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.

Full Circle: Combis and Tsetse flies
By Rich Rudowske on 8/29/2009 6:52 PM

I can remember in US history back in fourth grade some passing reference to the tsetse fly and the sleeping sickness that it caused.  It was about the only bit of history of Africa we got in our history class back then - Africa was a place to be avoided where slaves eventually came from and that had that dreaded tsetse fly that caused sleeping sickness.

My reading lately has been in Botswana history, a volume by Tlou and Campbell that reconstructs a lot of the early history of the area based on archaeological evidence and research.  The area was first inhabited by people known generally as San - the folks with the heavily clicked languages like in 'The Gods Must Be Crazy'.  The first 'Bantu' settlers - called so because of their language and its relatedness to many other languages of Africa were farmers and cattle herders and probably came south so that they could be more successful herding cattle and to escape . . . the tsetse fly and its dreaded sleepi ...

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Health, Van, and Driving
By Rich Rudowske on 8/25/2009 8:22 PM

Thanks to everyone for your prayers for our health, we are well on our way to recovery.  All of us had a respiratory virus of some sort (flu-like, but no one is saying H1N1 so we're not either), and along with that virus five of us got a secondary infection that was bacterial so we took antibiotics.  I have never had it so bad that I could not sleep because it hurt so much to swallow!  (And by the way, I never noticed how often I swallowed).  Anyways we are past it - a couple of us still have some lingering chest congestion and cough, but that is (according to our doctor here) part of the deal.  It's no wonder either - as I drove the other day I looked out over the city and there was just a ton of dust and exhaust kind of clouding the air a weird yellow color.  That can't be good for the lungs.

Speaking of driving - yes - I actually do it now.  Quite a bit actually.  A couple of weeks ago I was scheduled to be ...

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Forgiveness
By Rich Rudowske on 8/16/2009 11:41 AM

Our pastor preached today about forgiveness, reminding us that while we usually treat it like some ancillary part of what it means to follow Jesus, it is core and central to what it means to be Christian.  We receive grace, and we give grace freely.  Forgiveness doesn't mean we condone what was done against us, or that we automatically reconcile (which takes two), but that we refuse to keep passing the pain on to others and instead absorb it which is agony and indeed a kind of death - but a death that leads to resurrection and life instead of the living death of bitterness and hurt.

The great thing about this sermon is that it prompted Maya and I to talk about some issues between us that required forgiveness and to free ourselves to more effectively do ministry here.  There is something palpably life giving about forgiveness and especially in reconciliation if the Lord so blesses one to receive both.  I think that is why the Apostle Paul referre ...

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Meetings, Dedication, and a Question
By Rich Rudowske on 8/9/2009 9:18 PM

We traveled north in Botswana to the town of Francistown 450 km from Gaborone on Thursday.  Friday we had LBT Botswana team meetings.  It was great to see the crew that I had the opportunity to meet last September, and for Maya and the kids to meet them all in person for the first time.  We had meetings and a great time at dinner Friday night.  It is good to have friends in Botswana to connect with every once in a while, to share ministry with, and to bounce ideas off of.

Saturday was the dedication of the New Testament and Psalms in the Kalanga language.  The festivities started at 7AM with a parade though town ending at the site of the dedication.  There was then four and a half hours of speeches, music, praise, and worship and as the keynote speaker, an official in the government of Botswana said, "It was not about the Kalanga people, but about Jesus our savior, the word made flesh."  She urged the ...

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Wild West Trip
By Rich Rudowske on 8/3/2009 12:24 PM

We went out to the Kalahari Desert last weekend to visit Kang and Hukuntsi, two villages where the language of the Kgalagari people is spoken.  We will be renting a home in Kang, hopefully moving out there in September.  We got to see the house in person, and it looks like it will be a great place for us.  There will be some renovation required on one of the buildings on the property to have it usable as a schoolroom, office and perhaps living quarters for a teacher/tutor.  Precisely what kind of renovation is yet to be seen - the owner did not have the key to open the building.

The village of Kang is a sandy, dusty place, but there are some trees and greenery here and there.  The town has a small grocery store, butcher shop, 'takeaway' prepared food shops and, to our surprise, a wholesale Sam's Club like place called Sefalana which has quite a bit available (in bulk however).  We did find that if you can swing the bulk price y ...

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Tlokweng Days
By Rich Rudowske on 7/25/2009 9:20 PM

We are in the small village of Tlokweng just south of Gaborone.  Today we went out to play soccer in the field across the street and found a number of other children there so we all played and it was a blast.  Everyone hit the hay around here at 8PM and I am going to as soon as I am done with this blog entry.  We are adjusting well, we are over jet lag and sleeping a good amount.  Matt had gotten sick but has gotten over it.  We are still having a rocky start each morning - all except yesterday when we moved Bible time to first thing after breakfast.  That really seemed to make a big difference so we are going to continue that.

This afternoon I went out to work on Setswana reading and a number of folks came over and offered to help, so I made some good recordings of Setswana reading, which will be good for learning proper pronunciation.  The children who read loved hearing their voices on the recorder when it was playe ...

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Fireworks and Progress
By Rich Rudowske on 7/21/2009 11:07 PM

Today, Tuesday, was the last day of a very long weekend here in Botswana for President's Day.  We have been able to spend some good time together as a family (and some of the time has been not so good as some of us are still a little tired and occasionally cranky from the time adjustment).  We have spent some time out with Drs. Chuck and Janet Wilson who run the guest house we are living in.  Chuck is in administration at the Assemblies of God Bible College here in Gaborone and Janet is a linguist, doing some work with a San language group west of where we will be.  Also in the guest house compound is Aaron and Margaret, Aaron does a lot of handy work around here and to be honest I am not sure what Margaret does, I think she has been off work the whole time we've been here due to the President's Day Holiday, but she does something connected to the Bible college.  Finally, there is Jocelyn the intern who has a ton of studying to do, but who comes out to our ...

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Botswana First Full Day
By Rich Rudowske on 7/19/2009 8:20 PM

Yesterday (Saturday) was our first full day in Botswana.  They say it takes you one day for every hour of time difference to overcome the jet lag.  Living in St Louis, our time difference is seven hours, so God willing, in a week we should be used to sleep habits here.  However, the first night definitely did not get it done.  On Friday we were in our apartment before noon local time and by 2:00 everyone was out like a light.  Which of course means that nobody went to sleep easily on Friday night (except Maya that is).  Our apartment is very small so we also rented a bunkhouse on this compound and that is where Rich and the three youngest kids have set up 'Botswana Missionary Kids Camp'.  Anyways, the kids were up past midnight and then after that Matt was the only one who could not sleep AND he also felt obligated to wake me (Rich) up every 45 minutes to let me know he still could not sleep. 

On Saturday, we ...

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Summer 2009 Newsletter Posted
By Rich Rudowske on 7/5/2009 5:52 AM

We depart for Botswana on July 15.  All our plans and requests for prayer are in our Summer 2009 Encouraging Word prayer letter.  Check it out over on the 'Newsletters' tab.

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By the Numbers
By Rich Rudowske on 6/25/2009 6:54 AM

This past Sunday we wrapped up our prefield speaking tour at Trinity Lutheran in Sawyer Michigan.  As we reach this milestone I want to share a few numbers that mark this event:

9 - Number of states where we have supporting churches praying, encouraging, or supporting us

40 - Number of churches that we spoke at

46 - Number of times Rich preached the sermon 'In the Story'

21 - Number of other sermons Rich preached

24031 - Number of miles driven since last summer

200000 - The Plymouth Grand Voyager (Purple Palace of Partnership) hit this milestone on the way home from Sawyer.

147 - the mile marker on I55 South in Illinois where we hit 200k.

20 - the number of nights we had to spend in a hotel in the last year - the rest of the travel we were housed by friends and family - THANK YOU!

We thank the Lord for these milest ...

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