Apple Creek United Methodist Church
269 W. Main St, P. O. Box 265, 
Apple Creek Ohio 44606, Phone 330-698-3101,
eMail: office@applecreekumc.com

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Pastor Kenn Curren
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Doug and Beth Wright are our Missionaries in Africa. Doug is the son of Lois and Harry Wright, lifetime members of our Apple Creek United Methodist Church.

Doug and Beth Wright have served in the Eastern Congo Group for over two decades in a variety of roles including Translation Coordinator and Literacy Coordinator. They have worked with ten translation projects in program planning, training and consulting. Doug is currently a remote translation consultant helping the Logo team to finish their New Testament translation for 400,000 Logo speakers. After 18 years of translation (including 10 years of civil war), they hope to finish the final manuscript by mid-2014. After that, Doug plans to work in capacity building, including training translators and consultants and helping to start new projects. Doug and Beth have had unexpected medical costs, donations are appreciated.

Doug and Beth’s Secure Donation Page on Wycliffe’s Website,
https://www.wycliffe.org/partner/69C28C 

please scroll or page down for more             

Bible Translation in the Democratic Republic of Congo,
Wycliffe Bible Translators, Orlando FL 32862-8200
beth-doug_wright@sil.org

NOTE:
Doug and Beth's ACUMC webpage is composed of several emails I've received from Doug and Beth.  Earlier emails as you page down . . .

This email received August 2nd, 2014 from Doug in Africa . . .
Hello!

I, Doug, just returned from my June 10 to July 25 consulting trip to Isiro, DRC to work with the Logo team to finish the team work on the Logo New Testament manuscript before typesetting and publication. Through God's grace and many faithful prayers, we were able to complete 100% of our goals, including all of the work requiring face-to-face interaction with the team. As you'll see under "Plans" below, the team and I still have about two months of work (Aug-Sep) to finalize Colossians and Hebrews, to incorporate remaining modifications to key biblical terms and recommendations from the final read-through at Todro, to keyboard the rest of the supplementary materials, and to run the Paratext checks again before moving on to typesetting (hopefully Oct).

  
Photo received from Doug, August 1, 2014.

The Lord protected us and our families physically and spiritually and intervened miraculously when some of our family members were suffering. As a result, we were able to work 40 days (including Saturdays) with none of us missing a single day, and we finished on time the last day. After 18 years of translation (including 10 years of civil war), we can definitely now see the first rays of the new day dawning when the Logo people will receive God's Word in their heart language for the first time! 

Goals accomplished:

  • The Logo team and I met with the Logo Theological Commission for four days (especially key church leaders, Pastor Lalima and Monseigneur Malitano), in order to review about 70 changes to key biblical terms in Logoti proposed by the Commission. Through the Spirit's leading and unity, we agreed on about 20 changes which will definitely improve the quality, with the other 50 key terms remaining unchanged for exegetical reasons.
  • All epistles (except Colossians and Hebrews) and Revelation, along with their introductions, were finalized. The remaining two epistles will be finalized remotely via Paratext.
  • The team revised the glossary, and composed and revised the preface. The team selected all the illustrations and translated captions.
  • Planned the remaining steps to prepare the manuscript and to complete typesetting, including communications with the team.
  • Planned repatriation of the team to the Logo region, setting up communications, transportation of 20,000 Logo NTs, Scripture use promotion activities, and the Logo NT dedication, hopefully in early 2016.
  • Committed signficant time with the Logo team daily for prayer and mutual encouragement.

Plans: 

1) Remaining manuscript preparation (Aug-Sep, 2014):

  • Finalize Colossians & Hebrews via Paratext (Doug & team)
  • Integrate remaining changes to key biblical terms and recommendations from the final read-through (Doug)
  • Keyboard and review glossary changes and preface (Doug)
  • Prepare spreadsheet of illustrations & captions (Doug)
  • Run computer consistency checks again before typesetting (Doug)

2) Repatriation of the Logo team & families (late Sep):

  • Reserve MAF flights for team and their families (Aguma, Freddy)
  • Set up communication system at Todro via cell modem (Aguma)

3) Typesetting (hopefully Oct):

  • Doug work with Phil Leckrone to schedule and complete typesetting at Waxhaw, NC

4) Transportation of 20,000 Logo NTs from Mombasa, Kenya to Todro, DRC (late-2015)

  • Doug to provide better estimates of shipment weight, volume and timing, and method for transferring funds
  • Aguma coordinate shipping, customs and storage

5) Scripture use promotion activities and Logo New Testament dedication (Mar 2016)

  • Aguma work with Bettina to plan and implement Scripture promotion seminars for pastors focusing on key biblical terms in Logoti (2015)
  • Aguma coordinate reprinting of the Logo hymn book (2015)
  • Aguma work with Logo Committee and church leaders to plan the Logo NT dedication (Mar 2016)

As always, the Lord in his grace raised up many members of the Body of Christ to provide everything that was needed to accomplish his purpose: faithful prayer, protection, encouragement, direction, support for our families, sacrificial giving, collaboration of partners, local participation, many support roles, transportation, logistics and housing. We are so thankful to Him and to all of you who helped to bring His Word one huge step closer to the Logo people's hands and hearts! 

Blessings in Christ,
Doug

This email received Monday, June 16th, 2014.

Hello!
Doug and I were able to SKYPE yesterday: he could see me on video and I could hear (but not see) him. It was a good conversation, well, except for the bit about his recent intestinal problems :-0 . Not good to have this issue in the first week of a 7 1/2 week trip. 
Thanks for praying for his healing!
However, on the Logo New Testament translation work, Doug said they made “good progress. Adara and I completed final read-through/revision of five chapters of Revelation. Aguma and Madra are doing their evaluation of my (Doug’s) suggestions for Galatians, Ephesians and Philippians.”

I thought it was quite amusing when Doug described “Interruptions are at a minimum, at about 20 per day.” Doug then wrote that he thinks the team and anyone coming to ask for things are getting the message that we are totally absorbed in finishing this.”  (Can you imagine trying to complete extremely technical work with folks dropping by all day for a chat – reconnecting, needing a job, or health care, or school fees, or repair needs, or even just to say “hi” ?)   

From Tues. June 17 – Thurs. June 19 there will be crucial meetings as the Logo translation team of Aguma, Madra, Adara, and Doug as Senior translation consultant, with Rev. Pastor Lalima, Catholic leaders, and other Protestant leaders involved in the Logo New Testament translation project will meet for three days to make final approvals on the Logo Key Terms.  Please pray for God’s discernment and wisdom and especially for unity as they review, discuss and make final decisions.

Thanks for praying!  Beth & Doug Wright

Earlier emails and photos below . . .

I just returned from another consultant visit with the Logo team from May 28 to June 21 in Isiro. This trip was anything but uneventful as we experienced mechanical problems with the plane on the way to Isiro, challenges on the homefront, amazing spiritual support from the other CITBA teams and from our supporters, and a constant sense of unity and God's special grace among the Logo team members and me. Another highlight was that we were able to almost double our speed in this final editing step to more than two chapters per day (for material that both the team and I had prepared in advance). We completed the final editing for all of Matthew and the last part of John, making signficant changes from the previous versions checked more than ten years ago. The team and I agree that this is the best quality we've ever produced, and that we've now done all that we can do for this material (except for the cursory final technical checks). Thanks to help from SIL colleagues Serge, Paul and John, we've started using the Paratext Send/Receive tool to share the manuscript, adjust permissions, and have more reliable backup. We plan to use this tool to accomplish most of the final editing for Luke and Acts remotely before my next visit. 

Goals accomplished:

  • Completed the final editing of all of Matthew and John 14-21 (36 chapters total) focusing on comprehensibility (information structure), naturalness, consistent translation style, consistent use of Key Biblical Terms, and correcting most spelling, punctuation and formatting errors.
  • Began using Paratext Send/Receive tool to share and backup the text throughout the session.
  • Reviewed and approved a model introduction for Matthew.
  • Updated our translation plan to complete  the final editing, supplementary materials, technical checks and the final read-through by March 2014.

Plans:

  • My next trip is tentatively planned for September 30 to October 25 in Isiro, including the Technical Checks Workshop 9/30 to 10/11 at Magambe Center.
  • Use Paratext Send/Receive to complete most of the final editing for Luke and Acts and half of the introductions remotely before my next visit.
  • Prepare for the Technical Checks Workshop, then meet with the team in October to finalize Luke, Acts, half of the intros, and perhaps start Revelation.

  On our last Saturday together, the Logo guys and I invited their wives to a celebration to show our deep appreciation for their important roles in this ministry. Before the big feast (which the guys arranged), Aguma, Madrakele and Adara each shared how much their wife's support had encouraged and enabled them, especially through difficult times including the deep sorrow of losing chidlren.  When the wives had their turn, Andiru said to Aguma, "You've said some things to me today that you've never told me in our 20-some years of mariage." Aguma smiled sheepishly and said to me, "You know us African men don't usually share intimate feelings like this with our wives." (I immediately thought of some things that I needed to share with Beth as soon as I got home.) Then each husband presented to his wife and put on her a beautiful prayer shawl, lovingly made by the women of one of our supporting churches. The wives were beaming. Then after praying, Aguma spontaneously served food to his wife first including serving her the first spoonful, and the other husbands followed suit. The wives were again deeply moved and had permanent smiles etched on their faces. At the end, I shared with the couples a bit about trials, saying that if we make it to the end of this New Testament translation, it will be because each couple allowed the Lord to bring them together as one and work through them. And the same thing is true for the Logo team, for Beth and me and our family, and for the entire team that the Lord has raised up to bring his Word to the Logo people.

 I want to express special thanks to Paul and Laurel who again took me in as one of their own, and even entrusted their home to me after leaving for vacation.

 In Christ alone,     Doug (also for the Logo team)

The great news is that on Friday February 8, 2013, the Logo translation team and I reached a major milestone in the Logo project...we finished the translation consultantcheck of the entire Logo New Testament!!!

Aguma, Adara, Madrakele and I, Doug, have been working in Isiro, DR Congo this month to complete the checking of the book of Mark, thus completing the entire Logo New Testament. We have now worked on every book, every chapter, every verse and every word, we’ve discussed our ideas on each and agreed on our near-final version. So we stopped and just looked at each other. It was as if 17+ years of sweat, pain, tears and joy flashed through our minds and then we couldn’t stop giving each other high-fives and hugs. It was one of those moments that would’ve been great to capture on camera or video...but only the Lord, the angels, and maybe you through your prayers caught a glimpse of it. The last words of Mark that we checked and polished say in Logoti:

“So his disciples went out proclaiming the Good News in every place.
The Lord worked with them and showed that his word that they were proclaiming was the truth through the miracles that he did through them.”

Mark 16:20

Now we’ve entered the year or so of final editing, especially to bring the older books up to the same high level of quality, as well as complete all the other pre-publication steps. We’re still hoping to send off the final manuscript by March 2014, and to have the Logo New Testament type-set, printed and shipped back to the Logo region and ready for the big dedication ceremony by May 2015.

Speaking of miracles...last Tuesday the guys and I were on our way home on our rickety old one-speed bicycles after a grueling day of checking. I was leading the way at a good clip on the dirt road through the city of Isiro, scanning all the motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians as we approached a busy intersection – not to mention about a dozen motorcycle taxis blocking part of the road waiting for customers. Quickly checking all directions, I started my left turn when I suddenly realized that an oncoming motorcycle was bearing down on me a lot faster than I had realized. I tried to swerve back right, but he made the same move, then I swerved left and so did he. Suddenly our eyes met and we both knew we were going to collide. An image flashed through my mind of me lying on the ground bloodied and with broken bones. Then my last thought that I now know was from the Lord, as crazy as it might seem was, “Hit him straight on!” Then...Bam!! We crashed head-on! I felt my bike being driven backward and my body jerking forward, and then suddenly my thoughts cleared and amazingly, I found myself standing straddling my bike! I looked over my shoulder and there was the motorcycle and rider sprawled on the road. Then it hit me...we had hit each other exactly in the center of our front tires. A miracle! I checked myself over and saw only a small scratch on my ankle. My computer bag was still hanging on my back with all the translation work intact. The teenaged driver of the motorcycle was getting up and seemed to be ok. I looked up at the crowd around us who were just staring with their mouths hanging open. Then some of the taxi men started arguing, accusing either me or the boy of being at fault. I thought immediately that this could turn into a nasty situation and that I or both of us could end up being fined or even arrested. Logo Project Director and fellow cyclist Aguma stepped in and tried to calm down the crowd, but they ignored him. All eyes were on me, still standing over my bike in the middle of the intersection, so I took a chance and admitted my part in the accident. Then one guy in the crowd shouted out, “Go back to where you came from!” I ignored him and the Lord gave me the words in Bangala, “Ngai, nazali paka komona oyo. Nzambe asili kobikisa bisu mibale, mpe nazali kokumisa ye!” (“As for me, all I can see is that God has saved us both, and I’m praising him for it!”) Everyone became quiet. After straightening my badly bent front wheel, the Logo guys and I rode on through the crowd.

When we arrived home, Aguma noted the day and time in his planner as yet another reminder of how the Lord has miraculously intervened in our lives so many times and in so many ways, in order to bring his Word to the Logo people. I don’t know who was praying for us last Tuesday morning February 5, USA time, but I know that the Lord heard your prayers and worked powerfully among us! Regardless of when you may have prayed, we are deeply grateful.


Love and blessings,
Doug Wright, for Beth and for the Logo team of Aguma, Adara and Madrakele

p.s. When Aguma took my bike in for repairs, they found not only the front wheel badly bent, but both the front fork stem and handle-bar stem were broken almost clean through.

Earlier emails below:

Dear family and friends,

Just ready to start my third week here in D.R. Congo, after spending two weeks helping to train six translation teams near Bunia, then arriving at Isiro to work with the Logo team for two weeks checking the book of Romans. Thanks to Beth for the e-mail updates summarizing our very sporadic cellphone calls from the country-side outside of Bunia. Amazing that we even connected since

Photo at right, left to right.
Doug, Adara, and Stew

I had to go outside at night and point the phone in just the right direction while listening for her voice on the other end. (She did get a little confused in her last update between "wolf spiders" and what our family used to call "bird moths", but I'll let her clear that one up. Note from Beth: Yes, I must have had brain freeze or something and I mixed up "wolf spiders" and "bird moths". The moths WERE as large as a small bird, and the wolf spiders were scary, but much smaller. SORRY. Both were creepily dis-gusting in the Todro house.)

 
The training seminar for the six teams was a real success! All of them worked with consultants to discover their languages' dis-course rules for telling natural stories in order to help them produce more natural translations. I taught in French for three days, then consulted mainly with the Logo team. We definitely got a better grip on the rules that the Logos use (subconsciously) to introduce par-ticipants, track them throughout the story, highlight major developments, build up to the climax, then unravel the tension with the dé-nouement. These rules will greatly help us when we get to the final polishing of the gospels (since they're mostly narrative genre).


I had the privilege of working one day with three pastors from the Lese language, which is spoken by a few hundred thou-sand speakers, including the Efe pygmies, scattered across the north-eastern part of the Congo rain forest. They had started a Bible translation project more than 20 years ago, but unfortunately it stalled due to a missionary having to leave, then 12 years of civil war. Amazingly, six Leses made it to the seminar, three of whom have now entered a translation training program in Bunia. All of the six trav-eled up to 100 miles by bicycle on muddy rain forest trails with very little food or money in order to catch a MAF plane to the seminar. I'm often amazed at the sacrifices many Congolese are willing to make to have God's Word in their own languages, all while eeking out a living on the edge of survival!


After the seminar, had an interesting flight from Bunia to a gold-mining airstrip near Watsa to drop off the Lese guys. We took off two hours late, due to heavy thunderstorms, in a Cessna Caravan with 11 passengers and MAF pilot, Joey Lincoln. I got to sit in the co-pilot seat which resulted in some amazing panoramic views flying through the mountains north of Bunia. Joey was doing a great job picking his way around thunderstorms, when we were suddenly faced with an entire wall of black clouds. Now I've been told by other pilots that flying through a big thunderstorm can shake a small plane to pieces, so it didn't take me very long to start praying. Joey did a complete about face and descended 3000 feet in a tight spiral trying to find some way out. I was hoping there weren't any tall mountain peaks around that Joey didn't know about. We dropped under the huge black cloud bank flying about 500 feet above the ground. We were still in heavy rain, but Joey kept heading toward any sign of lighter sky. After ten minutes or so, we suddenly broke out of the darkness into sunshine! I thanked the Lord, and Joey for his perseverance, since we were just about to turn back not knowing that the storm, which seemed so dark, wasn't all that deep. (Might be a spiritual analogy there.)


In closing, I'd like to share the final statement from the recent Lausanne Congress of global church and mission leaders that just met in Cape Town, South Africa: 

"We commit ourselves afresh to making the Bible known by all means possible, through the ongoing task of translating, dissemi-nating and teaching the scriptures in every culture and language, including those that are predominantly oral or non-literary. For the sake of the gospel of Christ, we recommit ourselves to prove our love for God’s word by believing and obeying it. There is no biblical mission without biblical living. O God of mercy and grace, strengthen us by your Spirit to do your will."


That's pretty much what we're about - including those sending, going and praying!


I received this email from Doug on Monday, April 4th, 2011.

Dear Praying Team,

The Logo team and I never cease to be amazed at God's grace and the power of prayer as we've just finished another three-week plus checking session in Isiro in March.
Just before my arrival in Isiro, Adara and Madrakele returned from a two-week trip to Todro during which the Lord allowed them to re-energize the Logo Reviewers' Committee (they checked 2 Corinthians, 2 Peter and the first half of Romans) and encourage the Logo Committee and local church community.

The Logo Committee and church really seem to be getting the message that this is a crucial time for them to engage in prayer to see the Logo New Testament translation brought to completion! Unfortunately, Adara was struck by a severe case of Malaria upon returning to Isiro. I arrived to find him looking emaciated, having lost more than 10 pounds from his already thin frame. He had been late treating the agressive case, and then had to be given quinine injections and an IV to restore fluids. When Aguma and I prayed for him and Hélène, a spirit of fear was so strong it was almost palpable. I sent off an e-mail prayer request that night and the Spirit mobilized prayer within hours across the globe (eventually reaching our churches in the US, Stewart's churches in the UK, ECG, AFA, JAARS, and beyond). By the next morning, Adara told me that the spirit of fear was broken and that he and Hélène knew they had complete healing in Christ! He recovered progressively from that day, gained back all the lost weight, and rejoined us in the checking session within a week. More importantly, the whole team has even more confidence in our victory in the spiritual battle through Christ.

Here is what the Lord allowed us to accomplish:
  • Final eight chapters of Romans polished and checked. Pastor Lalima read through it and said, "Now the team has really found the mark! I have little to add to improve it." We do not take that as praise for us, but of the Spirit's work through us, and as an encouragement to all who support us through prayer and in practical ways.
  • First three chapters of Galations team-checked, polished and checked. This material had only been first-drafted when I arrived (due to the entire team taking their one-month annual vacation and Adara and Madrakele's trip). So we split up into two groups to do the team check, polishing, and my check. For the remaining three chapters, we may try using Skype, Paratext and Bumgar for the first time to do most of the check remotely (if the Isiro V-Sat gets up and running).
  •  Updated the translation process and plan. We're now at 84% of the NT consultant-checked, and continue to be on track with the plan for the past two years.
     
  • We noted 28 new discoveries/decisions that we will add to our translation documents (grammar, orthography, key terms, etc.) in order to continually improve quality.
As always, the Logo team and I would like to thank all who helped us practically and who interceded in prayer for us!
 
Blessings in Christ,   Doug
 

Sent: Sunday, June 26, 2011 11:04 AM
Subject: Arrived in Entebbe


Dear Beth and kids,  Arrived safely in Entebbe after 33 hours of travel. Thankfully, no surprises and no problems.

Today, had my own little worship service under the trees
with Bible reading and prayer in French - the guard probably thinks I've got a screw or two loose, but that's OK with me. Then had a nice relaxing afternoon poolside. Met quite a few Americans - some of whom work for our government - but couldn't tell me exactly what they do...hmmm!

Getting ready to fly on to Congo tomorrow. MAF-Congo changed their schedule, so I fly all the way from Entebbe to Bunia to Isiro tomorrow. That will make it a long day in small planes, but great to get one more working day in Isiro. I've let Aguma and the others in Isiro know.

By the way, Aguma says Madrakele has Malaria and Adara is suffering from a back problem, so they will need prayer and God's grace to dive into the translation checking work. I should get a better feel for how everyone's doing tomorrow.

Talk to ya soon! Love and blessings,  Doug
 

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