Oh, how times have changed! When we traveled 25 years ago after first joining Wycliffe, our family wouldn’t hear from us for 3-5 days until we had arrived at our location and set up our computer. But now, if Ken is traveling to a large city like he’s in now, we have so many more options.
Ken departed from Orlando, Florida early Saturday morning. He flew to Minneapolis and gave me a call on his cell phone. He texted me goodbye just before departing for Southeast Asia. I woke up Sunday morning to hear he had landed at the country next along the route. By the time I got out of church on Sunday morning, I knew he had landed because I was flight following, keeping an eye on his flight online (before and after church, of course!).
When I was sitting on the couch Sunday night, I got a FaceTime call, with video, from Ken who was starting his first day of work! Video! We don’t get that too often!
Technology is awesome (when it works the way you want it to!) and you have access to it.
Ken is on the other side of the world helping a group embrace some new technology in order to expedite the translation process. New tablets outfitted with an exterior keyboard will house the 51 newly translated stories which can be uploaded after checking to a website that anyone in the world can have access to. From there, each participant will return to their home country and continue to proceed with their Mother Tongue language.
Thank you once again for helping us to make this happen.Your monthly support and prayers allow us to keep the technology coming for our partners around the world.
P. S. The Enemy prowls around looking for whom it can devour…please pray for these participants the next two weeks!
Ah, Springtime! The birds are singing, the daffodils are blooming, and amazingly, the law already needs to be mowed! With Ken gone and days ticking by, I felt anxious to get the grass seed out so I could sprout some new grass. I don’t aspire for the most perfect lawn, but I do try to keep it looking decent. Hence a trip to Home Depot and I was ready to tackle the turf.
I dragged our fairly new push mower out from under the house. It hadn’t seen the light of day since the Fall. I prided myself on remembering to fill up the extra container of gas while out earlier in the day. I topped off the mower and gamely pulled on the starter string. Nothing. I pulled it again. Nothing. Five more pulls. Still nothing. With regret and quite a bit of crankiness, I put the machine away. Sigh….I need someone with a strong arm.
Two days later, armed with some knowledge of gas “going bad” when it sits too long, I removed all of the old gasoline and started with a fresh batch, expecting great things out of my little mower. “Things” like the sound of an engine turning over and seeing blades turn!
To be honest, I wanted to drop kick the mower across the tall grass! I am not patient with machines that don’t behave. I don’t know how to fix them, I don’t care to learn, and I just want them to serve me at will. The machine bested me this time.
I dragged my rakes and grass seed to the road and furiously attacked the patchy areas. Moments later, my neighbor drove over on his riding lawn mower. He knew I hadn’t been able to get my mower started the first day. “Can I mow part of your lawn?” he asked.
Suddenly I found myself with tears slipping down from under sunglasses. Really? Crying about a lawnmower?
Not really. The offending tool was just the thing that put me over the edge for the day.
What really was bothering me was all the things in the world that I have no control over. Friends with cancer, family members with heavy struggles, my inability to be in two places at once and the frustration that comes with wondering if I’m in the right place now. It seems like every time I get an email, Facebook message or text, there is heavy news from a dear one. It just got to me today.
Meanwhile, Ken has started his second week in Asia. His work is arduous. He traveled to a new city and is working with a different group of people. We’re an organization that deals with languages, but sometimes the differences in culture and trying to get a new message across to a group can be rough going.
I always hesitate to fill him in on the stressors of home when he’s already got so much on his plate being on foreign land. There’s 12 hours difference in the time zones, and as I’m collapsing on the couch he’s up and taking off towards another day of serving. But today I needed my husband to give me a warm, virtual hug.
He can’t fix my problems. Neither can I. Neither can my kind neighbor with the riding lawn mower. But as he reminded me this afternoon, “All I can do is pray for you.”
Sounds good to me. Thanks for your prayers.
This group now has their first portion of Scripture in their own language!
How many of you remember that familiar song from Sunday School? If you are like me, you used hand gestures to show just how “wee” this poor man was. What kind of questions would you ask if you heard this story for the first time as an adult?
The team that Ken is presently supporting is using this “simple” story as a starting point for translation. Already some questions have come to these new translator’s lips:
What do the words “small” or “small in stature” mean when describing Zaccheus? What image conjures up in your mind? For some here, they described Zaccheus as short and big-bodied knowing that he was wealthy because in their culture, people with money can afford to eat well and therefore become portly. Others pictured him as being height-challenged, even shorter than a typical Asian person.
And what does “defrauded” mean? How would you define that term to a village farmer?
How would you communicate to non-literate new believer with no written language the meaning of Jesus’ statement, “Today, salvation has come to your house,” when they have no word for “salvation”. What is Jesus really communicating? Is Zaccheus’ house saved? Or is it possible that of all Zaccheus’ family members are saved because of Zaccheus’ new found faith?
Oh no, we’re not done yet. Luke 19:10 Jesus says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” How will you explain the meaning of “the Son of Man” to those lacking formal education? How would you explain this to an educated person?
These are some of the challenges of the work we do. Please keep praying! The workshop has just begun! We’re so excited to hear how lives will be changed by the end of this time!
Ken and I just returned from our second trip to Long Island, New York this month. What a glorious time we had with two supporting churches. Central Presbyterian Church, in Huntington, was Anne’s home church. We enjoyed getting to see friends from years ago, attend a birthday party and speak to an adult Sunday School Class. The long weekend culminated with us taking the train to the city to see the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Many people lost their lives from my home “neck of the wood”, specifically the son of a woman I always sat next to in choir. It was good to close out that time in our history.
Our second trip was to South Bay Bible Church in East Moriches. This was our second time to visit this church. From last year to this year, they have more than doubled in number which meant that we spoke twice on Sunday morning! This church has a group of people who meet daily (DAILY) at 7:00 am to pray for the church, its members and the community. I’m guessing this is a huge part of why they have grown. We felt so loved by both community of believers.
So…what has arrived?
During Ken’s portion of our update, he mentioned a new app for the Android phone. This app has 51 Bible Stories on it with wonderful accompanying media. It was created for bilingual translators. Here’s how it was recently introduced!
(Orlando, Florida, USA)—Wycliffe Associates, a global organization that empowers national Bible translators around the world, has launched a new, free app that makes Bible stories accessible to smartphone users worldwide.
Called translationStudio, the Android operating system app is available for download on Google Play.
“God’s Word in every language took a giant step toward reality as our translationStudio app was released for free download in the Google Play store,” says Bruce Smith, president and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “This is just the beginning of developing a tool that puts Bible translation within the reach of Christians worldwide.”
Earlier this year, Wycliffe Associates tested the beta version of the app with translation teams working in some of the most difficult and dangerous regions of the world for Christians. Their feedback has been incorporated into the current release.
The translationStudio app features “Open Bible Stories,” a set of 50 fully illustrated Bible stories. “Open Bible Stories” has been released under Creative Commons’ Attribution Share-Alike licensing, which allows translation into any language, anywhere, at any time, and by anyone—without copyright limitations.
“Open Bible Stories” currently includes a collection of 21 Old Testament stories and 29 New Testament stories and provides a chronological overview of God’s relationship with humanity, from creation to redemption.
“In the coming months, we will have ‘Open Bible Stories’ loaded in at least 50 gateway languages, enabling people who are bilingual in any of these languages to begin translating these Bible stories into their own language,” says Smith. “Once local translators have completed the ‘Open Bible Stories,’ they can easily make the transition into a full Bible translation program. The Open Bible Stories method actually fits perfectly into the culture of many language groups that have a tradition of storytelling handed down through generations.”
The Resource section of the app provides information on key terms and how to overcome translation challenges, intended to assist local translators in creating translations that are clear, natural, and accurate. In addition, collaboration tools enable any number of people to work together, online or offline, to draft and revise their work for the best possible result.
“We are also working to load English source text for the entire Old and New Testament that will be licensed to allow immediate translation into any language, without copyright limitations,” says Smith. “All of this is available at no cost to the local church or their translators.”
The digital format enables the Scriptures to be published immediately and at very low cost through the Internet or by sharing memory cards.
“This project is not finished. It is really just beginning,” says Smith. “We need technicians, app developers, trainers, and Bible scholars to share in maximizing the benefit of these resources to the global church. We need financial partners to include this strategy in their stewardship priorities as a blessing to the world. We need partners to lift this up in prayer, seeking God’s continuing wisdom and guidance for everyone involved.”
We’re pretty excited about this particular tool we now have! Thank you for your support in making it possible!
Ken has arrived safely in SE Asia. He’s settled in and has been working alongside his team leader, George, introducing new BT software to the group. They get a new group for next week’s classes. Getting information about the class is a bit difficult, but we’d appreciate your prayers that all that God desires would be accomplished these next two weeks. Thank you!
The day before Ken departed, we celebrated his birthday with a number of friends and family. He was especially thrilled when three of his brothers surprised him and arrived two days early to spend time with him. What a blessing! Thank you to all who wrote in and sent special messages to Ken via our daughter Christine. He absolutely loves his book!
Like many of you, I can’t help but feel saddened by the early and untimely death of the actor Robin Williams. It reminds me that we don’t know how people are really doing unless we engage with them in a meaningful way. Depression is a rough illness to fight and one in which the majority of the world doesn’t understand. Here’s to having intentional relationships this week and really listening to people.
Thanks again for standing with us in prayer.
It’s wonderful when you know your job. You walk into work, confident in your abilities. You’ve already planned out how your day will look, scheduling your meetings, breaks and how to organize your day. If you’re like me, you do the work you dislike first. What is that for you? For me, it’s phone calls. (I’m not sure why, but I hate using the phone.)
But if you have a new job, or new responsibilities in your role, your day doesn’t usually go quite as you planned. In fact, it’s difficult to plan your day because you can feel so uncertain in your work.
This is how Ken’s days are playing out. A month or so ago, Ken’s boss called him. “Ken, I’d like you to consider teaching some different software for our team. With your teaching abilities, we really need you to take on this new role.”
Naturally, Ken was interested because if you know Ken, he loves learning new software, especially software that expedites Bible translation. (For other “Strange, but true” stories click here.) But with one new piece of software came the responsibility to learn two other programs. Each program was needed in order for the next to work.
Earlier this month, Ken (and I) ended up flying to Seattle, Washington so that Ken could have several days to work with his new team lead, George. He got a better idea of his responsibilities and started making plans for his first teaching trip with George.
I asked Ken how his work was going recently.
“I feel like I’m drinking out of a fire hydrant!” It’s a bit overwhelming!
But with perseverance, comes success.
Yesterday, he came in and said, “I got something to work!” Yay! Progress.
Thanks for keeping us in your prayers. We’ll keep you updated!