It is with strongly mixed feelings that we announce that Chris has received and accepted a Divine Call to be the Spanish instructor at Great Plains Lutheran High School in Watertown, South Dakota.
We are very excited for this new opportunity for service and adventure in the Lord’s kingdom. Great Plains is a young, growing school with many opportunities for all three of us to use our gifts and to grow together in a new ministry situation. Chris’ first day at GPL will also be Sean’s first day of high school, and it is great that we will all have the chance to be together for Sean’s high school years. Chris is also looking forward to teaching the Introduction to Christianity course for GPL’s international students. We are looking forward to being back in the United States, closer to family and friends (and with the chance to see some snow this winter).
At the same time, we are sad to be leaving our lives here in Zambia, the friends we’ve grown so close to over the last four years, and the work of the Nsenga Bible Translation Project. We will miss the people and the life that we are surrounded with, and the day-to-day joys and challenges that come with working on a project as complicated as Bible translation in rural Africa. We pray for God’s blessing on the Nsenga Old Testament project, which has just barely started to get off the ground. We pray that the newly-trained translators (and the remaining “veteran”) will be able to continue working under the guidance of the Nsenga committee and the direction of the Bible Society of Zambia to someday complete a full Bible for the Nsenga people.
Still, with the recent completion of the Nsenga New Testament and the Launch and Dedication service in July, along with Sean starting high school this fall, we knew this was the right time for our family to transition back to the US and to a new area of ministry. As a colleague said, “You have done what you came here to do.”
We thank all of you who have helped, supported, and prayed for us over the past six years of preparation, travel, study, and work with the Nsenga Bible Translation Project. Thanks to your support, our team was able to complete the translation of the New Testament into a brand-new language. Over a million people now have access to God’s Word in the language of their hearts — something they did not have before, and something they would not have without the dedicated efforts of hundreds of people working to carry out and support the translation work.
We will still be in Zambia until mid-July. Sean still has one more term of school at Rift Valley Academy in Kenya. Chris still has some work to do with the translation team to make sure they are well-prepared to move ahead with the Old Testament work. Janine has many things on her plate as she coordinates our two transitions – out of Zambia and into the US. There is still the Launch and Dedication service on July 14th to plan and prepare for and celebrate. Please continue praying for us until we are back home together safely (and longer, of course, as you think of us). As the Lord enables you, please also continue financially supporting our family until the very end of our time with LBT, at which point we will provide you with information on other missionaries and translation projects to which you can contribute if you desire to continue supporting the work of Bible translation, until we reach our goal of making God’s Word accessible to everyone in the language of their heart.
Thank you again for your partnership with us in this season of ministry as missionary Bible translators. We are so thankful to God that he has enabled us to work and walk together in this amazing journey, and that he has blessed us with success in producing a New Testament in the Nsenga language. May our gracious God continue to bless you until you join the heavenly throng in heaven, from every “nation, tribe, people, and language” praising Jesus our Lamb and Shepherd.
In Christian Love,
Chris, Janine, and Sean Pluger