Bio-diversity and Linguistic Diversity in God’s Creation

May 13, 2012 in Mark, Bible translation, Culture, Front, Justice, Language, Mission, Tanzania

There are around 6,900 languages spoken around the world today, and probably several million species of plants and animals. A BBC article today suggests that those areas of the world that have a particularly high degree of biodiversity are often the very same areas that are the most linguistically diverse.

The report also mentions that there are a large number of both languages, and also plants and animals, that are endangered and threatened with extinction in the coming decades. What is a Christian response to the fact that this diversity is threatened? Read the rest of this entry →

Why translate the Bible into Kibende?

April 21, 2012 in Wycliffe, Mark, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Language, Mission, Tanzania

Last month we were excited to be able to host six speakers of the Kibende language, as they took the very first step towards writing their language and later starting to translate the Bible into Kibende. During the week that they spent with us here in Mpanda they managed to collect over a thousand words in their language, which will later be analysed linguistically in order to come up with a writing system that is intuitive and easy for Kibende speakers to read and write.

For us it was encouraging to see this first step in the translation project, and to look ahead in faith to the coming months and years as the Bende hopefully become more and more involved in the work, and start to produce the first portions of Scripture. Read the rest of this entry →

Arrival in Mpanda

March 20, 2012 in Life, Mark, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Language, Tanzania

After many years of thinking and praying about moving to Mpanda, trying to imagine every last detail of what life might be like in our new home, last week we finally made the 3-day journey from the language school in Iringa to Katavi Region, where we are now living. Apart from being very long and very bumpy, we were grateful that the trip itself was largely uneventful, and thankful for the many people who were praying for our safe arrival.

Last Tuesday we arrived and were extremely happy to see our good friends again. Mark’s friend Richard has gotten married since we last saw him, so it was exciting to finally meet his new wife, Karin. We were also very pleased to be reunited with our friends Tim, Jeana and Micaiah who we met in the UK and visited in Canada last year. Read the rest of this entry →

Our flights are booked… to Tanzania!

November 22, 2011 in Life, Wycliffe, Mark, Front

Almost five years ago to the day I left Tanzania where I had been living and working as a member of Wycliffe, to fly to the US and marry my almost-wife, Laura. We had initially hoped to spend just a year in the UK before moving back to Tanzania, but for various reasons one year turned to two, three… and now almost five. Now it seems that our hope is finally about to come true, as this week we booked our flights to Tanzania in January!

Looking back we are extremely grateful for the last five years and can see that we wouldn’t have been ready to move overseas when we originally planned. Over this time we have learned a huge amount about each other, about our cultures, about God, about mission and about Bible translation, and Laura has identified a couple of allergies that were sapping a great deal of her energy in her everyday life. Over this time we have also worked in the Wycliffe UK offices (Mark recruiting new members and Laura serving as PA to the executive director) and taken studies related to our future work (Laura in Psychology and Family studies and Mark in Bible and Mission). All in all we are still slightly daunted about moving to Tanzania, but feel much better prepared now than we were a few years ago. Read the rest of this entry →

A Visit, and Looking Ahead…

April 25, 2011 in Life, Prayer, Wycliffe

A couple of weeks ago we had the opportunity to visit friends Tim, Jeana and Micaiah in British Columbia, Canada, who we’ll be working with in Tanzania in the future. It was our first visit to Canada which was exciting (having previously only flown over it, and seen its mountains in the distance on honeymoon…!)

The weekend was a lot of fun as we were able to get to know each other better, and to think ahead to the new translation project that we’re hoping to be part of together. Tim visited the area – Katavi Region in western Tanzania – last year as part of a language survey team, and to meet the church leaders who we will be working alongside, so it was good to see some of his photos.

Laura enjoyed talking with Jeana especially about the need for member care in Tanzania, helping people to thrive physically, emotionally and spiritually in what can be a stressful cross-cultural environment. As Laura continues with her program in Psychology and Family Studies here in Oregon she is excited to look ahead and see how what she is learning may be able to benefit our friends and colleagues in Tanzania.

I’m sure Tim, Jeana and Micaiah would appreciate your prayers as they prepare to return to Tanzania in the coming months. They and several other families will be joining the church leaders in Katavi Region as they embark on the early stages of making the Bible available to the various language communities in the area. Please also remember to pray for the church leaders and for the people that they lead, as they witness to the resurrection of Jesus among the communities of Katavi Region.

Our hope is to join the team at some point next year after our studies are finished, but we’re still talking to various people about plans at the moment so would appreciate your prayers for that. Thanks!

Tim, Jeana and Micaiah

Tim, Jeana and Micaiah

Micaiah's Card

A beautiful card Micaiah made for us all on her own...!