23 Apr

The month when the mangoes ripen

I first met my Friend Samuel over in Togo back in ’98 when i was part of a short term team visiting his town adn language project. In Jan 2015 I have the privilege of heading back to Togo to attend the dedication of the Ntcham Bible. Samuel wrote this following in a recent newsletter:

The month of April in the Bassar language is called ‘the month when the mangoes ripen’. There are mangoes everywhere in the villages and on the farms. It is like manna from heaven for many people, because for the next three months food will be in short supply. Many families will face food shortages until August, when beans will be harvested. This is because they still believe that their deceased relatives need lavish funerals in order to be accepted in the after-life. They will have used up most of their sorghum and millet harvest celebrating these funerals with their extended families. We thank God that Christianity, and especially reading the Bible in the Bassar language, is opening the eyes of many people to the truth about God, and they are abandoning such practices.

It is great to see the Bassar community transformed but God’s word!

The Ntcham Bible is avalibe in multiple forms online.
http://worldbibles.org/language_detail/eng/bud/Ntcham

As a podcast in Itunes 🙂

http://globalrecordings.net/en/language/2256

06 Feb

Prayer update – 6th February 2015

Greetings from toasty warm Nigeria!
Well, the cold has gone and been replaced by quite considerable heat. Walking home with Dan after school, only about a ten minute walk, is enough to leave us both gasping for a cold drink. We are hoping to make the most of a day off school that Dan has tomorrow to go to a swimming pool (outdoor and definitely not heated!).

IMG_9286Talking of school and Dan, he is now in his final year of Primary school (Elementary). His teacher has been increasing the amount of homework recently so that when his class hits Secondary school (Middle school for any Americans out there), it won’t be quite so much of a shock. It does mean that he is often having to finish his homework after our evening meal which does not leave a lot of playing time for him during the week. Please pray that he will adjust well to this new routine and that we will still be able to find time when he can just be a boy!

I am also experiencing an adjustment related to school. Once again I agreed to teach the Computer Applications course for Grade 9 (Year 10 for any Brits out there!) at Hillcrest. Although I have already taught this course 3 times, this time is completely different! Hillcrest updated their software from Office XP to Office 2013 – a big jump! As a result the old textbooks can’t be used and as buying new textbooks is ridiculously expensive I decided to try and find a new way to teach it. I discovered some brilliant free online tutorials for Word and Excel. Using these in combination with a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Schoology, we are making it work. Best of all, the students are enjoying it far more than the old way of doing it!

A few weeks ago Tim was able to travel to Togo for a great occasion. It was the dedication of the full Bible in Ncham (also sometimes referred to as Bassar), a language spoken in both Togo and Ghana. For more on this – check out Tim’s blog post at HERE/

The elections are now approaching rapidly and there is a certain amount of tension in the air. The presidential elections look likely to be closely contested and may result in a run-off.
To be honest with you, one of the things that I am struggling through processing is the uncertainty of what may happen. Will everything go smoothly, will there be trouble, will we have to leave the area or even the country?
Please pray for peace for Nigeria and mental peace for us, whatever happens.

Praise
Jos has remained calm since the start of the New Year
Tim was able to travel to Togo for the dedication of the Ncham Bible

Prayer
Dan will cope well with the new levels of homework he is receiving
I will be able to balance teaching with the rest of my work and do all of it for God’s glory!
The whole election process will go smoothly and that we will trust God whatever happens

13 Jul

Togo 2010 Update 2 – Sent on Sunday 11th July

Monday 5th
Pretty much the whole day was taken up with travelling to Bassar. We and all our bags piled into the minibus and headed off at 0700! We arrived about 1500 and promptly prayed over the building our beds and then the rains came! Boy was it loud, pretty awesome! Hanging mosquito nets is a bit of a mission when you are hot and sticky, but they all got hung and supplies bought and we started to settle in!

Tuesday 6th
Day 1 in Bassar involved a little walk into town to visit the police station
to let them know we are around in town. The Chief Constable, Raymond there is always very welcoming and open to hear about what we are up to this time on our visit. Wondering around the town is surprising hot and tiresome for us ‘yovo’ (white people), so after a lovely siesta we sat down with our resident linguist, Ruth who taught us some of the basic linguistics we need to go on and learn some Ntcham. This mostly involved trying to figure out how we make all the various sounds in English, only to find that Ntcham has so many others that we aren’t used to making!

Wednesday 7th
The morning had in store for us our first Ntcham learning session with Samuel. We learnt about the different sounds in the Ntcham alphabet and then all the various greetings. We moved onto to have a wander into town practicing those greetings with everyone we meet along the way.
The afternoon was spent chilling out hope for the big rain storm to come our way. It didn’t.

Thursday 8th
This morning was Ntcham class 102. 0900 in the office with Samuel learning our new Ntcham names. The pronunciations can be a challenge!

Tim- Gbati
Steve-Ubootu
Ruth- Damba
Megan – Jabii
Aimee – Saai
Lizzy – Jeeti
Miriam – Jaai
Hannah – Ajaa

We learnt how to introduce our selves and ask “what is your name” we also learnt a few more ‘survival’ phrases like, I’m sorry, thank you and I don’t understand. Once again, we took a wonder around town practicing the things we have just learnt. It is so much easier than learning a language in school. The freedom to go and apply what we just learnt is a real advantage! After a wee siesta in the afternoon we headed to the office to help Samuel produce some booklets of the scripture portions he has translated. We hope to distribute these in the various church meetings we visit while we are here. Every night after dinner we get together and have devotions. We take it in turns to lead based on one of the passages about Jesus ministry. The session includes a bit of singing, praying and sharing about our day, what we have found good and what we have maybe found harder. A great time to explore scripture together and grow closer to God and be challenged in ways that maybe we didn’t expect.

Friday 9th
A more chilled day today, Ruth wasn’t feeling so great yesterday and woke up feeling worse today. The team did a great job of reacting with prayer for her! Whilst the rest of the team headed into town to greet people and check out some cloth and negotiate with the Tailor, Tim and Ruth popped next door to see the doctor. The result is that we are currently treating her for malaria. It is far more precautionary than reactionary; it is very simple to treat here. She is fairly chirpy when not asleep but she has rested well, drank lots and even eaten some. We thank God that she is already doing better at the time we write this. Please do pray that her recovery is quick, the team miss having her around! After lunch, some of the girls got their hair braided, it is certainly an experience! You’ll have to check out some photos after we are home.

Saturday 10th
This morning we headed over to Samuels house to learn about making African Donuts! First job is to make the batter. We then headed into town to explore market day. Town is much busier than any other day we have been in, and the market was packet with everything imaginable included smoked fish on every corner. Ruth is doing better today; she managed to join the team for breakfast. After lunch we headed back to Samuels house to cook to donuts having given the batter time to rise over lunch.

05 Jul

Togo 2010 Update 1 – Sent on Sunday 3rd July

Hi folks, sorry for the lack of contact, we landed fine, managed to eventually get visas in Lome airport and found all our bags with no problems! The first few days are always tiring, due to the travel and the change in climate, but everyone is doing really well. Saturday was spent getting used to life here, drinking lots of water and hoping that Steve could get all the supplies we need. Thankfully he did, and we managed a short wander down the road near the guesthouse.

This morning we headed out for our first church meeting of the trip. The service started at 0700. Yes you did read that right! The church has 3 services and the 0700 service is conducted in French and English. The next 2 of the morning are conducted in French plus one of the local languages. Long and warm is not a great combination for staying awake, but a wonderful experience being with several hundred of God’s people worshiping together!

This afternoon we hope to head out to a small party with some of the other missionary families who are around at the moment. There has been some trouble here the past couple of weeks. The petrol prices were hiked up and several groups of workers held strikes that led to localised protests. Things have been calm since we have been here (I doubt it is our influence!). You could pray for continued peace and that our plans aren’t disrupted!

Tomorrow we head up to Bassar, a 5-7 hour minibus ride. We are all looking forward to getting up there and getting settled in.

– Pray for continued good health

– Pray for safe travels

26 Aug

Summer is finally calming down!

Well I have finally finished my epic summer. Togo, 5 days, WYnet Camp, 6 days then soul Survivor. Many, many highlights to share but I will restrict myself to a couple from each place

Togo: Getting 205 Ntcham New Testaments into the hands of people who need them ,also the epic journey to the top of the mountain 🙂 A whole lot of stuff already posted about Togo… go read it!

WYnet camp: Definitely Thursday evening, getting all the leaders releasing stuff in prayer over all the peeps who were at camp. It was an amazing privilege to stand there with a bunch of wonderful amazing young people all desperate to see God move in them an through them. Also amazing to see Young people desperate to see God working in their lives and that they were prepared to be open to God using us. Okay i say us, i am really thinking wow God wants to use ME. I somehow lost sight out that the last couple years. All the routine of summer camp, easy to organise and put everything in place, but being open to God using you, that never fits into a plan! It sort of revived my desperation to see God move in my life and to use me at every given opportunity. Thanks gang for being open to that, thanks campers for being open to God!!!

Soul Survivor: Going into 10 days of Camping and exhibiting already tired is NEVER a good plan. Thank you Steve for putting up with me and helping me get through! This was the first time I have thought, maybe i am actually getting to old for this job! I hate camping at the best of times let alone in Gale force wind and flood producing down pours. We made a lot of good contacts, had a LOT of great fun with our Neighbours from Ellel Ministries in the Tool shed exhibition. A lot of the time was blurred with the news that Christophe one of the translators in Togo had died. I knew it would happen, he had stomach Cancer, but trying to deal with that, a colleague of 10 years, and 20 people to call and inform was not easy in the middle of exhibiting.

15 Jul

Togo Team Update 5

Monday 7th
Our final language lesson with Samuel was good, we learnt about numbers,
money and counting money, which is different from other counting. We learnt
‘power tools’ which are key phrases and questions to help us learn more
Ncham vocab. So things like, what is that called? Where is _____? How
do you say _________ in Ncham? We then headed for a walk around town to
buy a few supplies and practice a few phrases, we even stopped off for a
Coke. In the afternoon the girls had their hair braided and the boys
headed over to visit Samuel’s farm. In the evening we did our daily devotionals.
Every evening we look at a part of Jesus ministry as an example for our
own lives and ministries. Each team member takes a few turns during the
trip to lead the devotional, share a bit about the passage and ask a few
discussion questions. We talk about the day, sing some songs, do some
bible declarations and pray before bed.

Tuesday 8th
This was the first of our 2 day family visits. We spilt the team into 2
groups, the first group headed to Madame Pierre’s house, she is the lady
who is doing the cooking for us. They headed out to the market, peeled
Yams, pounded FooFoo, ground Tomatoes to make the sauce and eventually ate
it all. They also made Bean cakes, which are white beans cooked off,
added to flour and water, whisked up then deep fried. The second group
headed to Samuel’s house to spend the day with his family, they also
headed off to the market, then they made the dough for doughnuts so that
it would rise. They learnt how to sweep, to wash and how to cut up fish
to cook, and rice, all done on a charcoal fire! After lunch, everyone
gathered at Samuel’s house to fry and taste the doughnuts. Late in the
afternoon we all headed back to the guesthouse for a debrief looking at
how much vocab we had learnt. We talked a lot about the lifestyle and
everyone’s simple lack of ‘stuff’. Just before dinner arrived, the tailor
and seamstress turned up to take our orders, joy was had in trying to
describe what wondrous creations had been drawn and making sure all the
correct measurements were with the correct designs and the correct cloth!
The prices were excellent and everyone was excited to see how they would
turn out!

Wednesday 9th
Today the two teams swapped houses so that everyone could get a full
experience, but also to be able to compare the two houses and lifestyles.
When Madame Pierre isn’t cooking for us, she runs a hair salon in town
with a good number of apprentices. Her husband used to be the keyboardist
for the translation team but now runs a women’s development NGO in Bassar.
They are quite well off in comparison to Samuel’s family. They are also
a bit older and have been working for much longer! As if the day hadn’t
been long enough, we had an early supper and then headed out by motorbike
relay taking the team to the Church of Pentecost on the road out of town
for a 1800 service. Much fun is had on the bikes and an evening service
quite suits the team! At the start of the service there was literally
about 8 people and the team in the church. As the sun went down, it got
darker, and after only a couple songs it was time for Tim’s 3rd preach.
Just as he started to preach, one of the ladies on the front row handed him
a torch, it became apparent there was no electricity in this church
building! Not exactly a carols by candlelight and certainly a new
experience having to preach whilst holding notes and a torch to see them!
Samuel was in good form and the team appreciated only having to sit through 1
translation this time. The pastor however was not an Ncham speaker and so
he had someone sat beside him translating from Samuel’s Ncham into his
native Ewe! I guess that is not so uncommon here. The motorbike relay
home was a little more exciting, in the dark and also the rain! Just as
the pastor was saying the closing prayer the rain fell, and boy was it loud.
As soon as we stepped outside we discovered it wasn’t as bad as expected,
the tin roof made it seem a lot worse!

Thursday 10th
At every church service we have made an offer to the congregation to
reduce the price of the Ncham new testament to make it more affordable for
more people. When it was first published it was 1000cfa (approx 800cfa =
£1) then they reduced it to 500 because no-one was buying them, so we
made the offer to reduce it to 300cfa and cover the extra costs ourselves.
Thursday morning was the day we had set for people to come to the
translation office to buy the New Testaments or any of the 4 Old Testament
book that have been published. It seemed like a long morning 0800 – 1130
but at the end of the morning, 150 had been sold! It was a tremendous
encouragement to the team, and also to the translators. Word had even
spread so that a few people from the Catholic Church bought some and even a
non-believer who was fixing the car of another guy who was buying bibles,
wanted one! The only downer was half the team getting sun burnt. So
the afternoon was spent slapping on the after-sun, drinking lots of water
and relaxing!

Friday 11th
Due to sun burn problems some of the planned excursions were put on hold,
a few did make it out to visit the bakery. They met with the baker and
then headed out towards the mill. The wheat gets ground in one room, then
in the next room, it is made into dough. Every baker has their own
recipe, and ours likes to add a bit of nutmeg which of course must be
ground before adding. Water and yeast and sugar and salt and a tablet of
bicarbonate of soda is all mixed up and then slowly added to the flour in
the mixer. The mixer has three parts. 1 – the motor linked to 2- car
axle with a fly wheel on it, adapted to take a dough hook instead of a
drive shaft. Which sat in 3- the bowl with a raised middle which sat on
a pillar so the operator could turn the bowl whilst the hook mixed the
dough. When everyone has had a good debate and is happy, it is pulled
out and slapped though a machine that can only be described as a giant
wrangler, which kneads the dough. From there, into a cloth sack and onto
a motorbike, off to the bakers house where it is made into 200 loaves of
bread. Some of which took the form of crocodiles, an elephant and even a
mobile phone! Post lunch was time to rest before we headed out to the
local gospel Radio station. Not something a team has done before, but
GREAT fun. We introduced ourselves live on radio and after a little
explanation as to why the team was here, we introduced ourselves in Ncham.
We then sang a couple of songs and got REALLY hot in a tiny studioesque room
in the back of someone’s house! The station covers 4300km2 which is
pretty large, but no-one can know the number of listeners. Having
motorbike relayed the team back to the guesthouse; Tim and Samuel go off
to the station to record a sermon. A wonderful opportunity to give the
gospel and make an appeal, encouraging people if they have responded to go and
find a church to get involved in. As we settle into Devotions the tailor and
seamstress arrive with the finished clothes. The team are very pleased
bar 1 dress that isn’t finished yet, due to some design questions and
discussion!

Saturday 12th
The few who made bread, rise early (see what I did there?) to go and bake
it, but upon arrival we find it has already all been baked, they started
at 0100 and were done by the time we go there at 0630. A little
disappointing, but we did leave with 3000cfa worth of
bread we had helped make
which is probably far too much bread for a small team to eat! We didn’t
want that much, but we didn’t have the right amount of money, and so they
piled more bread onto the pile!

Sunday 13th
We headed out early to go to Tatale (tan-ta-lea) at 0730 to go visit a
church. Tatale is an Ncham speaking town over the border in Ghana.
Languages aren’t always restricted to country boundaries in fact there are
more Ncham speakers in Ghana than Togo. They are slightly different
dialects, but the Ghanaians can fully understand and read the Togolese.
We crossed the border fine, and got to the church to find everyone
emptying out and carrying everything to town. After further investigation
we find that one of the church members died early in the morning and the
whole church is going to run the funeral and the burial. So we go and
find a different church to attend and share there instead! We hung out
for a long while eating our packed lunch at the first church waiting for
the pastor to turn up so we can have a brief meeting with him before
heading home.

And so here we are!

08 Jul

Togo Team Update 4 (July 1st – July 6th)

We have been busy, hot, tired, wet and excited but not all the same time!
Tim’s throat infection has cleared up, and bar a wee headache here and
there we are all in good health.

Tuesday
We managed to get out in the morning to visit all the people we were
supposed to see on Monday. We started with a Mototaxi relay up to the
traditional chief, only to find he had popped out to see the Prefet. 90
minutes later he arrived back to welcome us in his ‘palace’. It is the
one situation requiring the best practised etiquette. The team did really
well, helped by Samuel doing all the hard work for us! From there we
visited the Prefet, he is the government representative in the area,
responsible for the implementation of policy. He is not however a
representative of the people to the government like our MP’s at home. From
there we visited the Police chief, who was very happy to see us, and even
happier to identify that Ryan Giggs who plays for his team, Manchester
United, was from Wales like Richy and Beth! From there we headed up the
road a bit to visit Christof at his house. He is one of the translators
and he has been off sick for 8 months dealing with cancer. From there
home for a late lunch!
In the afternoon we relaxed and played lots of cards!
PRAY for Christof, Samuel’s prayer is that he will get
to know God for sure before he dies.
PRAY for the rest of the team working without him and trying to
sensitively plan for the future.

Wednesday
After a relaxed start to the day and a quick supply run, we headed down to
the translation office to spend some time with the team learning more
about the process they go through to do the translation. They were in the
process of checking the first draft of 1 Samuel 29. The first translator
had translated from French and a couple of other versions into Ncham. The
checking process gets more people involved and compares the text to the
original Hebrew to make sure it is as accurate as possible. There is
plenty of discussion over terms and words and meanings until they agree
the correct way to explain the situation in Ncham.
In the afternoon we started to do some language learning. Basic greetings
are a little complex. There is morning, afternoon and evening greetings
in both singular and plural. There are a few changes required with
respect to generations too! The team did great and then we did a small
walk about to practice our greetings.
PRAISE for being able to start speaking Ncham.
PRAY for patience as we move on from basic greetings.
PRAISE for 1 Samuel now done in second draft!

Thursday
Anthropology is the study of people and culture and at a very basic level
is about observing and for us, comparing. So first thing in the morning we
headed out for a long walk around town, practising all our greetings as we
went. After the walk we stopped and had a fab discussion about the
difference between Bassar and home, and some of the culture we had
observed and how people dress and behave and what work they do. IT is
HOT and sticky by the time we get home, thank God for running water today!
In the afternoon we do our second bout of language learning looking at
things like yes and no, please and thank you, sorry, excuse me, and my name
is, and what is your name. These are a bit harder and take more
practice, but we get there and have even been given Ncham names!!
PRAISE for being able to safely go around town, welcomed by so many people.

Friday
Folks are feeling a bit tired, a bit sick of red sauce and ready for a
break. It is okay, people get by with the delightful thoughts of Kara on
Saturday, a swimming pool and some shopping! After breakfast we do a walk
around another part of town, and attempt to draw some maps. This helps us
to recognise what is at the centre of town and get some idea of what
people might consider important. In Bassar, it is the market! Afternoon
is spent sleeping by most and relaxing by the rest.
PRAY for the energy levels of the team

Saturday
Had a day over in Kara which is about an hour and a half away from Bassar.
Kara is the home of the SIL headquarters in Togo, also the home of
Sheila Crunden. SIL is Wycliffe’s partner in Togo, they are involved in Bible
Translation and literacy work out here. Sheila is a Wycliffe UK
member working here in Togo and she was part of the Ncham New Testament
project way back in the 70’s. It was wonderful to hear her testimony
and hear how God has challenged her and used her here in Togo, a great
encouragement to the team. We picked up Becky that we met on the journey
up last week and headed to the market to buy cloth. It was a nice market,
not much hassle and a vast array of cloth. Lunch was at the hotel Kara,
chicken and chips went down a treat and were followed by a swim in
the hotel pool!
PRAISE for the opportunity to chill out for a day.

Sunday
This morning we were at the AOG (Assemblies of God) church that Samuel attends, it was like 3
½ hours long, lots of choirs and groups singing, 45 minutes of sermon by
Tim, but only because he was translated into French and then into Ncham!
Then there was a massive storm which made it almost impossible to hear
what was going on. We eventually discover the pastor teaching about
communion, which then followed! The afternoon was spent sleeping and
chilling, and the evening meeting we were going to attend got moved until
Wednesday. We also made an offer to the people in the church to buy
discounted New Testaments at the office on Thursday. We shall see what
comes of that later in the week!

01 Jul

Togo team update 3

Hey folks we are up in Bassar!

Monday afternoon as we write this email, we are all a little bored and
slightly claustrophobic because it has been raining since 0300 in the
morning and we haven’t been able to leave the house yet!

Friday we were still in Lomé, we did some cultural orientation in the
morning then Tim and Samuel ran around town exchanging money and buying
supplies. Bassar has a population of around 40,000(?) but there are
something’s you simply can’t buy. Jam for example. In the afternoon we
visited the Togo Bible Society office to find our selves in the middle of
their postponed weekly chapel meeting! It was wonderful to find out more
about what they do in Togo, especially as they are partners in the Bassar
project. We then headed off to the Wycliffe Togo office only to find
that the head of the office (Napo) who is an Ncham (the language in Bassar) speaker
was in the north of the country. Maybe we will try him again at the end of
the trip.

a.. PRAY for the Togo Bible society, they are looking to expand their
team so that can do more translation and more distribution.
b.. PRAY for Napo the head of Wycliffe Togo as he travels that he will
clearly communicate the need to have bibles in mother tongues.

Saturday we were up early, breakfast at 6, the bus was an hour late to
pick us up, some would say “that is Africa”. We loaded up and headed north.
The driver was very good, knowing all the best places to buy more supplies
especially fruit along the way. We got stocked up with bananas, mangoes,
pineapples and oranges. The first three are not really available in Bassar.

Along the way we stopped for lunch in Sokodé, and met up with Becky Snead
who is a Wycliffe UK member working on a dictionary project. It was a
welcome break from the bus! We arrived in Bassar at 1600 which gave us a
couple hours to check the place out, set up the mozzie nets, get the water
filter going and connect up the newly bought gas cooker. Bar a tap that
wouldn’t turn off and a bit of tape required for the window screen, the
house was wonderful.

a.. Pray for Becky, she is trying to get the dictionary in a state to
publish by December.
b.. PRAISE for the safe, trouble free journey.

Sunday was our first church experience. We attended Bassar Baptist
church, which was a wonderful gentle introduction to African church life. The
service was a bit hot, but not too long, and Tim preached for the first
time on this trip. The whole team were clapping and moving in the worship,
even recognising some of the songs we could sing along in English. We even had
a chuckle when they pulled the hymn books out for two songs!

Mid afternoon we popped over to Samuel’s house to meet and greet his
family and present the gifts we bought for the kids. It was a warm afternoon
but good to meet the rest of Samuel’s clan. A little odd watching Tom and
Jerry in French though!

Post evening devo’s Tim and Richie managed to run back to Samuel’s house
to watch the last 15 minutes of Spain beating Germany for the Euro 2008
title.

a.. PRAY for Samuel, for protection over his family,
b.. PRAY he finds the time and finance to finish building his new house.
c.. PRAY as he embarks on a pig farming income generation project.

Monday the rain started during the night, lightning and thunder right over
head, somehow some of the team managed to sleep though it! After lunch
the rain actually stopped enough for Samuel to take Tim to the doctor. Tim
has managed to pick up a throat infection which is limiting his ability to
swallow. The doc has prescribed some anti-biotic tablets and some
anti-inflammatory; he should be fine in 5 days time.

a.. PRAY the medicine works.
b.. PRAY for Jenny as she keeps the team working

26 Jun

Tim and the Togo team get set

Bit of a delay in gettin it on here but here is the first update from Tim and the Togo team . . .

So the team has been together for a whole 30 hours now and we are now
at a hotel right near Heathrow so we can check in at 0530 Thursday
morning. Orientation has gone very well, and we can’t wait to get
out there to see African life in full swing.

*Pray for safe travels to Lome (Capitol of Togo).
*Pray for the 1 visa we need to get in the airport!

We land in Lome Thursday 1735, and Samuel who is our contact on the
translation team will be meeting us at the airport and we will head
out to the SIL guest house. SIL is Wycliffe’s partner organisation in
Togo and many other places around the world.

Friday we’ll be doing some cultural orientation and aclimatisation,
we’ll be visiting a couple of other partner’s offices and generally
absorbing the African atmosphere! Tim will be off getting money
changed and buying supplies.

*Pray for safety in the supply buying and money changing.

Saturday we will head up to Bassar in a minibus stopping to visit a UK
short-termer who is making dictionaries. She also happens to live
next door to a lady who sells cloth so we will have our first cloth
buying experience.

*Pray for safe travels on the roads

Then we settle down in Bassar for the majority of our stay! I hope
to pop a quick message out to let you know we have arrived okay.

07 Jun

Dependency

What is dependency? I had to think about this. All the forms I fill in, they ask for dependents I have to mention my presently 3 year old son. He is dependent on us to supply all his needs. (all bar the need to cause trouble!). As a husband, inter-dependent with my wife.

David Ker wrote a provocative piece ..

Imagine for a minute some beautiful thing that you’d like to do to help the poor suffering people in Africa. Maybe you want to dig wells or hand out Bibles. Maybe you’d like to help protect small children or stop deforestation. Great stuff. Huge need. It’ll never work. In fact, in the process of solving these problems, I’ve seen again and again pie-in-the-sky optimists and goody two-shoes like myself crushed by the Aid Monster. The Aid Monster is this enormous demonic being that waits with its slavering mouth and grasping tentacles to divert aid from the needy and fatten its own belly.

The problem is we’re such easy prey. Idealists and change-the-world kinds of people are always blinded by their own self-righteousness to the human depravity that waits to divert their good intentions for personal gain.

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I am off to Togo in a couple weeks with a team of WYnet young people to visit a rather under-fund translation project that we’ve been involved in for the last 11 years. Three translators 1 office, a few churches, a guardian, a few computers, a server, electricity bills and soon The project set up is quite complex, or so I thought a partnership between a committee made up from a bunch of local churches, and the Bible Society Togo. Our involvement is to help with the committee’s contributions to the costs. I foresee three problems.

1) There obviously isn’t enough money
2) The translators wages are the 1st thing to be compromised.
3) The obvious answer is very root of the questions.

The easy solution is to throw money at it, but i am hesitant. I don’t want to continue the dependency. When we were they 2 years ago, we did some travelling around to encourage some of the churches and youth in the language area to get involved in praying and fundraising. They did for a while, but then not seeing the progress made, no more bible yet 🙁 Their interest has wained. There is talk of an income generation project, but a few people I have spoken too have said don’t bother, they generally turn out to be unsustainable.

So what do we do? Knowing that greater buy in from the local churches will result in more ownership, and eventually better use of the translated word. However, the churches don’t even have enough money to fix their own windows, how are they going to give more money to bible translation project?

I would LOVE a simple and quick answer, but i suspect there isn’t one. Anyone else had to tackle this kinda thing?

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