Tag Archives: Bible Translation

Dirty Ankles

When your daughter comes home and tells you she’s met the man she wants to marry, you may ask her, “Does he have a job?”

In Nigeria, the parents would ask the girl, “Does he have dirt on his ankles?”

Uh, why would they ask this? Are they that concerned about his hygiene?

It turns out that the question is a metaphor for “Is he a farmer?” And if he’s a farmer, if he owns land, then he has some money and he is an intelligent man. Because all Nigerians want land. Land can be farmed. Land can be built on. And land can feed you.

Language Farmers Ajinka and Isaac

Language Farmers Ajinka and Isaac

Two Nigerian men named Isaac and Ajinka are farmers. They have the potential of making two woman happy one day because they have land, but also, because they are cultivating more than the red clay soil that is so prolific in their country.

These men speak the language of Gole*. And they are also Bible translators. They are planting and growing the work of translating God’s words in their own language.

Every morning they get up and go to the farm. Their ankles get dirty as they kick the dirt into piles so that they can plant seeds. Maize, millet, soybeans and rice are grown in its season.

After doing their chores, they go to an office and work on the Gole language project. So far they have translated several chapters of Luke into their mother tongue. When people in their language group hear them reading the Scriptures and even speaking in their first language they say, “Where does this boy learn the language?” When each chapter gets published, the people are proud.

“I understand my own language better now that I am doing the translation. I realize that we have not truly understood certain passages in the Bible until now because we were listening to them in our second language [Hausa].”

Please pray for Ajinka and Isaac. They have a long way to go as they work two jobs each day. They need the encouragement and support of the local churches. I’m excited to see the growth of their work and the people as they embrace truth in their mother tongue.




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African “Firsts”

Our trip to Africa went well. All of our flights were uneventful which is wonderful.

First views: Dry spiky grass, red soil, large rounded hills sprouting up here and there. (Apparently, they just call them “rocks” around here. Big rocks/small hills)

First impressions: Similarities to Indonesia where we previously lived. Lots of people in the city. Traffic. Large malls and tons of small shops. A variety of clothing from jeans and t-shirts to traditional African fabrics and head coverings.

First job: Getting over jet lag so we can do our jobs this next week. I am impressed with how often my husband makes this trip and manages to put in a full day/week/weeks of teaching just after arriving from so far away.

Tomorrow is Sunday, so we’ll go to a local church to worship and then prepare for the coming week.

Please pray for Ken as he tries to decide how to teach this particular class. Some last-minute changes means that he has a different audience with different needs.

Please pray for me (Anne) that I would make the connections and speak to the right people for some good articles. I’m already planning a village visit and will sit in while a Mother Tongue Translator works with his consultant.

Due to low-bandwidth, I may not be able to upload any photos until I get home. If it’s faster in the morning, I’ll try to put one up if I have time.Thank you for praying us here!

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Posted by on March 1, 2014 in Anne, Ken, Wycliffe Associates


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Those last four words

Those last four words…

Most people know the story of Jonah in the Bible. Runaway prophet, he ends up spending three days in the belly of a large fish after being thrown overboard by god-believing (small g intentional) sailors.

After having enough of his dark, smelly quarters, he relents and decides to follow God’s instructions to go to the city of Nineveh to warn them of God’s impending judgment. Much to his surprise and chagrin, they repent immediately.

Jonah is ticked off with God. He wanted the evil Ninevites to feel the wrath of God. He’s judgment-oriented and wants people to get what they deserve. But he testifies about the character of God when he says, “I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.”

After Jonah relishes in his self-thrown pity party, God quietly rebukes him, reminding Jonah that he has been concerned about the unimportant things in life (like a dying vine), rather than the 120,000 people of Nineveh that could have died.

Requisite cute animal photo!

Requisite cute animal photo!

And then comes those last four words….

“and also many animals.”

God was concerned that if the people of Nineveh were judged, their animals would suffer too.

God is an animal lover! That warms my heart since I’m pretty crazy about my dog, Brandy.

Cute Brandy photo!

Requisite cute Brandy photo!

But more than an animal lover, God cares about the small ones who can’t help themselves. Isn’t that wonderful?

The work of Bible Translation does the same thing…it attempts to bring the very Words of God to those who can’t get access to it themselves. Some of those people groups are small, just thousands, but if God would lift his hand for just a few thousands Ninevites and their animals, shouldn’t we do the same?

Each month, many of you lift us up in prayer or write a check out on our behalf so that the work of Bible Translation can continue. You must have the heart of God!

So thank you. Just like God’s care of those animals, illustrated by those last four words, you care. And we’re not complaining!

Click here to see Wycliffe USA’s president and his wife say a word of thanks to you too.

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Posted by on December 20, 2013 in Video, Wycliffe


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Will we see you?

Ken and Anne will be making two trips this summer. The first trip will be to Long Island, New York and the second to the state of Idaho.

South Bay Bible Church has joined them as a new partner in the work of Bible translation. As mentioned in a previous post, this partnership came out of a friendship from over 28 years ago. Our friend Scott Walker was kind enough to connect us with his church and we are thrilled about this new partnership. We’ll be speaking there the last weekend of May.

South Bay Bible Church

South Bay Bible Church

Ken and Anne’s Charlotte church meets in a highschool. South Bay Bible Church meets in a former Inn! It’s so fun to see where people worship.

Idaho will be the next stop! Jim and Lyn Heath, longtime supporters, invited Ken and Anne to speak in their church. The fun connection is that both the Heath’s and Scott Walker and family were all with us as we started our marriage in the far away state of Wyoming! This will be our first trip to this church. We are excited about making connections and sharing our vision with a new congregation this coming July.

Do you live nearby Long Island or Idaho? We’d love to see you! Send us a note and we’ll connect with you.

If you would like us to speak in your church or to your youth group/VBS…we’re available!

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Posted by on January 23, 2013 in Family, Wycliffe



The Road to Transformation

Road to TransformationHere is a short video which clearly explains the work of Wycliffe Bible Translators.

It’s a lot of work! We each have a small part in this huge task.

Thank you for playing your part!

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Posted by on January 9, 2013 in Uncategorized, Video, Wycliffe


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Ok, I’ll try to explain!

Just got a short email from Ken asking for urgent prayer. It’s all very technical so please don’t quote me on the problem!

As I understand it (this is like a lay person explaining string theory!), Ken and Russ are running into problems getting the translators computers ready to be used on Monday. Each translation team is receiving a new laptop in order to start their journey of Bible Translation. Each laptop must be configured so that they are the same. They need to have licenses and programs and all sorts of other stuff put on them.

There is some sort of major problem with where they bought the licenses , the computers, and who knows what else. Ken has had to do a lot of “work arounds” and is trying to image the correct computer so that they can easily do the next 10 computers. Remember, they are in an area with little Internet capabilities, so they can’t just download all of these things.

They need to get this done so that they can focus on their training materials but it’s taking up all of their time.

So would you pray? I don’t know how to ask you to pray…some of you understand this better than me!

Frog for lunch! (image from Paris Miniatures”

By the way, Ken had frog for lunch yesterday. What did you have? My tomato soup sounds so boring!


Posted by on September 7, 2012 in BGAN, Ken


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Feet are moving…

Road trip anyone?

Ken is now in Jos, Nigeria. He is at the center that he usually stays in while in Nigeria. When he arrived, there was a workshop in session in Jos and his help was needed right away. He’s jumped in to help out while waiting for another translator to arrive. Together they will be driven down south tomorrow, Wednesday, to a place called Zing. It’ll be 11.5 hours apparently. They will be in Zing for the duration fo this trip.

Here’s how we can all be praying!

  • There are huge spikes in the electricity right now. Ken is afraid to plug anything in. His flashlight bulb has already exploded…literally! This can really do a number on all of the hardware obviously.
  • No internet connection where he is and there may not be any for the next two weeks. I don’t know if this is a problem for teaching, but we can pray about that.
  • Some changes in teaching leadership….Ken was supposed to be a helper to someone else doing the teaching for this trip, but it looks like he and the translator may be teaching the Paratext course afterall. (this is a tool for Bible Translators).  Pray for peace, and appropriate lessons for this particular group. We don’t want to overwhelm new learners!

Thank you so much. If I hear more, I’ll let you know.

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Posted by on July 3, 2012 in Ken, Software


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Bible Translation Game! Win Prizes!

Do you like games? Would you like to win great prizes while learning more about Bible Translation? Wycliffe is launching an interactive online game called “In Other Words” on May 14, 2012.

Each day over a four-week period , a new Bible knowledge or Bible translation trivia question will be posted and participants will have the opportunity to earn points by answering the question correctly. Players will earn points faster by recruiting others to join their team.

Players with the most points and those who recruit the most players will enjoy a friendly competition for weekly prizes and a grand prize at the conclusion of the game—a trip for four to Orlando to visit the Wycliffe Discovery Center and a selection of Orlando’s finest tourist attractions.

While Wycliffe staff and their immediate family are not eligible to win the grand prize, the top recruiting member or employee will win an iPad. So if you play….we could win too!

Sign up and enjoy the game! Promote it at your church too!


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Posted by on May 9, 2012 in Website, Wycliffe


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Training–Challenges and Blessings

This past week, our Indian colleagues here in Bangalore walked us through the steps of Bible translation,  and together we identified which Paratext functions are used by the mother tongue translators at each specific point in the process. Then we created sample web-based video and paper training materials. These were translated into Malayalam and Hindi, two of the major languages of India.

Later in the week, we met with a group of about a dozen mother tongue translators for them to put the training materials to the test. We used this time to observe and evaluate. Some issues were identified that need fixing, but the translators, translation project facilitators and coordinators were enthusiastic about what has been done so far. Please pray for everyone involved in developing these materials so the end result will be effective in training the translators.


Larry, from the training department at Wycliffe Associates, captures an audio recording of a training module script. This audio in the Malayalam language was combined with the video to create a training module.


While Larry worked on video training modules, Russ and I prepared printed materials that cover the same topics as the videos.

Young girls on video training

These girls learn Bible translation software via video using audio translated in their mother tongue. Next, they will compare the video training with paper training. It didn't take long to see their enthusiasm after hearing the audio in their own language!

Training via paper lesson

The young girls now take the same lesson via paper (including many screen shots). The results of the training and their feedback will help us adapt the training process to better serve their specific needs.

Evaluating learning process

I stood over top of the girls' shoulders and observed their learning via both the video and the paper lessons and reported back to Larry. The feedback proved to be valuable in adapting future lessons.


Mother tongue translators test a video training module that teaches how to use special software for Bible translation.

This afternoon (Sunday, April 15th) we fly to New Delhi to spend four days with another Indian organization also involved in Bible translation. Larry will be testing a different set of training materials with their translation teams, while Russ and I focus on training two of their new computer support staff so they will be prepared to support Bible translators. We plan to fly back to Bangalore on Thursday evening, wrap up here on Friday, and head home that night after midnight.

Traveling to a foreign culture has its’ own set of challenges. But, working with our Indian colleagues and watching the excitement of having Bible translation training materials in their mother tongue, knowing that it will help them become more efficient translators, easily overcomes them all.

Thank you for praying. And, thank you as well for being a part of the Bible translation team. We are an encouragement to our brothers and sisters all around the world and surely are accelerating Bible translation, the process of putting God’s Word in the Bibleless people of the world.

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Posted by on April 14, 2012 in India, NLCI


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Bible Translation–Mission Impossible Style

“Your task, Mother Tongue Translator, is to translate each book of the New Testament into your language, that which speaks to your heart. If you choose to accept it, the work will be difficult and time-consuming, but the completed task has the potential to save many, many lives. The message, unlike Ethan Hunt’s, will not NOT self-destruct in 10 seconds, but instead, may leave a legacy for years to come. Good luck.”

If you took the challenge where would you begin to translate the New Testament?

12 Steps of Translation

12 Steps of Bible Translation

The Bible translation task has many challenging steps to it and one needs to be thorough in each. But, although you may not be versed (no pun intended) in the Bible translation process itself, the chances are you bring some prerequisite skills to the table.  At the very least, you know how to turn a computer on, use a mouse, and open and close programs. But, what if you had never touched a computer or, better yet, even seen one? Where do we begin training mother tongue translators, committed to bringing God’s Word to their people group, that are just like this? Where do we begin?

We begin with small steps, first teaching very basic computer utilization skills. Using Solitaire or computer games to teach mouse skills, and then progressing to how to use Bible translation programs like Paratext, specifically designed for that purpose.

Today, we walked through the steps of the translation process and identified which Paratext functions are used by the Mother Tongue Translators at each specific point in the process. The next step will be to create web-based or paper training material for them. Benjamin, our Indian colleague,  did a great job leading the discussions.



Our Indian colleagues are working under some very challenging conditions. Jayakumar (shown below displaying a Paratext feature) and Benjamin (above) are the only two computer support staff providing technical support to 22 language projects. That means that these two servants provide language and computer technical support to a total of 45 translators and 12 to 15 Language Project Facilitators & Language Project Coordinators. Additionally, they provide technical support to office staff who use multiple office computers.



This is why we’re here. Lending a hand, coming along side, and supporting. Just like you do for us. Thanks for praying.


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