June 2011

June 30, 2011:
Dear Friends in Christ,

Last month I asked for prayer for the second round of IT Connect training workshops, which took place in early June.  Praise the Lord with us that the training was a success and the participants gained valuable experience during the full two weeks of courses.  The trainers and students knew that many people were praying for them and they expressed their gratitude.  I would have loved to take part as a trainer but I stayed in Waxhaw, NC to attend Nick’s high school graduation, and I had a hand in developing some of the courses that were taught.

Speaking of Nick, Krista and I are proud parents as he graduated from high school and now plans his next steps.  We spent a few days taking him to Liberty University and attending orientation.  We all came away feeling like this is the right place for Nick to start college, and we feel a peace from the Lord about it.  Nick was able to get some of his questions answered in regards to his major of Industrial and Systems Engineering.  He might switch to something else later – Amanda switched 5 times before she settled on her major!  But he knows this is a good starting point and for the first year he has a lot of flexibility in his classes.  I was very impressed with Liberty’s commitment to the well being of the students, not just academically but in their spiritual health as well.  Thank you for praying for Nick and his college decisions!

One specific prayer request we have is for Krista’s migraine headaches.  They have been manageable in past months, but this month they have flared up again with a number of long and intense migraines.  The pain killers that she takes help, and she has been under some abnormal stress this month so she thinks that is a contributing factor.  Please pray that the Lord would provide relief from these strong headaches.

Following Nick’s graduation and upon return from his college orientation, I flew to Dallas along with my coworker, Craig for business meetings.  I won’t bore you with the details, but our time there was well spent and I would call it a very successful trip.  Rather than flying back to Charlotte, NC I flew up to Detroit, MI for just $42 more.  Since the mission had covered the cost of the normal flight to Dallas and back to Charlotte, I just paid this extra amount out of my pocket.  It was much less than the fuel cost to drive from NC to MI!

My brother met me at Detroit Metro and drove me to my elderly father’s house near Adrian where I’m currently staying until July 5.  As my father’s health and mind are slowly slipping I felt it important to visit him, help out with his medical transportation needs, and do some evaluation of his situation as he now lives alone.  I’m able to do quite a bit of work remotely, so this is not a vacation for me but Wycliffe is allowing me to flex my time, working in the evenings and off and on throughout the day around Dad’s various doctor appointments and errands.  I might need to do more of this from time to time in the future.  Krista is staying in NC with Nick and Amanda.

Our family would appreciate your prayers for Dad Scott and for us to have wisdom and sense the Lord’s leading about how to make sure he is well cared for and safe.  Our family so appreciates my step-sister Sally – the only family member who lives nearby.  She does the lion’s share of reverse-parenting care for Dad, stopping in to check on him throughout the week and helping with cleaning, lawn care, banking and all the other normal duties of life.

I have a lot of news to report in this update!  While I don’t want to make it longer, I do have some exciting information to share about the Remote Connectivity project that my team has been working on over the last year.  As I had outlined before, this project is a joint venture between three Wycliffe-related mission organizations:
   JAARS (providing the base technology design),
   The Seed Company (providing major funding and coordinating the field translation work),
   and Wycliffe Associates (coordinating the volunteer teams to deliver and install the equipment.)

Usually the “Good News” that Wycliffe is translating does not make it into the public news sector, but we were happy to see a brief article about this project in CNN’s Religion blog a few weeks ago.  To read the CNN article you can click this link for CNN's blog site.

As I was reviewing it, I read some of the comments that people posted online.  I expected to see some “Way to go!” and “Praise the Lord” comments, but unfortunately many of them are from people against Christianity, missionaries, and the Bible.  So read the comments at your own risk!  It’s a shame that so many people are missing the point and can cannot see for themselves how the Word of God is transforming lives in amazing ways!  God’s Word is as sharp as a double-edged sword, and many are offended by it because it points to truth and exposes our sins!

Ending on a positive note, my coworker Matt, who is coordinating the overall project from The Seed Company, provided a statistical summary of the impact that this project is making.  I have included his message below.  I am not sharing this to “toot my horn” but rather to point out what God is doing, and my teammates and I are blessed to be part of it!  Thank you for YOUR partnership in our ministry, thereby helping make it possible for Krista and I to serve the Lord.

For HIS Glory,
Hank & Krista Scott
Wycliffe Bible Translators

Note from Matt:

Message from Matt, IT Project Manager at The Seed Company [Hank’s edits in brackets]:

Hello Connectivity Team,

Here is a brief summary of what we have been able to accomplish together [by God’s grace!] so far this fiscal year.  Not everyone or any one group had their hand in each of these items. That’s part of what makes us a good team and makes these kinds of results possible.  I am constantly getting reports of immense gratitude from [translation] consultants who are now able to accomplish what they had always wanted to – helping their national colleagues build the Kingdom while they are not able to be present in the field. 

God’s work is being propelled forward at an astonishing rate and you had a hand in it.  Thanks for all your effort.

Total # of languages connected by our team in the last 8 ½ months: 98.  These languages have [a total of] 15.8 Million speakers.

Broken down [by type of connectivity]:
84 languages using 59 BGANs
  8 languages using 8 cell modems
  4 languages using 1 VSAT
  2 languages using 2 DSL connections

Other noteworthy accomplishments:
1. Establishment of Pooled usage contracts (3) expected to save $53,400 in data charges annually.
2. Setup and thorough testing of a VPN that restricts BGAN usage to only translation activities, estimated to save $120,000 annually.
3. Quality training materials developed for preparing deployment specialists – 20+ trained already.
4. Simplified user instructions developed in 7 languages to help Mother Tongue Translators and consultants use the new tools.
5. National IT colleagues from 9 countries trained to support BGAN technology.
6. Internet Connectivity setup at the NBTT campus in [an African country, specifics withheld for security] which serves 64 language translations.
7. Many other translation organizations are now looking to us for assistance in using BGAN technology.  We are being followed. [that is as we are on the cutting edge of using this technology in remote places.]

There is still much work to be done, so don’t look back for too long.
To God be ALL the glory,
Matt – TSC IT Project Manager