Tag Archives: Nigeria

Keeping busy

“Oh, you’re the IT* guy! I need to talk with YOU!”

That is the response Ken has heard each time he has introduced himself in the last 12 hours!

Thank you for praying! Ken has safely arrived in Jos, Nigeria once again. He ate,napped, and is hoping he can sleep through part of the night before starting work tomorrow. His roommate is a pastor from Orlando, Florida who will be participating in the New Testament workshop.

As mentioned in our email update, Ken will be busy doing behind-the-scenes work on the computers of the Nigerian translators.

Please continue to pray for wisdom as he helps each person the next 10 days.

* IT is pronounced “Eye-Tee” as in “Information Technology.” You know…computer geek guy. 🙂

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Posted by on June 9, 2013 in Ken, Synchronization, Utilities


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Safe with Scorpions

Ken has arrived in Jos, Nigeria once again. I’m always grateful to get a text message or email to let me know he is at his final destination. Today, I got a phone call for Mother’s Day! I love hearing his voice.

Tomorrow Ken and a group of others from Wycliffe Bible Translators partner, Jaars, whose campus is in our town of Waxhaw, NC, will start sharing the duties of teaching and doing tech support for a group of Nigerian Bible Translators. Most will stay for three weeks but Ken’s work will be one week long.

Thanks for praying. He’s doing something new this trip. Although he’s studied the material it’s always nerve-wracking to do work on someone else’s data. He’d hate to lose any of their hard work!



P. S. This scorpion was found in the kitchen of the guesthouse he’s staying in. We’re not used to seeing those kinds of insects on the east coast of the USA!

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Posted by on May 12, 2013 in JAARS, Ken, Tech Support, Wycliffe


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True Heroes

Do you know an unsung hero?

Do you know an unsung hero?

My colleagues and I took a short, two-hour journey to a former Nigerian missionary retreat center established early this century. Don Storteboom, one of my colleagues, had done some history regarding the retreat center.

We toured the center – the pond, the scenic mountain offering a panoramic view of the surrounding valley, and the cemetery. All were enjoyable but the cemetery had the greatest impact.

One cannot walk through a cemetery without reading the headstones. What jumped out at me as I walked up one grave aisle and down the other was the time frame (mid 1900’s) and the ages of the missionaries and children. The deceased missionaries, mostly in their 30’s and 40’s, died overseas serving in the ministry God had called them to. They made a life commitment to serve and died in a foreign land in that service. Chances are, their families grieved not over a coffin, our cultural grieving process, but by a simple memorial service. The children, who died either shortly after birth or within the first 3-4 years, more than likely died from malaria or some other medical malady.

I was awestruck with the commitment, the sacrifice, and the service of those that came before me to Nigeria. To me, they are some of the true heroes of faith.

But I wonder, do I share that same commitment to service? Am I willing to sacrifice? Am I willing to serve knowing that I may not return to “atta boys” and “well dones”? And, am I willing to travel overseas knowing that I might not return?

I haven’t resolved the questions yet. They still linger in the greatest distance in the whole world – the few inches between my head and heart.

How about you?


Posted by on April 24, 2013 in Family, Ken


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Big Chief Little Chief

The real chief presents the gifts.

My colleague, Bruce Bridges, and I were honored at the end of our Intro to Computers/Paratext workshop ceremony. I was given a hat as the “chief” of my class and both Bruce and I were given shirts to remember our Nigerian colleagues by. The feedback from the course was positive and they asked repeatedly if we would come back and teach the courses again in the future. I know that I will miss my new friends. Many of them have gone from never touching a computer before to learning a sophisticated Bible translation program in 3 short weeks.

Ken and Bruce wearing their gifts.

Bruce and I proudly wearing our Nigerian gift shirts indicating that we are now one of them.

We closed our ceremony with one of their favorites verses and proved that indeed, white men CAN dance! (fuzzy photos to prove this will be posted after Ken arrives!)


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Posted by on October 25, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Wweeeellll Ddoooonnne!

I love how God uses people’s gifts and abilities. Ken is a teacher. It doesn’t matter what other title he holds or what work he does, teaching always comes out in all that he does. We’ve all had teachers, some good and some bad. The good ones help us through the hard stuff. Ken has figured out “silly” ways to encourage people as they learn tough tasks, like using a computer mouse for the first time, or figuring out how to use Bible Translation software.

Here’s an update from Ken which shows how he uses his gifts:

I went to class yesterday and it was a tough, but very important, lesson. We worked our way through it and I planned a review. Then I reviewed the review again, as I’ve done the entire week. They seem to pick it up after the review. I’m made games out of it and make noises in the class when they get it right and wrong so we’re laughing along the way. The video that comes with the lessons says real slowly, in a deep voice, “Wwweeelll ddoonnee!” So, I’ve incorporated a “1,2,3” to the class and then we all say, “Wwwelll ddoonnee!” to the person that answers the question correctly. Everyone uses their deepest voice, even the women. It’s hilarious. Now I hear them walking around the campus saying “Well done” in the same way to each other. For an incorrect answer, I hold my nose and say, “Aaaannnt”, portraying the sound a buzzer makes on a game show when you answer incorrectly. Now, they all do that as well. It’s so funny.

What’s your gift and how will you use it this week? I need to find someone to serve since that’s mine! Thanks for praying yet again.

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Posted by on October 21, 2012 in Ken, Software


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And they’re off…

The next two days are moving days. Ken starts traveling  tomorrow from the southeast of Nigeria back to Jos (9-11 hour car ride). The next day he travels from Jos to  the Abuja airport (4 hours). He waits for 8 hours or so in the airport and then he starts the long ride home. Prayer for his safety and that of his drivers would be much appreciated.

My daughter Laura and her family are traveling the next two days also. The photo is a little hard to see but these are the vehicles they are using as they drive from New York to North Carolina to resettle here and start their new life together. Josh is driving a 26  foot truck while pulling a car, and Laura is driving a truck while pulling a trailer. Inside are four children and lots of questions like, “Are we there yet?” You get the picture! Please pray for their safety and peace as they start anew. This is a very brave move for all of them.

Ken arrives home on Saturday evening and then on Sunday we leave for a week of much-needed vacation. We’ll update you all when we return. I know he has some wonderful stories and photos to share. Thank you again for standing with us in prayer. You are loved.

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Posted by on July 11, 2012 in Family, Ken


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A bit of trouble for some

This is why we must continue to pray for our colleagues and co-workers…

An IT team (not Ken’s) was robbed last week while traveling in Nigeria. Thanks be to God that no one was badly hurt and all of the computer equipment was saved. If you click here you can read the whole story or listen to the radio interview of David Reeves, Ken’s boss. Look on the top right side of the page for audio.

Ken attended a local Nigerian church yesterday. He told me that when they took the offering, people stood up and danced down the aisle while putting their money in the basket. How cool is that? I can’t remember ever dancing as I turned in my tithe!

The joy of giving! May we all have that same enthusiasm this week! Giving in funds, giving in our time, giving in our prayers…you can even dance while doing it!

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Posted by on July 9, 2012 in Ken, Wycliffe Associates


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Can you imagine?

Can you imagine moving away from your home country? Can you imagine saying goodbye to family members, knowing that you’ll probably not see them for the next four years? Can you imagine trying to quickly adjust to a new culture while trying to unpack, shop, and get over jet lag?

The Winkler’s are a new family that have just arrived in Nigeria in order to work for Wycliffe Bible Translators. They are tired, scared, and trying to adjust. This video reminded me of arriving in Indonesia in 1992 for the first time. Excited, but wow, what a change! This is the second of their videos. If you’re brave, you can watch the first one when they said goodbye to their family. Warning: It may make you cry!

Winkler Video: Part Two

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Posted by on January 26, 2012 in Video, Wycliffe


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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 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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