The Encouraging Word Blog
Author: Rich Rudowske Created: 7/30/2007 9:14 PM
Welcome to the blog! Our family will post updates, musings, and other fun stuff from our experiences in Botswana to work in the ministry of Bible Translation.

Tickets Purchased!
By Rich Rudowske on 5/28/2009 6:01 PM

Well, I guess the title says it all.  I'm still stunned to be honest.  It is actually happening!

The labor exemption was received on Monday, before I had even written the last blog entry.  He knows our prayer before we even ask!  We leave from Chicago on Wednesday July 15th and arrive in Gaborone Botswana on Friday morning July 17th. 

More details to come!

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Travel Update
By Rich Rudowske on 5/26/2009 3:20 PM

Hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend.  We sure did in Hudson Michigan at Our Saviour Lutheran Church and with our friends Pastor Troy & Stephanie Neujahr and their nine children.  They are good friends of ours from sem. days and it was very good to spend some time with them.

This week there are a couple of things going on that we ask you to commit to prayer.  First and foremost, we hope to hear from Botswana that the government has granted us a labor exemption.  That is a certification we need to have in hand when we enter the country.  As soon as we hear that we have it, LBT plans to buy our tickets.  An itinerary I saw a couple of weeks ago had us leaving July 15 and arriving in Botswana on July 17.  So, we request prayer that the certificate comes this week.

Second, we have a concern with the van I (Rich) have been driving for PD all year.  On the left side there appear ...

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New Prayer Letter Posted
By Rich Rudowske on 5/15/2009 5:36 AM

Our newest newsletter has been posted on the 'Newsletters' tab.  Take a look at it for more info about our upcoming commissioning service as well as tentative plans for a July departure to Botswana!

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May Update
By Rich Rudowske on 5/7/2009 6:50 PM

Dear friends,

Another month has sailed by and the Lord has done so much!  Rich, Chris & Kathy finished the last of their extended trips away from home and are back in Saint Louis.  Things stay busy though as we travel together for the next several weekends to Iowa, Illinois, and good ole Michigan one more time.

We met our funding goal for the end of April and yesterday afternoon received official word from LBT that we are approved to depart to our assignment in Botswana.  This does not mean that we no longer need funding, as we now need to maintain this level of funding.  We ask you to pray for the Lord to continue to provide financial partners to join in our ministry. 

This does mean that we will now begin the process of negotiating when we will arrive in Botswana, orientation, etc.  Our colleague Carl Knight is traveling and researching housing on our behal ...

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Christopher Confirmation & Botswana Logistics
By Rich Rudowske on 5/6/2009 1:39 AM

We had a good weekend in Michigan wrapping up a 10 day speaking trip and Chris's confirmation at Trinity Lutheran St Joseph Michigan.  It was great to see so many family and friends to celebrate Chris's next step in faith - confirming what his sponsors and mother and I spoke on his behalf at his Baptism.  I have not posted any pics on this site yet but you can see a few at our facebook site by clicking here

Now we're back in Saint Louis for a couple of weeks and in phone and email conversations with folks in Botswana getting details nailed down.  LBT admin. meets in the next week to determine whether or not to approve departure and then we'll start negotiating dates and so forth with the folks on the Botswana end. 

In the meantime I (Rich) am spending an hour or two ea ...

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Good News Monday!
By Rich Rudowske on 4/27/2009 10:19 PM

Dear Faithful supporters,

We ask you to include in your prayers this week prayers of praise to the Lord for good news about two of the items we have been praying about!
1.  Michael Megahan, Carl Knight, and Dean Moitlho successfully completed survey work among Kgalagari villages last week and the raw data of their assessment shows that a Bible translation project is quite viable.  This means that there is a need for translation, the community is not likely to abandon the language, and there is a willingness to partner in the work, provide qualified personnel, and some measure of financial support as well.  This is what we suspected, but are glad to see that the survey bears that out!  So this is very good news!
2.  Praise God that with a week to go in April, we have surpassed a funding goal set for May 1 that should enable us to get a go ahead on departure this summer.  We still await the final ...

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The Call
By Rich Rudowske on 4/22/2009 4:34 PM

Here at our home on the campus of Concordia Seminary St Louis today is Call Day.  It is a day when the approximately 100 or so candidates for pastoral and deaconess ministry receive their first congregational calls - the culmination of four years of study and practice and the confirmation of an inward call that they felt quite a while back that led them to seek training for the ministry.

The process of formation and of waiting leading up to the commencement of the call can feel difficult.  However, if we stop looking forward so much and pay attention to what God is doing in our lives right now, what He is teaching in our lives right now, how are struggles right now and forming us more and more to be the people who He calls us to be - it just changes things so much.  Every day and moment lived and breathed and worked and struggled through is an event that God is sovereign over and used by Him to form us.  I have especially needed that message the ...

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A Thought on Discipleship
By Rich Rudowske on 4/15/2009 3:12 AM

Just thoughts from my devotional reading.  Ran across this quote in some of my reading:

"Generally, what I find is that the ordinary people who come to church are basically running their lives on their own, utilizing 'the arm of the flesh'—their natural abilities—to negotiate their way.  They believe there is a God and they need to check in with him. But they don't have any sense that he is an active agent in their lives. As a result, they don't become disciples of Jesus. They consume his merits and the services of the church. … Discipleship is no essential part of Christianity today.  We don't preach life in the kingdom of God through faith in Jesus as an existential reality that leads to discipleship and then character transformation."

Dallas Willard, Author The Divine Conspiracy

A lot to think abou ...

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Easter Greetings
By Rich Rudowske on 4/9/2009 11:19 PM

Good afternoon,

As we contemplate our Lord's passion and resurrection we are mindful of the privilege to be His ambassadors to share that life changing message with those who have not yet heard it in their heart language.  We thank you for your prayer and partnership and wish you and your family a joyous resurrection celebration - He rose that we might also rise with Him and live under Him in his kingdom both now and for eternity!  Christ is Risen, He is Risen Indeed!

The Rudowske Family

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Perspective from the Gateway City
By Rich Rudowske on 4/7/2009 4:59 AM

Howdy y'all!

Another great road trip is in the books - we had a good time in Racine Wisconsin at Trinity, Christ the King, and Redeemer Lutheran  churches.  We drove home to Saint Louis Sunday and apparently brought the wintry Wisconsin weather home with us.  Not exactly our plan!

It is great to be home again.  Maya and I spent some time talking and thinking about the upcoming transition to Botswana and looking at some of the various supplies we may need to procure here before going to Botswana.  I also read newsletters from colleagues in Botswana, the Beckendorfs and Veiths and it really helped to refocus me on our upcoming mission.  For both of them they are starting to hit their stride in their projects, both after some period of time on the field.  Vision is good, it helps through the times of waiting.

The next two weeks are times of cleaning and organizing, whittling away at ...

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