Thursday, May 11, 2017

Even sickness will not stop 1 Peter from reaching the Jita people

I was really tempted to despair but God was faithful and he sustained us by his grace.

Back in February, we had a plan to do the consultant check for the book of 1 Peter in Jita because the consultant from America would be visiting Musoma. Sadly, both Jita translators were sick that week so we couldn't do the check.

Then, for the next two months, at least one of the translators was sick almost every day. Malaria, typhoid, fevers, eye infections, severe back pain, sick family members, and even the death of a family member in the village.

Finally, in April we were able to set up a meeting by Skype to do the consultant check.

We had to work through some difficult issues like, when Peter mentions "Gentiles" is he intending the same sense of the word as when Paul used the word in Ephesians or when Luke used the word in Acts? If not, should that difference be reflected in our translation?

In another place, Peter tells the believers to "Greet one another with the kiss of love." Surprisingly, the Jita people have no word for kiss! What should we do?

After many more conversations like these, we finished the book of 1 Peter!!! Now the Jita people can find comfort and hope in the midst of suffering because they know that...
After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 5:10-11

Here's what it looks like in Jita:
Nyamuwanga wa obhwitiriranya bhwone, ꞉aabhabhirikiiye korereki musangire aamwi nage mw‑ikusyo ryaye rya akajaanende koone, aamwi na Kirisito. Omunyaaka kwa omwanya mutooto era, nawe Nyamuwanga omwene aribhakomeesya, aribhayaana amanaga na okubhakuumisya. Nyamuwanga niwe ari na obhuturo akajaanende koone! Aamina.
Thank you for praying and please keep praying for the Jita people.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

16 months and 5 days for the whole Bible

We finally finished!!

Back on January 1, 2016 we started a new Read-Thru-the-Bible-in-a-Year plan. We were in Minnesota visiting family at the time. As we journeyed through God's Word, we also journeyed back to Holland, MI and then to Nairobi, Kenya and finally to Musoma, Tanzania.

Now, after 16 months and 5 days, we have reached the end of our adventure. Here's a video of us reading the final verses...

It's been an amazing journey. My kids never grew tired of me exclaiming, "this is my favorite verse," "no wait, THIS is my favorite verse," "no wait..."

It was beautiful to watch the kids make connections between passages of Scripture. They discovered how the Old Testament pointed to Jesus and the New Testament fulfilled the promises of the Old. If you are interested in a Bible reading plan, I highly recommend this one. It brings you through the Bible chronologically and it really does help us understand the big picture.

Here's the website for the Bible reading plan:

After we finished the final verses Jenna said, "I think we should start over again because I might have forgot some of the stuff in the middle."

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Resurrection Legos

Here's a little video we made to celebrate the death and resurrection of our Savior.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

almost a tree house

We have a tree house!!! Well, maybe a tree hang-out area. Here's how we built it.

First, we went to the lumber store which also serves as the coffin store.

The boards didn't really fit in the van.
Then we attached the support beams to a nice mango tree.
Then we nailed the floor boards and built a ladder.

Finally, we added a bench to make a nice little spot to sip our smoothies.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Three birthdays in four days

We celebrated three birthdays in four days!!
Kara kicked off the celebrations by making Snickerdoodles to share at school.
Then she decorated her own cake.
We're very thankful for our 11 year old bundle of joy.

Then Luke and Ellie turned 9 and they also decorated their own cake (apparently there's a theme this year...)
We love our twins!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Checking 1 Peter and celebrating birthdays

This is a very exciting week!

Yesterday we celebrated Kara's 11th birthday. Her highlights were passion fruit juice and decorating her own cake (with lots and lots of frosting). We thank God for the joy that Kara brings to our family.

Tomorrow Ben will help the Jita team as they finish the book of 1 Peter in the Jita language. They are doing the Consultant check which is the final step in translating a book. Please pray for health and strength for Ben, Magesa, Neema and the Consultant. Pray that they would all communicate well and that God's Word would be translated clearly, accurately and naturally into the Jita language.

Then on Tuesday we celebrate Luke and Ellie's birthday. They will be turning 9. Please pray with us that all of our children would follow Jesus and love others.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

many Jita verses done, many more to go

We're thanking God for all the progress that the Jita team has made recently.

"Done!" means that these books have been checked by me, the Translation Advisor, for accuracy and clarity. Then they were double-checked by a Translation Consultant. Finally, we checked them for naturalness and acceptability by community members in Jita villages. Some of them have been published as individual books, the rest will wait until we publish the whole New Testament.

"In process" means that we are in various stages of drafting, editing, spell-checking, and cross-checking.

"Not started yet" means we still have a ton of work to do. Please pray for us. Pray for the Jita translators: Magesa and Neema. Pray that the Jita community would provide good feedback for the translation. Pray for wisdom and knowledge for me as I check the translation. Pray that the Jita people will be transformed by the Word of God!