soon.

In May we took on the daunting project of reroofing our house. With a lot of help from friends, we managed to get most of it completed before we left on a 5-week trip. We drove over 9,000 miles and had some wonderful reunions with ministry partners, relatives and friends we hadn’t seen for 4 years or more. The kids traveled with us and it was a rich family time as we shared the experiences and visits together.

My mother was diagnosed with bladder cancer 5 years ago. When tests showed that it had become a lot more invasive and aggressive, and other health issues were a concern, I found it difficult to be so far away. We decided that I needed to return for a visit, to help her and to assess her needs. I left on July 25th and spent a month with her. It proved very timely because she got results that necessitated some big decisions. I was also privileged to help my sister, Jenny, who had a baby boy while I was there. Mum decided to have radical surgery to remove her bladder rather than letting untreated pelvic cancer run its course. She had it on September 21st, and I returned for another month to support her through the ordeal. Apart from some relatively minor complications, she has done really well and is making a good recovery. I’m grateful that Gary and Josiah were willing to have me absent again for this length of time. Gary’s mother came over from California to help out while I was away.

On November 15th, I will officially become a US citizen as I go through the oath ceremony. Thanks to those who have prayed me through this process and helped to make it possible financially. It will make any future overseas assignments a lot easier. I will also be able to retain my Australian citizenship.

Thanks to those of you who write to us. We cherish your friendship! We have seen God at work in so many ways lately, and He has used many of you, our friends, as channels of blessing to us. May you continue to experience God at work in and around you in the coming days.
Love in Him, Gary & Robyn Peterson

* Working with Wycliffe, we often see people wanting to get involved in missions who have large college loans to pay off. This makes support raising a real challenge. Esther has had to take out a loan to help with college costs (though we’re grateful that she has received some scholarships). She has plans to go into missions after college, and we would love to see her graduate without the burden of financial debts to pay off at that stage. If God lays it on your heart to help with this, we would love to hear from you.
Home: 4418 Lake Trudy Dr. • Saint Cloud, FL 34769 USA
Email: Home: gary-robyn_peterson@wbt.org • Office: gary_peterson@wycliffe.org
For Finances:
Wycliffe Bible Translators • PO Box 628200 • Orlando, FL 32862-8200 USA
Wycliffe Bible Translators • 70 Graham Rd. • Kangaroo Ground, VIC 3097 AUSTRALIA


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