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!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Advent 2016 - King Jesus is With Us

'Tis the season for Advent!!! We love this season of reflecting on the meaning of the incarnation and joyfully anticipating the return of Jesus. If you're looking for a good collection of Advent Scripture readings, here's what we use. We came up with this a few years ago and we've been tweaking it ever since. We trace the theme of Immanuel: God with us, through the entire Bible. It's amazing to see all of God's promises to be with his people.

You can view or download our Advent readings on google drive here:

ADVENT 2016-King Jesus is With Us

or we can always email you the pdf. Just let us know.


Monday, November 28, 2016

Very thankful for 2 Thanksgivings!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

This year we celebrated 2 Thanksgivings. Our first Thanksgiving was at home and we enjoyed roasted chicken, garlic potatoes, sesame seed green beans, carrot souffle and pumpkin pie with our friend Martin. Jeannette did an amazing job preparing our feast all from scratch! We were sad that our friend Mama Benadi could not join us this year. She was in the village attending the funeral of her sister-in-law. Please pray that God would comfort her family and lead them to Jesus.

Then our second Thanksgiving was with fellow missionaries. Kara made pumpkin muffins and Jeannette made pumpkin pie, carrot souffle, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce from craisins.

Of course we had the traditional thankfulness poster. I'm not sure how "mobility" and "underwear" made that list but we sure are thankful for those things.

Luke was sad that he couldn't invite all his superhero friends to Thanksgiving so we built this instead.


Happy Thanksgiving!!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

We don't know what to do, but our eyes are on Yahweh

Every year on November 11 we pause our busy schedules for the Wycliffe World Day of Prayer. It's a day to gather together with other believers and focus our prayers on the work of Bible translation all over the world. This year Jeannette and I organized the event for the office here in Musoma.

We gathered with about 50 people including Tanzanian staff and missionaries from England, Germany, Australia, the Netherlands, and the U.S.

We prayed for specific needs in each of the departments in our office: Translation, Linguistics, Literacy, Scripture Use, Operations, Partnership, and Lake Victoria Learning Center.

Then we prayed for the work of Bible translation all around the world.

  • We prayed for the translation work on a tiny island in the South Pacific called Niuafo'ou. The Niuafo'ou people are becoming excited about their language and they are preparing to print the Gospel of Luke.
  • We prayed for Deaf people who use over 400 sign languages in the world. We prayed that God would make a way for Deaf people to have the Bible in their own language.
  • We prayed for Bible translation projects in Muslim countries. In one country in central Asia, a young Christian woman named Hanna was being persecuted by her Muslim in-laws. They rejected her faith and called her "unclean" and cast her out of the family. Eventually her husband divorced her. After this persecution, Hanna came in contact with a translation team translating the Bible into her language. They asked her to read a draft of the book of Job and check it for naturalness. Hanna was deeply impacted by the Word of God. She felt like she could identify with Job in his sufferings and this gave her great comfort and hope. She is now waiting for the rest of the Bible to be translated into her language.

I shared an encouragement from the Word (in Swahili!!) to focus our prayer time. We looked at the story of King Jehoshaphat from 2 Chronicles 20. God's people were threatened with invasion and destruction by three foreign armies. The Bible says King Jehoshaphat "turned his face to seek the LORD" (20:3). In Jehoshaphat's prayer he said, "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you" (20:12). Such a good reminder in times of fear and uncertainty and threats and trials. Our God is all-powerful and all-knowing and all-wise and always good and always with us. We can turn to him and trust him.

Our kids really enjoyed the prayer time as well. They said, "It was so good to pray with other people outside of our family," and "I liked reading Scriptures about God and then praising him for those things."

Thanks for the photos, Michael!