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.

Why we talk about Jesus
By Rich Rudowske on 8/26/2010 2:18 PM
I am currently reading a book called 'African Traditional Religions and Culture in Botswana' by Prof. James Amanze at the University of Botswana. In the first chapter he discusses the concept of the high God in African traditional religions in general and in Botswana specifically. He makes the argument that the concept of the high God "Modimo'
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Small Deposits
By Rich Rudowske on 8/23/2010 4:16 PM
One of the great things about the slower (sometimes) pace of life here is the opportunity to evaluate decisions and habits and implement some different things to help with work, health, spirituality, and so forth.  One of the important priniciples that came out of my study in the last few months was the importance of managing time and this very key thing:  that making small deposits in certain areas of life have a cumulative effect - no one deposit seems all that meaningful but collectively they make a big difference.  For me I decided these things were time reading the Bible each day, usually just one chapter and writing about it, at least a half hour studying Setswana or Shekgalagari, a half an hour reading a book on culture, language, or theology, a weekly meeting with each of my children and a short run (3km or so) each afternoon.  The other part of the principle is that the urgent things of life that usually distract us from making the ...
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In their Words...
By Rich Rudowske on 7/21/2010 12:14 PM

 

The following is the closing remarks at the end of the July 12 meeting of the Board for the Shekgalagari Bible Translation Project given by Chairman Nelson Lekutlane.  I wanted to share with you because each of you partnerning with our ministry is a part of what is happening here and we want you to know that while things are moving slowly there is a firm foundation being laid and God is going to do big things.

"I want to close by letting you know that by this meeting, I am inspired.  I am inspired at your commitment.  Mr. Machao, I am inspired at your passion.  Mr. Mogapele at your wisdom.  To all of you I am insprired at the way you engage the issues and seriously address and discuss them.  I am inspired that we shall continue to go forward in this project.  And I hope that you are also inspired Richard, that you have come from so far away an ...

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The Wise Thing to Do
By Rich Rudowske on 6/18/2010 11:00 PM
Our family has spent the last five Sundays interacting with a message series based on Ephesians 5:15-17 "Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is."
 
We have found that our tendency is to want to live our lives as close to the line of right and wrong as possible, and that when we think about it, usually decisions that are wrong that cause problems - the kinds of decisions that put us in situations where we feel trapped, or know we are in big trouble, are generally preceded by a series of unwise decisions.  You wouldn't call any of them wrong, but if we stop asking the question 'is this right or wrong?' and start asking 'is this the wise thing to do', then we put ourselves in a much better position to make good choices in life and avoid r ...
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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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