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.

Mission Statement
By Rich Rudowske on 5/13/2010 4:07 PM
The following is the mission statement of the Shekgalagari Bible Translation Project in Botswana approved by the board of the project on May 3:

'Go kywisa go nere phoriso ya lehoqo gya ga Gyeso Keresete mbakyhong ba Bakgalagari qa go thabolola puo ya Shekgalagari.'

You will notice first of all that the mission statement is written in Shekgalagari. This is because this project and its fruit are for the Bakgalagari people and as much as possible we are using the language in record keeping, publicity, and planning as well as for publications and/or other products of the project.

In English it translates: 'To help bring the healing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Bakgalagari people through the development of Shekgalagari language.'

The process of discussion among the board members as the statement was being formulated was fascinating. Some ideas that form ...
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Indignant
By Rich Rudowske on 5/10/2010 12:04 PM
Every Monday morning at family devotion we watch a short video clip about a city in the 10/40 Window that we then pray for the rest of the week.  The 10/40 Window is geographically located on the map in the eastern hemisphere between 10 and 40 degrees north latitude and includes most of the world's unreached people and actually, most of the world's people period.  2/3 of the world's population lives in that window.
 
Anyways, today before watching our clip on Pyongyang North Korea, we watched a short clip introducing the 10/40 Window to children.  I was watching my kids who were all viewing the video with varying levels of interest, as you might expect, except my son Josh who was completely riveted on the screen.  When the narrarator said "most of the people have never heard of Jesus" - he gasped "WHAT?!" and was just so in shock that such a place existed!  ...
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April Update
By Rich Rudowske on 4/5/2010 6:50 AM

Dear friends,

On this Holy Saturday, I am reminded that the Word became flesh and after completing his work of re-creating the world through His suffering and death, he rested in the tomb on the seventh day.  May we too find our Sabbath rest in him (Hebrews 4:9-11). 

I hope that these emails do not sound redundant - I do admit that prior to typing this one I did not go back and read the last one.  It was a very busy month with a two week workshop on advanced communication and translation principles sandwiched between two meetings of the newly formed Shekgalagari Language Project Board. 

The workshops went very well, they helped me understand the importance of both theology and a clear understanding of language structure and features to be used as tools in service to the translation of the word of God.  TJ Molemele, the MTT candidate who accompanied me did very well and we bo ...

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The Foundation
By Rich Rudowske on 3/23/2010 9:49 PM

You may have noticed that fine looking group pictured on the home page of our website.  These men and women have stepped forward to represent their respective communities in overseeing what is currently called the Shekgalagari Language Project.  It is a privilege to work with them and it is amazing to see that the Lord is helping us to communicate with each other and to be on the same page as we seek to move forward in this project.  At our first official meeting yesterday they created a position called project coordinator and passed a resolution to give me that position.  They also passed resolutions to commit to building connections to the community to begin to explore the wider perception of problems and needs and how a language project could help to address those.  They also passed a resolution to set aside one hour of each meeting to learn about their role as a translation committee and some important aspects of scripture engagement.  It is s ...

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Updated Weakly
By Rich Rudowske on 3/13/2010 6:28 PM

It has been pointed out that in our last newsletter I said this blog was updated weekly, however, the past few weeks it seems that it has been more 'weakly'.  It has been a very busy time with the formation of a new committee for the oversight of the translation project, and they are having a second meeting this month.  Sandwiched between that is a two week pilot workshop on advanced translation principles that our team is priveleged to participate in - featuring the author's of the training guide that will be used in the future for training national coworkers.  I happen to be on an overnight furlough from that so I could go home and check on the progress of multiple construction projects happening there in preparation for Ranae Holdeman our volunteer teaching assistant to come next month.  To my great joy, Maya has handled everything quite well and there was much progress during my absence.  We hope to post pictures soon.

We ask for yo ...

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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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