Read our summer newsletter by clicking the link. If you’re tired of reading what Chris has to say, take heart! There is a special guest writer featured in this edition.
On Sunday, Chris went to an Nsenga-speaking church in a village, along with the pastor and three members of the Nsenga Bible Translation Project. The goal was to read some excerpts from the Nsenga New Testament to the church members, and get comments and questions from them that might help improve the translation, while at the same time building enthusiasm and community involvement in the project.
After the service, the committee members and the pastor took turns reading. They read portions of Matthew 4, John 3, Acts 2, Romans 8, and Revelation 1. A church member also read the first ten verses of Ephesians 2.
The readings were very well received. After each one, there was discussion about certain words that had been chosen, and some suggestions for improvement. (Why did you use “cisomo” for “grace”? Couldn’t you use “shuko” instead?) In the Matthew reading, we had made an embarrassing mistake – we had Satan asking Jesus to “throw himself off” of the high mountain, instead of just “bowing (himself) down” to worship Satan on the mountaintop.
We took several of the suggestions from the congregation and incorporated them into our Nsenga draft. One in particular was the word for “sound” in Acts 2 – the “sound” of the rushing wind. Someone in the congregation suggested the perfect word for that idea.
For Chris, the best part was during the reading of Romans 8. The reader was doing a very good job – clearly he had practiced beforehand, and his Nsenga was very nice – and the congregation was just sitting very still and quiet. In other readings, there had been some moving around, maybe some smiles or whispered comments as people interacted with the reading, but not this one. No one was moving, no one was talking. The reader got a little uncomfortable, it seemed, with everyone looking at him. So he stopped and asked, “Are you understanding this? You’re not saying anything.”
It took a second for the people to respond. They had been sitting still, attentive, hanging on his every word. Then they collectively realized how quiet they had been, and laughed. “Oh yes!” people we saying. “We get it!” “We like it very much.” “It’s very nice to hear.”
How wonderful for a group of people who have been straining to understand the Bible in a different language, to finally be able to hear God’s Word in a way that they can’t help but pay attention to, on the edge of their seats, because He is finally speaking in their language too!
For more pictures and comments, follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152925825397006.1073741836.748382005&type=1&l=6ca55d0276
It’s been a while since many of you heard from us, and we want to keep you updated on our rapidly-changing lives over the next few weeks.
Right now, Chris is in Zambia. He returned on May 12, and is now getting settled and re-adjusted to African town life. He is back in the translation office helping the Nsenga team do final editing and checking on the New Testament. He is also making sure things are ship-shape at the house, including overseeing the replacement of the water tank.
Janine and Sean are still in the USA. Janine (among many other things), is running the household, writing thank-you notes, packing, and sewing lots and lots of nametags into all of Sean’s clothing in preparation for him to head off to boarding school.
Sean, meanwhile, is finishing his last week of 7th grade and looking forward to summer vacation. He has a camping trip planned with some friends, and then a bunch of “one lasts,” before he and Janine leave the US on June 17th.
On the way back to Zambia, Janine and Sean will visit some friends in Italy. They are sure to have lots of great stories and pictures from this cool visit. Sean is particularly excited about the chance to visit the Lamborghini museum, and to get at least two stamps in his passport that Chris doesn’t (yet) have.
We are all looking forward to being reunited in Zambia on June 27th.
Greetings to all of you! Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and email!
~ The Plugers
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…
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.
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!
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!
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?”