Sunday, October 16, 2016

finished Revelation but it's not the end

We finished the book of Revelation in the Jita language! After meeting with a Consultant for two weeks and examining every single verse of the book, Revelation is now approved!

We're so excited that now the Jita people can know Jesus as
Jesus Christ (1:1)
the Son of God (2:18)
the Lion of the tribe of Judah (5:5)
the Root of David (5:5)
the Lamb who was slain (5:12)
Faithful and True (19:11)
the Word of God (19:13)
King of kings and Lord of lords (19:16)
the Alpha and the Omega (22:13).

One of the challenges was the word "seal" like the scroll that was sealed with seven seals (5:1) and the 144,000 servants of God who were sealed on their foreheads (7:4). The Jita have one word for seal which is a mark used to show ownership of a cow or a mark that fishermen would use to identify their catch of fish. So that word works fine to communicate the idea of heaving a seal on the forehead, but it would definitely not work in the context of opening the seals on the scroll. Therefore, the team found another way to talk about the seals on the scroll.

Another challenge was the word "Abyss" in chapter 9. Is it the place of the dead? Is it Sheol? Is it Hades? Is it Hell? Finally we decided to simply translate "the unending pit."

And we still don't know how to translate "sulfur" in 9:17. The team plans to go out to Jita villages and do some community checking next week so hopefully they can discover a good way to communicate the meaning.

Thank you for all your prayers!! Here's a little sample of the Jita translation for you. Enjoy!

Nibheembira Omwana wa Inaama orwimbo oruyaaya runu rwayikaga ati,
"Awe wiiyire okugega echitabho echo
na okusuruumura jimboyero jaacho eja obhurimbo.
Okubha awe :waatemerwe-ko omutwe
na ku‑maanyinga gaawo, nuugurira Nyamuwanga
abhaanu bha jing'anda joone, jinyaayika joone,
jinyaami joone na abha amaanga goone."

Revelation 5:9
Then they sang a new song to the Lamb saying,
"You are worthy to take that book
and the open the seals.
For you were slaughtered
and by your blood, you purchased for God
people of all tribes, all languages,
all family groups and all nations."

Now on to the next book...

Sunday, September 18, 2016

the sun and moon are fighting

We experienced a solar eclipse!

I captured this photo accidentally. I pointed my camera straight at the sun (yes, Mom, I know you told me NEVER to look directly at an eclipse) and of course I saw nothing. But then when I turned the camera at a slight angle I caught this flare. Check out the white crescent inside the flare. I guess that's what the eclipse looked like.

Jeannette was outside hanging laundry and she saw all these strange crescent shapes on the ground. I guess it's like when you do the old pin-hole-in-the-paper-to-see-the-eclipse experiment. But the trees above worked like the hole in the paper. Cool!!!

We had a blast with our Tanzanian colleagues. They wanted me to take this photo of them pretending like they were staring at the eclipse. Tanzanians say that the sun and moon are fighting. I wonder who won...

Monday, September 12, 2016


Jeannette texted me saying, "Totally just felt like the earth was shaking. I think I'm going crazy!" I gave a cute reply because I had no idea what had happened, "The earth quakes under the intense volcano of my love for you."

After a couple minutes we started seeing reports that we had indeed experienced an earthquake! About 145 miles away, across Lake Victoria, there was a 5.7 magnitude earthquake. Sadly, 13 people have died and hundreds were wounded. Many houses here are poorly built out of mud bricks. One of our Tanzanian friends here in Musoma is thankful that he was not home at the time because the wall of his bedroom cracked and he was afraid it would fall down. Pray for the people of Uganda and Tanzania who were affected by this tragedy. Pray that people would hope in God.

Psalm 18
      The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, 
      my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Six kilos of pig leg

I (Ben) woke up early on Saturday morning and went to the local slaughterhouse (some guy's backyard). Men with knives were already working on the second pig that morning. All that was left of the first pig were two legs. I said, "I'll take one of those." They weighed it and it came to 6 kilos (13 lbs.). It still had the skin on it and the bones in it.

Then I went to work. I tried three different knives until I found one that could cut the skin away from the meat. I won't gross you out with the rest of the details but after a few hours we had both the crockpot and the oven full of meat.

Finally it was time to enjoy the fruit of our hard work. Jeannette made this amazing pork pie. Question: If a shepherd's pie has lamb and a cottage pie has beef, what do you call it if it has pork? We don't know but it was delicious!

Then Jeannette made pulled pork with thyme and paprika and other magical ingredients. Yum!!! And of course, we savored a little pork BBQ also. So was it worth the effort? YES!!!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

A centipede, a snake and a mongoose

Luke found this scary guy in our backyard hiding under some rocks. Yes, he's highly venomous!

Then as Ben was hanging a picture in our hallway he felt something brush past his heel...

He brushed Ben's heel so Ben crushed his head. It's poetic.

And you might be wondering, where was this guy when we really needed him?

Mr. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi here showed up the morning after the snake incident. Sure, some fierce cobra-killer he is.

Welcome to wild Tanzania!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Mama goes back to school

Lake Victoria Learning Center is now open for a new school year! Our kids are so excited. And this school year brings a new twist. Jeannette is teaching! In the past, Jeannette has worked as substitute teacher, teacher's assistant and library organizer. This year, because we have so many missionary kids in so many different levels, Jeannette is teaching two levels of math. She teaches 3rd grade and 5th grade math...and she's the playground monitor...and she still has all of her responsibilities at home. Pray with us that Jeannette will be able to balance all of her different jobs and do them well.

Another new twist is that Jenna is officially in school. On the first day of school she was excited beyond belief that she got an eraser with a pony on it.

Kara said, "I love staring at maps and we're studying geography so that's perfect!"

Luke came home after the first day of school saying, "This is my first time ever having homework! I even have to bring my book home. It's more homework than I've ever had in my whole life" And then he finished his homework in about 4 minutes.

Ellie was excited because now she gets to read a book that Kara read when Kara was her age.

We love our Learning Center and we thank God for our teachers!

By the way, we're looking for another teacher to join our team. If you know anyone who might be interested, please give them this information:


Lake Victoria Learning Center in Musoma, Tanzania is in urgent need of an elementary teacher to join their team.

If you are a certified teacher with at least one year of experience, then this is a great opportunity to work in a unique, multi-level, non-traditional setting which enables many missionary families to continue their work in Tanzania.

If God is calling you to this ministry, we’d love to explore the options with you. We would like to have a commitment of at least 18 months.

Please contact the Human Resources Department at

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Beware of falling fish!

Watch out! If you visit us in Tanzania you might get hit in the head with a fish. Check out this video...