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.

The Discipling of Nations
By Rich Rudowske on 2/17/2010 9:39 PM

The Great Commission speaks of going and while going discipling all nations.  I have in my reading and personal growth focused a lot on what it means to disciple - that is to teach in a certain manner - for example at the time of Jesus a disciple was one who wanted to be just like the master he followed.  In the book of Acts the earliest believers are called 'disciples' more than 30 times but Christians only two - thus showing a group who was learning to walk in the freedom of the gospel by learning to be more like their master by what He taught and how He lived.

I have not paid much attention to the 'nations' part until in my reading this week I came upon an excerpt by Dr. Kwame Bediako a prominent theologian from Ghana who departed this life in 2008.  He previously wrote:

"The Great Commission, therefore, is about the discipling of nations, the conversion of the things that make people into nations - the sh ...

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Six Months in Botswana
By Rich Rudowske on 1/19/2010 11:21 AM

Uncooperative internet delayed this post by two days and in short sums up life here.  Very rarely do things happen with the timeliness I think it should and God is using these situations to teach me patience and reliance on him.  I wish I were a better student, but thankfully the Lord is patient.  Sunday January 17 marked six months for us here in Botswana.  True to what I told you when I was visiting churches in America before we left, we have accomplished very little in actual Bible translation work.  We have, however, accomplished much in the way of building relationships and a good foundation for future work.

I have experienced here some of the most amazing highs as we take in the beauty of this place, or when we connect in some meaningful way w ...

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Just a Taste
By Rich Rudowske on 1/5/2010 10:38 PM

Before church started today. Rich & I walked behind the church to see who had gathered. There we found 3 members (two Mmas and a Rra). We went to them and greeted. The Rra then explained to the ladies who we were, were we were from and what we were doing here in Kang. Then the first statement came from the ladies "that is quite an undertaking". Then the first Q. "Can you write down our language?" A. Yes. There is already some things written in your language. Rich then walked over to his office a very short distance away and retrieved a book of hymns and a small dictionary (shakgalagari - setswana - english). Apon arriving back to us he asked the ladies (in setswana) if they could read setswana. One of the ladies indicated that she could. Rich said to her " then you can read this. This is writen in Shakgalagari." She took the Hymnbook and began to read it out loud in a soft voice. Her smile was amazing. It brought tears to my eyes. This was ...

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December Update
By Rich Rudowske on 12/12/2009 11:07 AM

Dear friends,

As we approach the third Sunday in Advent, the Sunday of Joy, we are joyful for the continuing prayer, support, and encouragement you offer as we partner together in mission to the Bakgalagari.  We have been in Gaborone the last two weeks taking our remaining vacation time.  It has been a very important time of reflecting, assessing, and picturing life long term in Kang.  By the time we return there next week, we will have lived there three months but will have been away from there for a total of one month when we take all the business trips and this vacation put together.  Those times away have been important for us as we continue to immerse ourselves in what it really looks and feels like to live in a rural village in the Kgalagari Desert. 

One important thing we have realized on this trip is that we simply are not getting enough nutrition out of the food we have available to us on a daily basis in Ka ...

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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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