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!

Friday, January 6, 2017

fresh beef

Tonight we enjoyed Jeannette's lovely homemade beef stew. Here's how we get our beef...

On Saturday morning at 8am I go to the local butcher and wait for the cow to arrive. It doesn't get any fresher than this!

I bring home the fresh flesh in black plastic bags and then Jeannette does the dirty work. (don't ask what's in the green bowl)

Then we can enjoy beef stew or shepherd's pie or BBQ beef or whatever. We don't think Jenna really understands how we get our meat because she still refers to all meat as chicken :)

Sunday, December 18, 2016

We love our Advent traditions

Here are some of our favorite Advent traditions...

Aunt Suzy gave us this Advent calendar when Kara was a baby. Everyday we build another piece of the nativity scene and read about the treasure of Jesus.

we make our own homemade Advent candles out of jam jars and rock salt

"I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth" (Isaiah 49:6).

Advent Bible readings - we trace the theme of Immanuel through the entire Bible
singing Christmas carols with friends - we had 34 people squished in our living room

Advent countdown - everyday is a different activity from watching a Christmas movie to making Christmas cards to... 

...roasting cinnamon spice pecans! (of course, there are no pecans in Tanzania so we use peanuts)

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Finished Philippians!

Ben and the Jita translators Magesa and Neema
We finished the book of Philippians! Now the Jita people can read this beautiful and encouraging letter. When Paul tells the believers to "rejoice in the Lord always" and to "not be anxious about anything," it carries more significance because Paul himself was in prison for the sake of the gospel.

Here's Philippians 4:4 in Jita -

Mukonderwe siku joone kwa okubha emwe muri na obhumwi na Raatabhugenyi Yeesu, enaayika rindi ati mukonderwe!

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.

We're thanking God for the grace and strength that he gives us everyday to continue translating his Word for the Jita people. Thank you for your prayers!!!