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What’s up with Nigeria?

A number of you have asked us if Ken is planning on returning to Nigeria any time soon. As you recall, he has made three trips there this past year helping deploy the BGAN satellites as well as doing training for our national Bible Translators.

The frequent news articles highlighting the increased bombings in the region make us all a bit edgy. As of this week, Ken has no plans to return to Nigeria until he is needed. But our work is not stopping in the region. Most of the translators are nationals and therefore have a good idea of how to keep themselves safe.

But all our work is not safe, is it? We lived in Indonesia for 10 years and had malaria many times. We watched colleagues and workers die from this disease in spite of medication. We lived in a place that was frequently protesting to become independent. This caused us to have “riot” days — days that we closed down the local school just in case there was to be a local uprising. Increasingly, the places we work will seem not that safe. Sure, none of us wants to walk into the path of trouble, but there are risks to working outside of your own culture and comfort zone.

Please be in prayer for the nation of Nigeria which is experiencing unrest and violence targeting Christians. Nigerians are hungry for God’s Word and translation is going on in dozens of languages. Pray that Satan will be stifled and God will allow these translation projects to continue so the people will have His Word in their heart language sooner rather than later.

An article Thursday on the Mission Network News website included an interview with Wycliffe Associates president Bruce Smith (see http://mnnonline.org/article/16662). When asked about the Nigerian translation teams, Bruce responded:

“They (the Nigerians) are seeking wisdom about how to respond in these circumstances. They’re actually looking to God’s Word for the answers that they really need in terms of how they relate to their neighbors and other members of the community that are part of this stressful situation.” The article says that the teams have not allowed the situation to disrupt their deadlines for translation work. Bruce said, “It’s definitely creating a climate of uncertainty and increases their concern about how to continue carrying out their work. They know that God’s Word has the real power to change people’s hearts and that continuing to move forward in Bible translation is the best way to remedy the situation that they face.”

You can keep up with the latest news about the Nigeria situation at the Mission Network News site as well as other news services like CNN. These events highlight that we need to take advantage of opportunities to spread the Good News while the doors are open.

Thank you for standing with us as we continue to do so.

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2012 in BGAN, Ken, Prayer, Wycliffe Associates

 

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June 15th Nigeria Update

It was about 95 degrees out and we were hot and sweaty. My colleague, Phil Harms, and I packed our luggage in the back of a Toyota minivan and, with expensive satellite terminals and luggage piled high behind us and our driver and translation consultant in front of us, we proceeded out the drive. We were finally deploying BGAN (Broadband Global Area Network) satellite terminals for the purpose of accelerating Bible translation. This is what the nine of us came for. The countless hours of preparation, the numerous weekly meetings, printing and sorting documentation, purchasing the materials, vaccinations, and all other miscellaneous preparations all led up to this moment. It was happening.

So why was I so nervous?

We were told that Phil and I were headed to southern Nigeria. Not “south south” Nigeria, as they call it, because this the area where the oil is produced and people are kidnapped for ransom. We were only driving “south”, a mere 11 hours away, and the translation coordinator would be coming to meet us.Abakaliki 800x600

Arriving at our first location and meeting our mother tongue translator colleagues, the Lord stilled my heart. The warm reception, the smiling faces, the eagerness to receive and use this new technology suddenly cast away all the fears, the uncertainty, the anxiety I was feeling.

I trained the mother tongue translators how to set up and use the BGAN while Phil worked on their computers, installing software and cleaning the system of viruses. The process went smooth and the translators were excited Mgobolizia BGAN testto supplement their local, sometimes unreliable connectivity for something more stable and dependable. They were incredibly excited, as much as we were. We repeated the process for the Mbolizia language project, the second village we visited. You can tell by looking at the smiles on the face in the picture below how thrilled they were to receive this new technology.

We arrived back at the NBTT (Nigerian Bible Translation and Trust) center and immediately received feedback that the program was a success. “This is fantastic,” a visiting translation consultant exclaimed. “I have already received an email from the translator with some attached translation text. In this past, this would have taken six months or more!” I’ve recorded another translator’s comments on video. You can view it here. It was working. I’m stoked!

God is using this technology to accelerate the Bible translation process and people all around the world are taking note, even CNN!

I returned to the US physically tired but mentally and spiritually exhilarated. The Lord is indeed using us and this new technology to complete his mission.

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2011 in BGAN, Satellite, The Seed Company, Video, Wycliffe Associates

 

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