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Sean’s School

April 22, 2015

Many of you have been specifically praying about Sean’s schooling situation during our next term of missionary service. Thank you all so much for praying for Sean’s education! It really is one of the major factors that affect our lives in Zambia.


For our first term (grades 4-6), Sean was homeschooled in Petauke as a class of one. This year on furlough he has been in grade 7 at a small Lutheran grade school very near where we are staying in Ohio. He has enjoyed his classes and classmates. All this year, we have been exploring options and investigating different school opportunities for Sean upcoming in grade 8, and also looking ahead to high school.

But we haven’t had a definite answer about where Sean is going to attend school…

…until now.

This past Tuesday, we were told that Sean has been accepted for 8th grade at Rift Valley Academy in Kijabe, Kenya. RVA is a mission-run boarding school specifically for about 500 missionary kids (MKs) whose parents are serving in Africa.

We are very happy that Sean has the chance to attend school with a bunch of other kids in his same life situation, and to be surrounded by a supportive school family that understands the exigencies of missionary life and places a high value on providing a quality, American-style, Christian education to its students. RVA offers a full junior- and senior-high programme, so if RVA is a good fit for Sean he could conceivably attend there until his high school graduation in June 2020.

As a boarding school student, Sean (and his mom & dad!!) will have a lot to get used to, from putting name tags in all of his clothes, to tea breaks, dorm life, cheering for the rugby team, weekend trips, solo plane rides, phone calls home, and all the rest. Janine and Chris will have to get used to an “empty nest” for nine months every year, and all of us will look forward with great anticipation to Sean’s three term breaks each year.

But in spite of all the upcoming adjustments (for which we definitely ask your continuing prayers!), we give thanks to God that Sean has this opportunity, and we look forward to all of the educational adventures to come.

Please feel free to comment or email with any questions you have, and again a huge THANK YOU to all who have been and will be praying for Sean’s education and safe travels.


Our Going-back-to-Zambia Newsletter!

April 6, 2015

As promised, our Spring Newsletter is now available online. The big news is that we are now cleared to return to Zambia to start our second term of service!

Also included, mostly for all of our new friends, is a list of the highlights from our first term. Read these and rejoice with us over the great things that God is doing with the Nsenga Bible Translation Project!

Return to Zambia!

March 25, 2015

It’s official! At 6am on Tuesday, May 12, Chris will return to Zambia to begin our second term of service with the Nsenga Bible Translation Project. Janine and Sean will follow after Sean’s school year is over.

Look for more details in our soon-to-be-released Spring Newsletter!

Engaging with Scripture

February 17, 2015

This is a great little video produced by Lutheran Bible Translators that helps answer the question, “OK, so you are translating the Bible into a new language. What comes next?”


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

December 22, 2014

Greetings to all our family and friends, and those who are supporting and praying for our work with the Nsenga Bible Translation Project.

It’s hard to be away from Zambia this Christmas, missing our friends and colleagues there. But it is a blessing to be “home” for the holidays, and also encouraging to know that the project is moving forward even in our absence.stockings

We are looking forward to our return to Zambia to continue full-time translation work in the late spring.

In the meantime, it is our joy to visit our stateside supporters and update them on our progress. With God’s blessing and your help, the Nsenga New Testament will be dedicated in June of 2016, and translation work on the Old Testament will begin even before that milestone date.

Please enjoy our Christmas newsletter, with thoughts about living “In Two Worlds.”

We are grateful to all who support and pray for our work, and we are looking for about 30-50 more people to join our “team” of financial partners who can make regular contributions to fund our work in Zambia to bring the Word of God to the Nsenga people.

If you are able to make an ongoing contribution to our work, or would like to make a special donation to the project, click on this link. A recurring gift of only $19/month keeps us in the field for one whole day each year!

Thank you for your support and prayers.

With love,

Chris, Janine, and Sean Pluger

Master’s Degree

October 23, 2014

Chris has just finished the last of his coursework, begun in 2009, for a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics from GIAL in Dallas, Texas. Coursework included classes in descriptive grammar, phonetics and phonology, discourse analysis, NT Greek exegesis, translation theory, field methodology, cross-cultural teaching, and other electives. His thesis, which he successfully defended on October 9, is now posted online.

Click the link to read Translating New Testament Proverb-like Sayings in the Style of Nsenga Proverbs.

Below is an outline, for those who might not want to read the whole thing:

  • Chapter 1: Introduction and overview of the thesis
  • Chapter 2: A survey of some relevant academic literature, including identification and translation of proverbs
  • Chapter 3: Defining a “proverb-like” saying in the New Testament, with many examples from the Greek
  • Chapter 4: An overview of Nsenga grammar
  • Chapter 5: Analysis of Nsenga proverbs (grammar, topics, sound patterns)
  • Chapter 6: Translating NT proverb-like sayings into Nsenga, using local-language proverbs as models
  • Chapter 7: Testing and review of sample translations
  • Chapter 8: Summary and suggestions for future research
  • Appendix A: 270 Nsenga proverbs, with translations, explanations, and grammatical glosses
  • Appendix B: A list of 74 New Testament “proverb-like sayings”
  • Appendix C: Reviewer responses

    Chris, with other GIAL students, sharing sweets and a study break.

    Chris, with other GIAL students, sharing sweets and a study break.

There is no way Chris could have done this work alone. As the proverb says, “Kakumo kamo nthakotola inda” (One finger cannot pick a louse). Thank you to all who have supported Chris in his studies, especially those Nsenga co-workers in Zambia who helped him understand and apply Nsenga proverbial wisdom to the ongoing Bible translation project. We pray that some of the work done for Chris’ thesis might help to improve the Nsenga New Testament project.

Fall update

October 10, 2014

It’s been a long time since the last update, but we hope you haven’t forgotten about us. The whole family is now settled (temporarily) back in the USA. For our furlough, which should run through Spring 2015, we will be based in Fairborn, Ohio. Right now, though, Chris is in Dallas, Texas at the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics, putting the finishing touches on work toward his Master’s Degree.

Catch up on our latest news, including back-to-school updates and a lot of “quirky” Nsenga proverbs in our latest newsletter: Plugers’ Fall Newsletter. Also, stay tuned for a detailed report on Chris’ MA thesis and our upcoming speaking schedule. We hope to see many of you very soon!


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