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.

152 Weeks in Botswana - Week 22 - Doing my Mission Day by Day
By Rich Rudowske on 6/16/2013 8:19 PM

(By Maya)

Recently we were looking back at some of our old newsletters and the videos and pictures we have posted on our website and we realized that we’re not as ‘exciting’ as we used to be.  First term everything was so new and there were so many new experiences to share.  In addition we lived right in the village and participated quite a bit in life there.  But it was necessary for us to move for our kids’ schooling.  Rich has been given more responsibility with the Botswana Rep job.  The timing of several projects and events occurring in the first half of 2013 have kept him hopping.  Rushing the kids to and from school makes it a lot more like ‘normal life’ with a husband who has a busy job instead of living in an African village.  But the pr ...

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152 Weeks in Botswana - Week 21 - From Their Pens
By Rich Rudowske on 6/9/2013 8:06 PM

This past week I spent in my office at Ghanzi doing various administrative things.  One of the things I was preparing for is the interviewing of translator applicants coming up next week.  As part of the application process, applicants submitted a written statement, in Shekgalagari, about their faith and why they want to translate the Bible into their language.  Here are some excerpts of their statements (in my English translation):

"The Bible can change my feelings and behaviors."

"The Bible has good answers to the problems of all tribes and even the Bakgalagari too."

"I believe that every tribe should have the Holy word of God in their language that they may be able to receive God  and live in him, because he said that all nations will pray to him and every knee will bow to him."

"The Bible is not only a book, it is the word of God, it governs my hea ...

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To Pastor Mike Fieberkorn on the occasion of his ordination
By Rich Rudowske on 6/9/2013 9:25 AM

Nearly ten years ago, while serving my vicarage at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Kettering Ohio, I met a recent graduate of the Air Force Academy who had just been assigned to nearby Wright Patterson Air Force Base and his fiance.  Mike and Angela were soon married and moved to Kettering where Maya and I had the privilege of getting to know them better.  Mike loved theology and the scriptures and we had great discussions about all kinds of things.  When I was called back to Emmanuel as Associate Pastor, Mike and I began meeting together to pray for each other and study the word together.  We spent lots of time sitting around the fire pit in my backyard under Ohio stars, enjoying Lutheran beverages and talking about theology, life, marriage - just about anything.  We had moments and seasons of disagreement and distance and conflict as anyone who grows close to someone will have from time to time, but I really grew to have a tremendous amount of respect for th ...

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152 Weeks in Botswana - Week 20 - Applicants
By Rich Rudowske on 6/2/2013 12:50 PM

This week I (Rich) spent a couple of days at Kang going over applications for the Shekgalagari Bible Translation Project.  We have 13 applicants and John and I decided to invite all 13 for interviews.  With our current funding model, we are limited to 2 translators, one of whom we already have on staff, so these 13 are vying for one position.  All the candidates will take four written exams and participate in two oral interviews.  The exams are 1) Bilble knowledge, 2) English comprehension, 3) Shekgalagari to English 'back translation' and 4) translation of a section of text.  The two interviews will be Shekgalagari (by Advisory Committee members to test comprehension of the language) and English with nuts and bolts job interview questions.

Please pray for the nine women and four men who have applied and for wisdom in selecting the best candidate for the work.  In other news, we are three weeks from the end of the school term w ...

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152 Weeks in Botswana - Week 19 - Figured it Out?
By Rich Rudowske on 5/25/2013 11:19 PM

I got to spend the whole week at home with the family.  Having been away there were things to attend to - things that one can do very simply in the USA but not here.  It all began early on Monday morning when people from the water department, who had just been there to read the meter on Saturday, came and announced that they were there to shut off the water.  I have been struggling with this water issue since we got here.  The previous renters still had the water account from this plot in their name.  Thus the water department would not let us pay the water bill until those folks had requested the water be taken out of their name.  Then I could put it in the name of LBT's Botswana organization.  (As a non-citizen I can't put it in my own name).  Anyways, several months had gone by with no action from those folks to change the account and now the water people were there to shut it off.

Long story short, I was ...

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End of the Road
By Rich Rudowske on 11/24/2012 2:06 PM

I am thankful to report that this evening and tomorrow morning are the final stop in our stateside speaking tour that began in May.  We will be at St Michael Lutheran Church in Portage Michigan.  It has been a long journey.  Along the way, people at every stop asked us if we were weary of travel yet and I could honestly say that I was not - I really found it quite enjoyable.  However, I can now also honestly say yes if anyone asks me this weekend.  :)

It will be good to slow down some, although it seems that doctors have descended upon me to get one last battery of tests so I can have a complete bill of good health before returning to Botswana in January.  This means lots of running around for labs and other poking and prodding, but I pray within a week or so my dreams of being able to take it easy for a few weeks before our return will be a reality.

In the meantime, we ask for your prayers ...

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Halftime - also known as 'There's no Synod like MO Synod'
By Rich Rudowske on 9/12/2012 12:19 AM

Well depending on how you count, we are about halfway through our USA speaking tour.  This past Sunday we were at the furthest point from which we will drive from our Grand Haven Michigan home - 1,520 miles away at St. Paul's in Harlingen Texas.  As we go Sunday to Sunday from church to church I am struck by the differences in all the various churches - all but one of which were MO Synod Lutheran.  We've participated in the high church, fully vested, castle church, incense and bells all senses involved service at Grace Lutheran in downtown Tulsa Oklahoma - steeped in ritual and formalily.  And we've been at the rural prairie church where one of the folks steps up in his jeans and flannel shirt and lights the candle altar directly from his zippo lighter - ending the ritual with a flourish - a snap of the wrist to click shut the lid of the lighter.  We've been in churches with multiple services holding hundreds of people with everything on ...

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Much ado about bread
By Rich Rudowske on 6/16/2012 3:15 PM

I ran into an interesting problem when Pontsho, Esther, and I were translating Luke 24 earlier this year.  In the story of Jesus with the disciples on the road to Emmaus, there comes a point where Jesus is recognized as he blesses bread and breaks it so they may eat.  The Setswana text uses a word 'senkgwe' for bread here (artos in Greek).  In discussing with the team, they initially stated that we should use the Shekgalagari word 'borotyo' here because even in Setswana nobody really knew what 'senkgwe' was.  Upon further investigation, we discovered that 'sengkwe' is the word that was chosen by Moffatt and Wookey in their translations because in the mid 1800's and early 1900's the Tswana people did not have bread as part of their diet.  Their staple was (and still is) a porridge called 'phaletshe' made from either maize or sorghum (a corn like plant) that resembles a thick version of the grits we have in the southern USA.  A long time ago, when p ...

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Three Years Under African Sun
By Rich Rudowske on 6/8/2012 4:14 AM

 

After nearly three years in Botswana, our family has returned to the USA for the remainder of 2012. While we are home we are getting some much needed rest and medical attention. We are also visiting family and friends and many of our supporting churches. It is hard to sum up what we have experienced the last three years. We lived in the village of Kang (pronounced /kahng/), a village of about 5,000 people located in Western Botswana. Our primary goal for the last three years was to mobilize local tribe and church leaders to come together toward the goal of producing a New Testament in the Shekgalagari language, spoken by over 200,000 people in the far flung villages of the Kalahari Desert. A Bible translation project starting from ‘scratch’ will normally take about twelve years from inception to production of a New Testament. 
 
  & ...
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Update
By Rich Rudowske on 3/7/2012 10:15 PM

Well, I have to tell you that we have been incredibly busy, but so often I have sat down to write an entry on this blog and felt like I had nothing to say.  Here is an update on what's happening here:

Project - we were not able to hire additonal staff as we had originally hoped to do, due to budget constraints at LBT and more seriously at the United Bible Societies, our main partner in this venture through the Bible Society of Botswana.  That has turned out to be a blessing in disguise since we have had several other things come up these last few months that we needed to deal with and if we had had additional staff to orient and train it would have been very difficult.  (More about the other things below).  My new partner, John Strasen, will be arriving from the USA on March 30.  John will work with Pontsho Mosweu, our project secretary/translator on Shekgalagari language and culture learning while we are gone.  Not ha ...

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