Kicking Off The Wycliffe Associates Banquet Tour

(4/10/2012) The tour has officially started. First stop –  Owensboro, Kentucky.

Day one: Arrived at the airport in Orlando, FL early only to get bumped from my flight to Indianapolis. After a 4.5 hour delay I was in the air. When I arrived I quickly picked up my luggage and met Noel Davis, my banquet area director. Noel and I had plenty of time to catch up and share stories during the long drive to Kentucky. When we finally arrived in Owensboro we checked into our rooms and got some sleep to be sharp for the next day.

Day two: Woke up and had a nice breakfast at McDonald’s. Afterward we left for the church to set up for the nights event. It didn’t take long to maneuver four tables, set up a screen and projector, sound system and display table. Once that was done we grabbed some lunch and went back to the hotel to relax a little. I also thought it would be a good idea to practice some more. I was beginning to get nervous.

The function of the banquet tour is to raise awareness and support for Bible translation projects at Wycliffe Associates. We start by serving dinner, usually catered by a local restaurant. Noel, who MC’s the event, will then show a series of videos and talk a little about the need for Bible translation and how you can be credited with being a part of the process. Once he’s done I get up and talk for 20 to 25 minutes, sharing my stories of how I was called into ministry and working with Bible translators around the world, setting them up with the technology needed to get translations done faster. Finally, a survey is filled out and a chance to give.

Sharing my stories of working with Bible translators on the WA Banquet Tour

As the time came closer for me to get up and speak I started to sweat. I wasn’t sure how I was going to give my opener. I fumbled and completely left out half of my intro. From there it got better but I still struggled at times to find my place because I tried making a last minute change. In all I went over by 4 minutes because my stories became a bit drawn out form poor pacing.

Still, I did receive some nice comments afterward so I know it wasn’t all bad. Three people signed up to receive my newsletters and a couple of people asked lots of questions which was encouraging to me. I especially liked some of the reactions I was getting as I shared. Hopefully things will improve as I go back to the way I originally practiced.

My talk goes something like this:

After the opener I start by sharing a fun food story while I was in Nigeria. This gets some good laughs and disgusted faces. From there I talk about my call to serve and what my role is with Wycliffe Associates. Then I get straight into some great stories which took place in Cameroon. After a flashback story of a friend who missed an opportunity to serve I take everyone back to Africa. Finally I end with an Is It Worth It All ending. This draws a lot of emotion from the crowd.

When we were all done we packed up, why it takes twice as long as the setup I’ll never know. As soon as we got back to the hotel around 11:00 p.m. I got to work writing thank you notes to those who signed up for my newsletters.

Sign up for my newsletter here: http://bit.ly/A6t5mE

Help support our ministry by making a donation here: http://bit.ly/wFtrVa

Today I’m happy to get some rest and a chance to write this blog entry. I’ll add more as the trip continues.

If you’re in the areas we’ll be at I’d love to have you stop by and hear what I have to say. Link here: http://bit.ly/Ih5qfA

Download (PDF, 36.38KB)

 

The Waiting Is Over

The time has finally arrived for me to share good news with you.

At the beginning of March I took a leap of faith to resign from a job I’ve held for the past nine years, to boldly answer God’s call and serve full-time as a missionary with Wycliffe Associates. Words cannot describe the emotions my family and I are feeling but they are powerful and good. Joy and excitement would be a good start but peace and contentment would be best. It’s the sense of peace that I most appreciate for it lets me know that God is in this with me. It’s seeing peace and calm within Shelly and the kids that comfort me. Knowing that we are answering God’s call together is amazing. I often wondered why it took so long but now know it was because we needed to be prepared for this journey. Thank you God for allowing us to be a part of your kingdom building process, may we reach many for You!

This post is part of a newsletter which can be downloaded here:

http://phillipharms.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Newsletter-March-2012-HQ.pdf

My new home at Wycliffe Associates - A cube with a view !

Thank You From Bafumen, Cameroon

I was excited to receive an unexpected email today from a stranger in Bafumen, Cameroon. I’m even more excited to share it with all of you because I want you to know the magnitude of the gratitude that is expressed by those who we help. Even a small gift means so much when you don’t have anything.

You see, during my last tech deployment I had a chance to speak with church leaders in the communities we visited. Pastor Eric Ngwainbi of the Imo Baptist Church shared what life is like for a member of his church. He shared the persecution that he and his church members suffer and the needs that they have. Those needs are great of course, they just don’t have the resources we have here.They don’t even have a Bible in their “heart” language yet but we’re working to change that. After all, that is the primary reason my team and I were there, to assist mother tongue translators with their technology needs.

           Pastor Eric Ngwainbi of the Imo Baptist Church

After our conversation I had the privilege to pass on a gift from members of my church, First Baptist Church of Eustis,  to his. Though the gift was small by American standards (it was the remainder of my trip money) it was enormous in terms of Cameroon and the stretching of a helping hand. I hope you will take a moment to read the email from the end recipient of this gift.

Dear Mr Harms and family,

We hope you are doing well. I’m a widow from Bafumen, North-west Cameroon. I want to thank you for the gift that you gave through pastor Eric Ngwainbi to the Baptist church Imo in December. You helped us install the bible translation office in Bafumen. We are very grateful. The pastor bought four savons to each widow. He told us that the savons came from you, also the students received two pens each. I personally want to say, may God provide more for you and your family.

Hope to see you again, and until then, we continue to remember you and your family in our prayers.

We wish you a long blessed life.

Greetings from Bafumen.
Christina Mua,

One last thing. Will you ask yourself how you can help? Would you consider a donation to a ministry that strives to put a Bible in the hands of those who need one – the least – the lost – the last? That little “Donate” button on this page has the potential to help millions just like Pastor Eric and Christina Mua.

Live Generously!

Tech Advance News – February 2012

Here is the latest news from the Technology Advancement Team at Wycliffe Associates. This report covers some of the projects members of the team have been working on from August 2011 through the beginning of February 2012. If you’re so inclined we would appreciate it if you could pray for this team as they work to assist Bible translation teams and advance God’s kingdom throughout the world.

Download (PDF, 1.96MB)

 

Wycliffe Associates Facts and Achievements for 2011

In March of 2011 I was called by God, through staff at Wycliffe Associates, to join a talented group of men and women who work diligently to advance Bible translation around the world. By June of that year I was on my first trip with WA to deploy BGAN satellite terminals and help improve communications for mother tongue translators and their translation teams in Nigeria. These communication tools speed up the translation process and help reduce the time to complete a translation project by years.

I have now been on several trips just like this because God has asked me to help advance His kingdom in a way that utilizes my talents. I’m doing my part to help Bible translators put the Word of God in a language the people understand best, a language that speaks to their “heart”. You can be apart of this challenge too by partnering with me through your prayer and finances. The Time Is Now to make Vision 2025 a reality!

FACTS ABOUT WYCLIFFE ASSOCIATES

Our Address:
Wycliffe Associates
11450 Translation Way
P.O. Box 620143
Orlando, FL 32862
www.wycliffeassociates.org

Who We Are:
Organized in 1967 by friends of Bible translators, Wycliffe Associates is a ministry accelerating the work of Bible translation around the world.

Our Ministry:
Wycliffe Associates accelerates the work of Bible translation by empowering people to provide the Good News in every heart language through their time, talents, and treasure. Because millions of people around the world are still waiting to read the Scriptures in the language of their heart, we are working as quickly as we can to translate every verse of God’s Word into every tongue to change every heart. We partner with nationals, Mother Tongue Translators, staff, volunteers, and supporters to direct and fund these efforts, as well as provide logistics, networking, and technical support. Through a growing global network, we are striving to overcome local limitations of time and resources to achieve the goal of beginning the translation of God’s Word in every remaining language that needs it by 2025.

2011 Achievements:

  • Accelerated the work of Bible translation in 77 countries
  • Mobilized 3,703 volunteer and staff members to advance the cause of Bible translation throughout the world
  • Improved hundreds of facilities for Bible translation around the world

Language/Translation Facts:

  • Languages currently spoken in the world: 6,837
  • Languages that need a Bible translation project started: 2,004
  • Languages that have Scripture: 2,684; of these, 471 have an adequate Bible, 1,211 have an adequate New Testament, and 1,002 have at least one book of the Bible
  • Total number of languages in which Bible translation is in progress: 2,175

Bring On The Heat! Thai Green Curry

I’m a huge fan of Asian food and southeast Asia is the food region I love most. For this dish I will focus on Thailand, a country I hope to visit someday soon. Thai food is full of flavor and spice and Green Curry won’t disappoint the taste buds. Once you eat this you’ll notice a variety of sensations, aroma, heat, velvety texture and some crunch so long as you don’t overcook the vegetables. Now that you’re all warmed up lets get to work.

Serve over rice. This recipe will makes enough for 4 or 5 people.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 Tbls Vegetable or Peanut Oil
  • 3 to 4 Tbls Green Curry Paste – The more the spicier – I use Maesri brand
  • 1 Can Coconut Milk (Cream if you like velvety)
  • 2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast – Sliced into bite sized pieces
  • A variety of vegetables (here is what I just used but feel free to substitute)
  • 1/2 Onion – Rough Chopped
  • 1 Tomato – Seeded and Rough Chopped
  • 1 Small Yellow Squash – Sliced lengthwise and then 1/4″ thick slices
  • 2 Carrots – 1/4″ thick slices
  • 1 Cup Chicken Broth
  • Sambal & Cilantro for garnish

Cooking Directions:

Cook rice while you’re preparing the curry.

Heat the oil in a wok over medium high heat and add the curry paste, stirring constantly. Cook for a minute or two then add 1/2 can of coconut milk and stir until well mixed. After another minute add the remaining coconut milk and stir until it comes to a bubble. Next, add the chicken and continue to stir for another 5 minutes. Now stir in the chicken broth and bring back until bubbling. Now add the vegetables (hold back soft vegetables like squash until later in the cooking process or you will overcook them) and continue to stir until the vegetables and chicken are cooked through.

Maesri is the brand curry paste I use and can be purchased at most Asian markets. Use another brand if you can't find this one.

Place a generous portion of rice in a bowl and spoon the delicious curry over the top. Garnish with cilantro leaves and add a little sambal if you like it even spicier. Lastly, this is the way I made my green curry, next time who knows, maybe I’ll make it with beef or shrimp or different vegetables. It’s you’re meal, make it how you’d like it. Experimentation is the key to discover what you really like. Enjoy!

If this dish pleases you in any way I’d like to know, send me a note. If you REALLY like it let me know by clicking the donate link at the bottom of this page. Your contribution helps my family advance Bible translation around the world with Wycliffe Associates. God Bless!

Guacamole… Ole!

Hungry for guacamole, I decided to whip up a batch. I’m not a fan of store purchased guacamole because it’s usually over processed and tasteless. More importantly, it’s super easy to make and all things taste better when you make it yourself. Give it a try. Here’s my recipe.

                 Fresh ingredients will help make this snack super tasty. 

Here’s what you need:

3 – Haas or 1 large Florida avocado – peeled, halved & pit removed
1/2 to 1 – medium sized, ripe tomato – seeded and diced fine
1/2 – small onion – diced fine
1/2 to 1 – seeded jalapeno – diced fine
1 clove – garlic – minced
1 tbs – cilantro – chopped
1/2 tsp – cumin powder
1 tsp – kosher salt (table salt okay too)
1 tsp – coarse black pepper
1 – generous squeeze lime juice

Smash the avocados with a fork or potato masher until you achieve the texture you like. Mix in the other ingredients. Let sit for a few minutes. Enjoy with chips and the beverage of your choice. A tasty treat!

Note: I’m not a baker so I don’t measure things out. These are approximations but should be close to how I like it. Feel free to experiment, I do it regularly, you can too. One last thing… If you try this and enjoy it would you kindly consider a support donation to Wycliffe Associates. Your tax deductible donation will help advance Bible translation. The donation link is at the bottom of the page. Thank you.

Enjoy the finished product!

 

 

 

A Promise To Be Kept

Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa at approximately 167 million people. It has a landmass roughly twice the size of California with many people groups and many languages spoken. It is a country divided mostly by the Muslim north and the Christian south but you will also find other religions practiced there as well. While on a tech deployment to advance Bible translation with Wycliffe Associates, I had the opportunity to meet one man who stood out from the crowd, his name is John. I won’t share his last name because of safety reasons but you can rest assured he’s the real deal, a true follower of Christ.

John received the projector in January 2012

John serves as a translation consultant for the national Bible translation effort. But there is another calling God gave to John, that is to share the Word and true story of Jesus with others. While traveling with him I asked how he would accomplish this task. His answer was to show the Jesus Film, a project he helped complete for a translation project he was involved in. His problem was he needed a way to show it. A projector was the answer. I didn’t know why at the time but I opened my big mouth and said that I could probably get a few friends and supporters together and raise the money to purchase one for him.

This proved difficult for me. I asked around, put a request in one of my newsletters, begged a few friends and did raise some funds but not nearly enough. I was stuck and eventually forgot about the request. An email from John three months later reminded me of my commitment  to raise the funds and so I asked around again. No response this time either so I thought to myself maybe this wasn’t meant to be and quietly forgot about it. But you know what, John didn’t forget and later that year sent me a reminder. I thought to myself, “Wow Phil, why did you have to open that mouth of yours?”.

I realized I needed God’s involvement, so I prayed hard. I asked God to speak with me and let me know what to do. His response was clear in my head and heavy on my heart, “I’m the one who told you you could do this and you’re the one I want to supply the projector”. I realized He was right so I obeyed and drove to a computer store and purchased what John needed.

I know I made the right decision because as soon as I kept my promise to John, God gave me peace about it. Now John has the tools he needs to reach many of the lost. Let us all pray that he will be successful in his mission to spread the Good News.

Here is an email John recently sent to me. I will update this post as John shares additional news with me. I’m excited with anticipation to see how a promised kept will add many souls to God’s kingdom.

Dear Phil,

I got the projector Viewsonic PJD5123 through David Reeves personally at
NBTT Jos. It was a happy moment for me. I have tested it and its in
perfect condition. Words alone can not express my delight,but my fervent
prayer is that this gift will justify your sacrifice. For five good
years i have been yearning for this instrument to help me in open air
outreaches, Jesus film in local languages, documentaries of Biblical
stories and literacy teachings.

May He bless you Amen.

John

Chicken Enchiladas Hotdish

This is a Harms family favorite. I always loved it when mom would make this dish for us growing up. Of course she has her way and I have mine. I take a few shortcuts over the original but I’m sure if you try this you’ll agree that it’s easy and flavorful! I’ve had quite a few friends ask for the recipe over the years. Let me know what you think and don’t forget to make this dish your own…. I did and love it.

What you need:

  • 3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts – Cooked and Shredded
  • 1 Small or 1/2 Large Onion – Chopped
  • 1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup (Campbell’s)
  • 1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup (Campbell’s)
  • 1 Can Rotel (Stewed Tomatoes with Green Chiles)
  • 1 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 TBLS Chile Powder
  • 1/4 TSP or more Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/4 TSP Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 TSP Black Pepper
  • 1 Clove Garlic – Crushed and Minced
  • 1 Bag (11.5 oz) Dorito’s
  • 2 to 3 Cups Shredded Cheese (Cheddar, Colby, Marble Jack or ???)

Put it together:

Preheat oven to 350 while you’re preparing the dish. Cook the chicken by either baking it, or do what I do and wok fry it in a little olive oil with the garlic. Shred the chicken if you baked it in the oven. My mom’s recipe called for boiling a whole chicken and shredding it, that’s why I modified this dish. Once you’re finished with the chicken set it aside.

In a very large mixing bowl combine the canned ingredients and mix them together. Next add the chicken broth and spices and mix some more. Next add the chicken and chopped onions and mix some more. Now you’re ready to add the Dorito’s and do a final mix, being careful to not break the chips as best you can, this is why you want to have a very large mixing bowl. Now you’re ready to add the mixture to a large baking dish or do what my small family does and pour into 2 smaller baking dishes to have one now and the other at a later date. The final step is to top the mixture with the cheese of your choice and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.

Makes enough for 8 to 10 people (4 to 5 if you split the dish).

Tip: To make it even easier you could just purchase a rotisserie chicken and shred it. If you do enjoy this recipe feel free to let me know by dropping me a line or clicking the “Donate” link at the bottom of this page. Your tax deductible donation helps fund our family’s Bible translation ministry with Wycliffe Associates.

Meet The Team

I thought I would introduce you to some of the finest people I know. This group of people is the Technology Advancement Team serving with Wycliffe Associates. They deploy technology all over the world to advance Bible translation by leaps and bounds. Because of their hard work and dedication to have a Bible in the “heart” language of those who need one, Vision 2025 is a reality. I’m proud to say I serve with them. Please meet from left to right: Mark, David, Jim, Bob, Phillip (me in the back), Ken, Mike, Heather, Don, Russ and Bruce. This team is AWESOME!!!

Technology Advancement Team