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.

Thanksgiving Thoughts
By Rich Rudowske on 11/25/2009 7:46 AM

It feels very strange to think that it will be Thanksgiving Day tomorrow in America.  We have lived in the south and even then it didn't feel this strange b/c there was still the requisite November gloom and cloudiness even if it was warmer.  Here it is all out summer, bright sunny days and lengthening as we approach the summer solstice. 

By the way - if anyone from the parliament of the Republic of Botswana is reading this, we would love to talk to you about Daylight Savings Time.  Having full daylight before 5AM one month before the solstice is not very useful or helpful - maybe we can work out an alternative plan.

We will be celebrating a thanksgiving meal some time next week when we take a trip into the capital city.  As you celebrate, we hope that your time with extended family is meaningful and memorable.  For the many of you for whom these times are painful because familial relations are difficult and ...

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Video Blog - Kalahari Campsite
By Rich Rudowske on 11/16/2009 6:03 AM
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Video Blog - Office and Grounds at Kang Lutheran Church
By Rich Rudowske on 11/16/2009 6:01 AM
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Learning how to go to the Doctor
By Rich Rudowske on 11/9/2009 2:08 PM
Navigating the unwritten 'script' in another culture can be a challenge - such as my recent visit to the doctor. Click 'more' to read all about it.
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Christmas Southern Hemisphere Style
By Rich Rudowske on 11/4/2009 8:57 PM

Down here south of the equator it is heating up to the height of summer while also approaching Christmas. The other day I went to the mall in the capital city and found that they have Christmas decorations out in full force! Big decorated pine trees, light cicles, Santa, reindeer, and my favorite of all two eight foot tall inflatable snowmen! I had brought along someone from Kang and so I decided to ask her if she knew what the snowman was. She had no idea. I explained to her that in the northern USA children make these out of snow. I then had to explain what snow was. And that it was cold. She thought the whole idea of playing with such a substance was absurd much less making a 'person' out of it. Not being a fan of cold weather myself, I tend to agree with her. So, among the swaying palm trees and glowering trees and plants we have light cicles, fake snow, snowmen and Santa in his full fur coat and hat while temps approach 100. It seems the northern hemisphere truly dictates the feel of Christmas. ...

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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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