Chagall, Hori, and the Power of Prayer

Thank you for praying for Hori. I neglected to mention that he and Matsumoto had a trip planned to leave December 7 on a trip to SE Asia. Matsumoto is the board chair of the Asia Pacific Sign Language Development Association (APSDA), a group focused on Bible translation and Deaf language and community development in this broad region. He learned of (or helped make?) an opportunity in SE Asia, but APSDA had no funds to send him. Still, he saves all his airline miles, and buys everything he can on a mileage credit card, so used this to make a way to get there. (It’s not clear to us yet how in-country travel and accommodations will be cared for, but God has a handle on that part too.)

Which brings us to Hori. You know he is a consultant-in-training, with an internship sponsored by The Seed Company. So he has both a budget and a mandate to practice Bible translation consulting in other countries. You might also remember that he has a horrible time traveling, being unable to sleep well anywhere away from his familiar environment, and a stomach that likes the tried and true as well. And you know how bad his ear condition had gotten. As his official mentor, I was beginning to run through the inevitable worries, what with cheap tickets being hard to refund, and how to get the practicum in, and . . . .

Well, a few days ago, I got a surprise Skype call from him. Did I ever tell you he is a timid person? That he struggles with fear of making the wrong decision?  Nothing of that! He was committed, excited, and ready to go. Rarely have I seen his face so clear, radiant, and resolved. He was sure this trip was what God wanted for him. He had done all he could with various doctors to check things out and get the problem cared for before he went. (They couldn’t find any problem in the CT or the MRI, told him it was stress-related, but did give him something to help “take the water off.”) Now it was time to step out and and see what God has in store for him.

Chagall again:  Hori is living in the Isaac portion of the painting. One eye open, ready for what is coming, one eye closed in acceptance–living with the unknown; living in hope of resurrection. Pray for him. I know for myself that staying in the realm of thinking truth can be a struggle, and he will need our support. And pray that indeed,”He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to his mortal body through His Spirit who indwells him” (from Rom. 8:11).

And of course, don’t neglect to pray for Matsumoto too. He’ll be preaching four times. And for the Deaf of this country as they come together from various parts of the country to prepare to revolutionize Deaf culture with the life changing power of the Word of God. God has something amazing planned here, and I am eager to find out what that might be.
(PS  Here’s a link to the APSDA fund in case someone is interested in helping financially:  https://www.worldventure.com/sslpage.aspx?pid=984&fid=65415&fdesc=Asia+Pacific+Sign+Language+Development+Association-6486905
Put “SE Asia trip” or “SE Asia translation project” in the comment box depending on which you want to help out with. Or leave no comment and the funds will go to APSDA’s general budget.)

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About Mark and Mary Esther Penner

Mark works as an adviser and resource to a Japanese Sign Language Bible translation project that plays a key role in the worldwide sign language Bible translation movement. Mary Esther founded a non-profit organization that partners with local communities and organizations to collect, refurbish and send wheelchairs throughout Asia.
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