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December 2015

MIST Newsletter

ALL, Ministry in Scripture Translation


We had all our children home for Christmas. Karen came home from her university and Eric came home from Malone University where he is an assistant football coach. Our son Neil’s wife, Lori Anne, graduated from university on the 18th with a degree in Art and we celebrated her graduation on the 20th.

I first played in our church’s Christmas program in 2001, when they needed another trombone player. At one point all of my family were playing in the orchestra. But with our worship leader of 15+ years leaving in January 2015, the tradition of a big Christmas production at our church has come to an end. There may be a big Christmas production in 2016, but it may be quite different. This year, the orchestra played on the Sunday before Christmas, and it was enjoyable, but more focused on contemporary arrangements than we have had in the past. Things change, and we have to change with it. But sometimes it is hard to change.

We celebrated Jeannette’s dad’s 82nd birthday at breakfast on the 24th. There were 15 here to celebrate, including three of his grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. And that evening, Christmas Eve, we celebrated the the birth of Christ at our church. 

I wrote in the November report that I had to stain and apply a finish to 8 new casement sashes for our windows to replace ones that had rotted at the bottom and no longer worked. I’m glad to say that my part of that project is finished and the newly finished sashes will replace the old ones early in January.  


Sarah has continued to draft Acts in her language. She has completed chapter 13, but is revising her first draft. She has typed it into the computer and is doing the revision on her typed version. One of the steps of the translation process for her language is to convert her system of writing her language that she understands well into one that I can work with. When the conversion of a particular word is not in the dictionary, the result is a word in red. I have been working with her so that she can add in the missing conversion. She knows what the words are and can easily add in the right word. That will greatly shorten the time it takes to get from the initial draft to the exegetical check. 

I have been working on getting Galatians ready for the exegetical check, but I have to make all the corrections myself, so it is taking longer that I would like. It is moving ahead, but slowly.

I worked with Dot a few times this month. It would be good to finish both the dictionary and the thesaurus in early 2016. However, we are waiting for the native speaker of the language of the dictionary to make the necessary edits on the dictionary. These two projects will be a high priority in 2016. 

The next workshop in Zambia will be February 29 to March 18. I will leave on February 24 and be back on March 21. Before I leave for the workshop, I will be entering interlinear data for the Makoma language so that I can get ready for the exegetical check of Acts up through chapter 16.  


  1. Begin checking Acts with Sarah, with a goal of checking chapters 1-3
  2. Enter all the interlinear data for Acts 13-16 for the Makoma language
  3. Finish the thesaurus for Dot


  1. That all our children were able to be home for Christmas and for our daughter-in-law graduating from university
  2. For progress made in training Sarah in Paratext
  3. For God’s wonderful gift of His Son, Jesus


  • For safe travels for our children, especially Karen and Eric as they travel back to their schools
  • For good focus in working with Sarah, with the dictionary and thesaurus, and with the Makoma materials
  • For Sarah’s people group, that God would prepare them to receive the message of His Good News of forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ

Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.

Neil and Jeannette



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Stillwater, MN
55082-3164, USA

 (651) 342 6809