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.

An Inconvenient Christmas - Part Two
By Rich Rudowske on 12/25/2013 6:08 PM

In our Christmas newsletter, which you can view here, I wrote an article called 'An Inconvenient Christmas'.  Little did I know when I wrote that, what would happen to our family in the weeks leading up to Christmas.  Unplanned departure of oldest son Chris who turned 18 and needed to return to the USA.  Unplanned trip two weeks later to help him get settled in.  Christmas Eve spent in the air between Chicago and London.  Christmas Day spent in London waiting for a connecting flight (12 hour layover).  Driving away and seeing my oldest son watch me go from the house window knowing it will be nearly a year before we see each other in person.  Our family living on two continents with uncertainty about how it will work and what happens next.  I don't pretend that these are the worst problems that anyone has ever faced.  Certainly ...

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Seetebosigo
By Rich Rudowske on 12/25/2013 5:58 PM

I can remember as a child growing up in Benton Harbor Michigan, how each winter, I would long for the return of warmer weather.  I didn't fully realize it then, but winter in Southwest Michigan was brutal.  Each year, one fine early November day, the sun would slink behind the clouds and not be visible again on a regular basis until May.  It was cold and dark with a good amount of snow cover that usually stayed from late November until mid March.  When I worked for Osco Drug, each year the employees had a pool to guess when the giant mountain of snow from plowing in the parking lot finally disappear completely.  We were forbidden to go out and touch it in any way lest we interrupt nature's course in establishing the date.  That thing held on til late April easily.  All the while, I dreamed of a day when I might live somewhere where the winter was milder.  Maybe someday I could move south.

Fast forward to the p ...

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Wayeyi Translators
By Rich Rudowske on 12/25/2013 5:58 PM

The weeks seem to be sailing by now and in this particular season there are so many things to do.  I was away from home most of the week.  In my role as LBT Representative to Botswana, I joined with my colleague Eshinee Veith at the Wayeyi Bible Translation Project for their translator selection workshop.  We were joined by translation consultants Dr. Hessel Visser from SIL Netherlands and Rev. Larry Johnson from LBT as well as Rev. Gabriel Tsuaneng, the General Secretary of the Bible Society of Botswana.  24 applications had been made for the two positions.  Eshinee and the Wayeyi Project Advisory Committee, a group of pastors and other leaders from the Wayeyi community, had reduced the number to eight applicants.  These were invited to the workshop.  After a day of introductory translation theory and an introduction to BSB, LBT, and the Wayeyi Advisory Committee, the applicants took tests in English comprehension, Bible knowledge, trans ...

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But What Does It Mean?
By Rich Rudowske on 12/25/2013 5:57 PM

This was a busy week of meetings and travel for me.  The highlight of the week was consultant checking with Rev. Larry Johnson at the Shekgalagari Bible Translation Project on Friday.  Bible Translation goes roughly in four stages.  Stage 1 is drafting - the first draft of the text is crafted by the translator (a speaker of the language) after studying the text in various languages and translations as well as consulting materials and summaries assigned and/or prepared by the project exegete (John Strasen and myself in this case).  Stage 2 is team checking - the translators and exegete(s) sit down together and read the text looking and listening for accuracy and naturalness, discussing various opinions on how to improve the translation.  Stage 3 is field testing and review.  Sections of text are sent to literate speakers of the language who have volunteered to be reviewers.  They read the text and make comment and send it back.  T ...

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Decoding Words
By Rich Rudowske on 12/25/2013 5:56 PM

One of the challenges of writing a previously unwritten language is figuring out word breaks and formalizing the way words will be written and spelled in the newly written language.  In some cases, this is difficult.  For example, in her book Shekgalagari Grammar, author Kemmonye Monaka describes that the past tense continuous or simple past tense (it is actually hard to describe which it actually is) is formed by the TAM (tense, aspect, modality) marker 'iye' (prounounced ee-yay) before the subject pronoun and regular form of the verb.  An example would be 'Iye ke tyhaboga', which means either 'I was running' or 'I ran'. 

In team checking several of the passages we have drafted in Luke, I kept coming across both 'iye' and 'iya' (prounounced ee-yah) being used for essentially the same function.  Nowhere in the written grammar is this form 'iya' attested to, but there it was, and it is undeniable that you h ...

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Cars, Verbs, and Antibiotics
By Rich Rudowske on 12/25/2013 5:56 PM

Let me begin this week's entry by relating a conversation I had with my colleague John Strasen when we were traveling together this week.  We were talking about how communcating with folks back home can start to get difficult because - really - the day in and day out work of Bible translation isn't terribly exciting and there is not a lot of stuff to share.  Sometimes we feel like we have to really dig to find something to talk about.  Imagine having a bunch of people that are somehow making it possible for you to do your job and so you need to communicate periodically with them about what you're doing at work.  Not necessarily the easiest thing, right?  This would be the 'ordinary' life that I was talking about last week.  The life that, while we are a long way away from home, is very much like your life. 

That's what this week was like.  We had sick kids - Matt and Josh both had different stuff going on.& ...

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152 Weeks in Botswana
By Rich Rudowske on 12/25/2013 5:55 PM

Greetings.  I have been kicking around the idea of marking the end of each week with a blog entry.  I have been prevented thus far by extremely poor internet, but not so anymore - thanks to the good folks at Botswana Telecom.  So, the Lord willing, our current plan is that our term here is about 35 months or 152 weeks by my count on the calendar, beginning in January 2013 and ending at the end of November 2015.  This, then, is the end of week 14.  My hope in these series of blog entries will be to communicate to you (and remind myself) both how ordinary and extraordinary our life and ministry here is. 

This week saw the children start up their second term of school.  School here is roughly four ten week terms with 2-3 week breaks and ending at the end of November with six weeks in December and the first half of January off.  The younger three are at Pioneer Academy here in town and ...

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Milestone
By Rich Rudowske on 12/25/2013 5:54 PM

The past two weeks were very busy, I spent three nights at home.  The whole family piled in the car at the end of the kids' school term and headed to Gaborone (a seven hour drive) to visit the US Embassy in order to renew all five kiddos' passports.  Things went off without a hitch and we were able to accomplish a few other things we needed to (like new tires on the car and a couple of meetings for me with colleagues at the University).  I also visited the printers to arrange printing of five scripture booklets to be published in the Khwedam language, which Tim and Lisa Beckendorf are working on in the far northwest of the country.

After the trip back home, I was joined by Eshinee Veith and the Wayeyi team here and we headed back to Gaborone, stopping by to pick up John Strasen and the Shekgalagari team in Kang.  We spent the week at the first Bible Society of Botswana (BSB) All Translator workshop which was attended by national staff from all f ...

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Archippus
By Rich Rudowske on 12/25/2013 5:53 PM

Each week at the end of church we have announcements, very much like most of you.  A key difference is that our announcements here usually involve the reading of letters to the congregation.  I never thought much about how that makes our churches here more like the churches of the NT times than our churches back in the USA.  At our recent workshop, Pastor Owen Isaacs, Chairman of the Board of the Bible Society of Botswana talked about Colossians 4:16-17 which reads, "16 And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. 17 And say to  Archippus, “See that you fulfill  the ministry that you have received in the Lord.”

Pastor Isaacs talked about how we are used to having letters read in church and even exchanging letters with other churches to share information.  And then he said he could just imagine that a ...

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Hope for Parents of Young Children
By Rich Rudowske on 12/25/2013 5:53 PM

Howdy from Ghanzi!  We took a week of vacation at home this week.   We got to experience something this week that we  haven't experienced in a long time:  sleeping in.  Here's the deal:  All our kids are getting bigger, the youngest is 8 and a half.  They are on school break, so there was no need to get up and get them ready.  They are old enough to take care of getting themselves breakfast and reading a book, watching a movie, or playing something reasonably tame together.  The oldest two are teenagers who sleep late whenever possible.  So the result was that on this vacation we got to sleep as long as we wanted, almost til 9:00 some days, and everything was fine!  So if you are a super tired, exhausted parent of young kids like we have been for much of the past decade and a half, take heart!  The time is coming when you will get sweet sleep!  Hang in there and keep doing your best! & ...

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