Milestones in Translation
past few weeks saw us achieve two milestones. First, the book of Luke
came off the press at the TEAM print shop and is now for sale ($1.89).
It is a very attractive volume of 144 pages, 41,00 words (compared with
25,000 words for the NIV text of Luke – yes, Kwong is verbose), and
over 200 explanatory footnotes. We have already recorded an audio
version of it in its entirety for broadcast on the Voice of Chageen. We
are thrilled to be able to offer this work to the Kwong people.
two weeks ago we finished getting the book of Genesis consultant checked
and it is now approved for publication. Many thanks to Antje Maass of
SIL who took three weeks out of her busy schedule to do this for us.
In the coming month, Mark, Joseph, and François will write the
for this volume before sending it to press.
Milestones in Music
almost a year of work, Diane and a committee of musically inclined Kwong
men reaped the fruit of their labors when they took delivery of the new
Kwong protestant hymnal from the TEAM print shop, (Our local catholic
catechist was one of the first to purchase it, incidentally.) They
collected over 50 hymns from the two main protestant denominations,
edited them, and then joined them to 25 golden oldies which we first
published 12 years ago.
soon as the books came off the press, Diane and her musicians began the
task of recording them for broadcast on the radio. Since written music
doesn’t exist, the only way for people to learn an unfamiliar tune is
to hear it, and the best way for them to hear it is over the radio. We
trust these songs will bring spiritual encouragement to many generations
of Kwong men and women.
Milestones in Mud and Water
we park our car around June 1 and hunker down through the rainy season
until October. If we want to go somewhere, we call the good folks at
Missionary Aviation Fellowship (MAF) and they oblige us by taking us
wherever we want to go. No such luck this rainy season. MAF sold their
gasoline powered Cessna 206 in favor of a diesel powered Cessna 185
which is much cheaper to operate, but which, alas, has not been
we broke with our usual policy and drove to N’Djamena by road
(notwithstanding that we had a broken main-spring on our rear axle).
After all, the Chinese, in their quest to monopolize the natural
resources of Africa have built an “all-weather” road to a new oil
field which passes only 16 miles from our home. Why not use it? Our
return trip a few days ago proved to be the sternest of reminders that
it is not for nothing that we fly at this time of year. It also revealed
that the Chinese do not have the faintest notion of maintaining such a
road during this season. The accompanying pictures explain the rest. The
car is now parked – and we are trusting the Lord that in the absence
of reliable air service, no medical emergency will arise during the
coming three months. You may pray likewise.
Diane’s approval rating hits all-time high
fecundity, peanuts are the measure of a woman in Chageen. So when Diane
decided, in a bid to better commiserate with the hardship of a Kwong
woman’s life, to plant a small spread of this legume a mile or so
outside of Chageen, her approval rating soared to unheard of heights.
Her main agricultural innovation so far is that it is better to work the
thorn infested soil with shoes than without. Of course Kwong tradition
dictates the contrary, but our house worker Rachel (who made the
arrangements for Diane’s field) registered (along with her admission
that the thorns do poke them quite a lot) her admiration for such
a revolutionary technique. Meanwhile, Mark’s approval rating continues
to plummet as he obstinately refuses to kill himself doing a millet
field – which after fecundity is the measure of a Kwong man.
October 27, we will – if the parsimonious, conniving folks at Air
France’s frequent-flyer program don’t throw us yet another curve
ball – board a flight to Chicago for a 6 or 7 month furlough. We are
looking forward to seeing many of you again. It will be 2 years since we
last said good-bye. Between now and then, we continue to translate
(Psalms or Acts), teach the children with Jonas, produce programs for
the radio station, and do everything we can to help prepare the Kwong
for the Great Day of the Lord.