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.

Missionary Kid Perspective - Matt Rudowske
By Rich Rudowske on 7/17/2015 6:25 AM
This is an entry featured on LBT's blog, featuring our son Matt.
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Faith - Sermon delivered at Trinity Lutheran Church, Saint Joseph Michigan March 1, 2015
By Rich Rudowske on 3/1/2015 4:59 AM

I do quite a bit of traveling in my line of work. In the past month I’ve flown about 20,000 miles and driven another 1150 miles, most of that in the last week. Next week I’ll be in the air again with new missionaries to Botswana to show them the ropes and help them plan to get settled in later in the year. They say that getting there is half the fun and maybe for folks who travel more for pleasure that’s true, but I’m not so sure I feel that way when I get on that plane or get behind the wheel.

Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy some aspects of traveling. In the car, it’s great when the whole family is getting along well and is well fed and well rested. On the plane it’s nice when you get that aisle seat with some extra room or your ‘seat neighbor’ is ...

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I'm still getting used to...
By Rich Rudowske on 7/24/2014 4:29 PM

Our family returned one month ago today to begin a two year assignment from the Lutheran Bible Translators Service Center in Aurora Illinois.  In the past month we have found a home and gotten moved in (mostly).  Here are a few of the things that we're still getting used to:

  • Driving on the right side of the road in the left side of the car.
  • Being able to drive at night without worrying about hitting donkeys or cattle.
  • The sun staying up so late.
  • The prices!  Everything seems so expensive here!
  • Being able to clearly understand everything that everyone in saying.
  • The amount of food available in grocery stores.
  • The size of portions in restaurants.
  • Chicken the size of small turkeys.  Every time I see chicken breast at the store, I can't help thinking th ...
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What a difference a week makes
By Rich Rudowske on 7/1/2014 8:28 PM

Wow, what a difference a week makes.  I am sitting in the Lutheran Bible Translators Service Center in Aurora IL working this short holiday week.  It has been a good, yet emotionally taxing week.  The highlight of my week thus far was receiving the work report from the Shekgalagari project, where I worked for the last five years, and I am happy to report that the first draft of the Gospel of Luke has been completed! 

There is still a long ways to go with checking, testing, and consultant review before it is ready for public use, but when I think back to the early days our family lived in Kang, learning to live there, meeting people, helping mobilize local support for the project, visiting kgotla after kgotla, hiring and training staff - it is a long time in coming.  I am thrilled to have been involved in God's mission in helping to get this project started and I am humbled to be able to continue to support John, Pontsho, and Tshwaragan ...

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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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