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.

Elections, Employee, and Office Space
By Rich Rudowske on 10/23/2009 10:21 PM
Click 'More' to read our weekly summary. Thank you for your continued prayer, support, and encouragement. Rich & Maya
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Blog Update October 14
By Rich Rudowske on 10/14/2009 10:01 PM
Click on 'more' to see four entries from my e-journal. Since we cannot get on regularly to internet I thought I would type my blog entries in word and then post them here about once a week. Thanks for your continued prayer, support, and encouragement!
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We are Residents!
By Rich Rudowske on 10/6/2009 11:28 PM

Dear friends and faithful pray-ers,

First and foremost, we thank you for your support, love, and prayer.  As of last Friday, we received our residency permits for Botswana and thus are now authorized to be here until May 7, 2012.  It is good to have this last preliminary hurdle cleared so we can begin to turn our focus from going to the capital and things there like moving furniture and so forth to the work of language and culture learning.

Speaking of that, I (Rich) have made some progress in language learning.  I now have a language helper a few hours per week to learn Setswana, the national language of Botswana.  There are speakers of Setswana out here so it is somewhat useful, but is also useful on the national level when we travel around for LBT business.  A couple months ago, I was named  to replace a retiring missionary as business manager of LBT's corporate entity in Botswana, the Linguistic and Bibl ...

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Theology and Chickens
By Rich Rudowske on 9/6/2009 10:37 PM

One of the exciting things that can happen in any culture is when some truth of the word of God is understood and then expressed in relationship to something else familiar in the culture.  That's when you know that people are really getting it, wrestling with the scriptures and the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ and trying to figure out how it intersects with and changes their lives. Jesus Himself taught this way using images and truths familiar to his audience to make his points.

Today at the church we attend in Gaborone, the pastor talked about how chickens are transported from place to place.  You tie their feet together and then put them in a box and move them around.  He then related the well known fact (well known to them anyways) that when you have arrived at the final destination, you can untie that chicken and it will still just stand there, it does not know that it has been loosed and that it is free, it thinks and acts like it is still bound un ...

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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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