Luttmann update March '17
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March Update

I know it might seem like this update comes soon after our last one, but I'm trying to do a better job this year in sending out updates, PLUS a lot of things have happened since I last wrote. 

In February I represented Bible Visuals at the missions conference down the road at Lancaster Bible College. While I had some good conversations with students at our display, I had more interaction in the evenings when our family came on campus for supper. Nothing seems to open conversations than having a group of energetic kids with you! I was also able to speak in a few science classes and share in particular how technology has affected our ministry in three areas–product creation, distribution and presentation. 

In March we took part in another local missions conference. This time it was at Westminster Presbyterian Church (PCA) which is also down the road from the office. Folks from this church have served at BVI in the past as writers, editors and illustrators. This relationship continues today through a new generation getting involved. Currently we have a freelance writer, and editor and a page layout volunteer from here.

Having fun with LBC students
Ginger's studious look 
"Fishing for Men" conference at Westminster
Besides these local conferences, we've been traveling recently too. By "we" I specifically mean Elijah and myself. At the end of February we flew out to Fort Worth, Texas to take part in a homeschool conference. With the introduction of our new Family Formats, we now have a format specifically designed for home use! This was a good opportunity to give some exposure to the materials. It was also a good excuse to see my brother Cameron and his wife Wendy who just moved to Fort Worth last year. In the midst of a busy schedule, Elijah and I had time to see a few sights including the longhorn cattle drive in downtown Fort Worth. Elijah also made a lot of new friends as he explored the conference displays.
With Uncle Cam
The Kapla booth hangout
With S.D. Smith, author of the Green Ember Series.
This series is illustrated by Zach Franzen who is also a freelance illustrator for BVI!
This year Elijah, Samuel and David are using curriculum from the Institute for Excellence in Writing, so it was nice to meet their teacher, Andrew Pudewa.

Two highlights of the trip for me were reconnecting with an old friend and connecting face to face with a BVI translator. The old friend was Stephen Hunter who I hadn't seen for over twenty years. I met him at Bob Jones University when I was a freshman. I found out that he had served a summer with a ministry in Pennsylvania called CEF (I'd never heard of it before then). Stephen's love for the Lord was part of what God used in my life to encourage me to serve with this same ministry. That eventually led me to BVI! I'm glad to say that Stephen still has that same fervent love for the Lord. He also has a beautiful family.

The other highlight was meeting Rosalie Stucky who has served as a Portuguese translator for our ministry. Rosalie and her husband, Vernard, served 46 years in Brazil. They are now retired and live in Arlington, Texas, but they are by no means inactive. In fact the morning I called, Rosalie had been working on the Portuguese translation of our story Where the River Begins. She has since completed it and started a new project! Meeting these senior saints was important for Elijah too. I know the world is constantly telling my children who is important and who to imitate. These folks have served without much attention or earthly reward, but they have chosen the better part–to give themselves to the Lord and the work of His Kingdom.

The Hunters
The Stuckys

Back in office this has been an exciting time as we are in the midst of several production projects. I often tell people that if I had my choice, I would spend all my time on production but there are other necessities in ministry. However, when I do get a chance to work on production projects it's always a joy! Here are a few things we're working on right now.

  • When I am Weak: Roger Sherman: This story has been in the works for some time but it is now in the illustration phase. Our office team is working with the illustrator as he submits his pieces for review and editing.
  • Susanna Wesley story: I've been helping the author finalize the story text and also helping the illustrators gear up to complete their work. For the illustrators I provide photo references, illustrations notes and storyboard sketches which means I've been learning a lot about thatched roof houses in eighteenth century England!
  • Elinor Young story: At the LBC Conference I noticed a DVD called "Bad Legs" at a particular mission booth. It was the documentary story of Elinor Young, a missionary to Irian Jaya, Indonesia. She suffered from polio as a young girl but still answered the call to missions despite her physical limitations. God used her weakness in a special way to teach the people about His love for them. Now we'd like to share this story with children around the world. We have a writer in mind for the project and we're beginning to collect information for the story. Please take time to watch Elinor's story through the video link above.
All of these projects mean significant financial investment for us to see them produced. The writing, illustration and printing costs on just these projects come to about $25,000. If you'd like to know how you or your church can have a part, please contact me or use the link below.

At home the January and February months meant a return to regular homeschool classes. However, the three older boys got to think about summer each week through swim lessons at a local rec center. Now they can't wait to get in a pool!

During my trip to Texas, Ginger decided to take a trip of her own. She fell from a stool, jammed a tooth and got to visit the Emergency Room. The end result is that she had oral surgery to remove the tooth, so she'll have to wait a few years to see that gap filled in with her permanent tooth. Her new look has earned her respect among her brothers who have labeled her "tough and cute."

Two new swimmers
Ginger, minus a tooth
At the end of this month we'll be heading out to Illinois for a special celebration. Betsy's dad is marking 70 years! We'll also be visiting one of our supporting churches and taking part in a conference on the way home. Thank you for your continued prayers and encouragement.

Tom & Betsy Luttmann & family
If you were at our ministry banquet in the fall, you met Mickey and Trina Cofer. These ministry partners are bringing the gospel to Mongolia and using BVI materials in the process. They were recently profiled on the show Ben Fogle: New Lives in the Wild. Take a look. You're not going to want to miss this episode!
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