29 Oct

Prayer Update 28th October 2013

Greetings all!

Daniel and I have had a fairly quiet week at home as Hillcrest has been on holiday. Tim took one day off during the week but apart from that remained busy at the office.

Some of our activities last week have included:

• Watering our ever-expanding butternut squash plants 
• Evicting a large toad from the radish patch where he had buried himself
• Dealing with black hairy caterpillars that were trying to eat everything in sight
• Admiring a snake that Dan had helped to kill
• Attempting (with marginal success) to make marshmallows and honey roast peanuts from scratch
• Visiting the abattoir, preparing and mincing 4 kg of beef and 2 kg of pork for the freezer and curing another 2 kg of bacon
• Reading the fourth Tiffany Aching book by Terry Pratchett – I Shall Wear Midnight
• Reading Fahrenheit 451 for the first time – scarily recognisable in places
• Watching all three Lord of the Rings movies back to back with some friends in a movie marathon extraordinaire
• Keeping an eye on my e-mails and dealing with a few urgent jobs

A pretty chilled out week, all things considered!

So now it is back to work, it is really good to be back in the office, catching up with friends and getting stuck back into the nitty-gritty. We read a passage from Habakkuk this morning in our office devotions which included the verse that says that the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will cover the earth. Sometimes when times are hard here and people seem to be suffering so much we forget the reality that this is coming. It was a great encouragement to picture this golden flood of the realisation of God’s glory just completely coating the Earth with no part left untouched. In the meantime we work on our little area to bring a taste of His glory as people receive His Word in a language that really communicates to them.

Tim is currently getting stuck into helping rework and organise our Nigeria Group strategy. Not a job that I would enjoy but it suits Tim down to the ground! It is vital that we have a clearly worded, God-inspired, well organised and presented strategy so that we can focus our energies in the most productive way possible. He is also tackling how this should link into the Africa Area strategy and how it will adapt to possible new funding strategies. Needless to say he is enjoying getting his teeth into something big.

If you can, please take a few minutes to pray for us . . .

Praise
• A relaxing break from routine for Ali and Dan.
• A fun day watching Lord of the Rings together with friends.

Prayer
• For Dan’s relationships with his classmates, that he will be open and not defensive.
• That Tim’s work on the strategy document will reflect God’s will for our organisation and be helpful in moving us forward on the right path.

26 Oct

Does Bible translation make a difference?

I went on an EPIC road trip the other week: 850 total miles! About 24 of those were spent driving/waiting for the road block boys to let us go through. We managed to visit a couple of folks in Niger state, north western Nigeria, who are are helping to run projects in that neck of the woods.  

While I was in one of those locations I met a man who made my heart jump for joy. He loves his language. He wants others to love his language. He understands the Bible best in his language and wants to help others do the same.

I shot a wee video of him sharing what he is up to. He has some amazing testimonies to share!

 

View on Youtube

22 Oct

Make a difference by praying

Adapted from a blog post by Wycliffe UK on October 14th

Nigeria is a huge country: it has the largest population of any country in Africa and faces challenges that include ethnic rivalry, religious persecution, a crumbling infrastructure and, in the north, the desert is expanding. Nigeria also has at least 300 languages that need Bible translation.

When faced with such an enormous task, it can be hard to know where to find the people and resources to meet the needs.  One way is through Nigerians themselves becoming missionaries to Nigeria, and being supported by Nigerian churches:

At at upcoming event, you can see yours truly share a little bit about how this has made a difference to the Bible translation ministry in Nigeria 🙂

On 9th November at venues around the country Wycliffe UK will be holding Frontline Prayer Live, a dynamic and fast-paced prayer event. They will be having a special focus on Nigeria during the day and you can make a difference by joining us and praying. If you are too far from any of the official venues or not free on 9th November, why not hold an event yourself? Wycliffe can provide all the necessary prayer materials and you could be part of the team bringing the Word of God to Nigerians in their heart languages.

Find out more and register for Frontline Prayer Live (details are also on Facebook).

 
19 Oct

Good Bye Wycliffe Centre

On Saturday 7th September, over 450 People gathered at the Wycliffe Centre to attend a celebratory goodbye service. I was unable to be there due to our current African location, but it got me thinking about my memories of the site. I have LOTS of fond memories.

I first moved there April 15th 1985, a few months before I was 5. I lived longer at our house there than anywhere else in the world (so far). After university I started my real working life there (unless working a summer job at a distribution warehouse for nine weeks counts as 'real work'). In fact, almost all my memories are attached to that place.

On the whole I have happy memories… Long summers messing around in the woods or the swimming pool… Earning money in the kitchen at the weekends… Making some of the longest lasting friendships I have.

Many of us started our sporting careers on that site. For some the never-ending locations to kick a football around. For others the table tennis or the foosball… and dare I mention darts? Every summer evening there would be volleyball. Some of us grew tall enough to be of some use at the net, others not so much – but it did lead to representing universities, (yes it wasn’t a very big club)! Cricket also featured, if you were daring enough to face the fastball of Dr. Crozier!

In the later years, Ultimate Frisbee began to appear. Fast and ferocious, if you didn’t get out the way, a disc could leave scars, both emotional and physical. (It's okay, friendships are intact.)

Many of us learned to swim in that tiny, tiny, FREEZING pool. Somehow, as a kid, the temperature didn’t matter too much.

I remember many, many discussions over the rules of half court. Does the scorer retain the ball at the start of the next point, or not?

Bonfire parties and carol services were chances to connect with the local community and schools. Both were often so well attended that it was easy to feel anonymous for a while. Funny to see my son in my school uniform, causing as much hilarity as I am sure I did, trying to sing on that stage.

For some, the Wycliffe Centre isn’t full of happy memories. Some kids were evacuated from their homes overseas and landed there, confused and hurt. It seems strangely similar to the kids who occupied the school on the site during the Second World War. I had the privilege of working with some of our modern day evacuees. Seeing God at work in their lives, I realised that they can hate Horsley’s Green all they like, but it wont change the situation or heal the pain of having to leave their homes overseas.

The site has meant so many things to so many people, but I am glad someone has been brave enough to make the extremely hard decision to sell the place and take Wycliffe UK into the next stage of it’s ministry.

11 Oct

Prayer Update 11th October 2013

Greetings from Jos!

Last week Tim did a road trip with Jono, a colleague and good mate of his. They travelled to Niger (sounds like tiger) State, not to be confused with Niger (sounds more like kneezjair with a French accent) the country! Niger State is found in the north west of Nigeria. There are a number of language projects that we are involved with in Niger State and Jono, as our Language Projects Co-ordinator, needed to go and visit them. Travelling on your own is not really recommended here, the prospect of a New Testament dedication and eager to try out his new camera, Tim jumped at the opportunity to accompany him. Despite a minor car problems involving leaking automatic transmission fluid on the way, they made it safely to their first stop. The second day’s travel involved heading further across the state towards to Benin border including a very poor section of road where it took nearly 3 hours to travel 90km, but once again they arrived safely and in plenty of time before dark. A couple of days later, having met local translators and heard about how the work is progressing, they headed back home. This time they did the whole distance in one day, leaving at 6am and making it back to Jos by 4.30pm. The distances they were travelling didn’t look all that far on our wall map of Nigeria but in reality it was a round trip of 850 miles, Nigeria really is a BIG country! One disappointment was that the community decided to postpone the dedication until November. We are quiet sure why but it is not uncommon over here!

For larger high quality pictures go to Tim's Flickr page. 

I have been tackling an update to one aspect of the Ethnologue (a book that describes, albeit briefly, all the languages of the world) this week. We are trying to describe the vitality (or “aliveness” if you like) of the different languages in Nigeria. The thing that really affects the alive status of a language is whether it is being passed on to the next generation. If parents are not teaching the language to their children then the language will become threatened and unless something changes, will eventually die out. One of the reasons we need to know about language vitality is so that we can make wise decisions about which languages to invest our limited resources in translation.

Thank you to all of you who e-mailed to say that you were praying for Dan. In general he has had a better week this week, in particular he has felt more included by the other kids at break times. He finds the less structured class time in Art difficult and this is often a trouble spot in the week for him. He has Art on a Tuesday afternoon so if you remember please do try and pray for him then. We have spent some time talking about (and drawing) the armour of God and Dan has come up with his own, personalised version, so rather than the sword of the Spirit he has the light-sabre of the Spirit! This has definitely helped him to be more conscious about calling on God’s help in difficult situations. Thank you so much to all of you who pray for us so faithfully, it makes a huge difference. We often forget how powerful prayer is!

Praise

• Dan has had a better week at school
• Tim’s road trip went well and they made it back safely

Prayer

• That Dan would have a better experience at school, especially during Art class
• That I can gather the necessary information about language vitality in time

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