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March 2016

MIST Newsletter

ALL, Ministry in Scripture Translation


While I was in Zambia, Karen and Esther had their spring break together at home. I missed being here for Karen being home, but I will be seeing her at her Senior Recital at the end of April. She will be graduating the next week so we will be making two 12 hour one-way trips to see her. Esther will have her Senior Recital a couple of week before Karen. Esther will not be graduating this year, but will be continuing another year and a half or so to get a degree in Business as well as her Bachelor of Music Performance degree.



Jeannette is continuing to work with Sarah. They are about two thirds of the way through the  exegetical check of chapter 7 of Acts. Jeannette is doing well in working with Sarah, and is enjoying the exegetical checking that she is doing. Jeannette has prepared up through Acts 9:31 with questions for checking. 

At the workshop in Zambia, in working with the Makoma, we were able to complete the consultant check through chapter 12 of Acts. I was able to print several copies of a booklet containing Acts 5-12 that the Makoma translators took home with them for community testing and promotion of the translation project. The translators will also be drafting Acts 23-28, the last 6 chapters of Acts. I will be going through the Acts 13-22 which are on the computer and finding the places where the Makoma does not match the Greek (and English). I will put together questions on these places where are differences so that we (the translators and I) can improve the translation.

I arrived back home on March 22 after an extra day spent in Nairobi, Kenya. I was traveling with Jim, one of the other consultants for the Mongu workshop in Zambia. The departure of our plane from Lusaka Zambia to Nairobi Kenya was delayed for about 2 hours and we arrived just as the plane we were supposed to take to Amsterdam was pulling away from the gate. We were put up in a nice hotel in downtown Nairobi and left 24 hours later than originally planned so Jim and I both arrived home a day late on March 22. It takes me about a week to get over jet lag coming home from Africa so by early the next week I was able to stay awake during the day. 

In addition to being “on call” for Jeannette when she and Sarah have computer problems, I have been working on Makoma, getting the three chapters that already have written interlinear typed into the computer. I have one of the three chapters typed into the computer now and am working on the second one.This will help me understand what the Makoma means so I can see what questions I need to ask regarding the accuracy of the Makoma translation. In the process, I am learning more about the Makoma language and can see places where the back translation may not be as accurate as needed. Hopefully that will help me do a better job of checking the accuracy of the translation.

Dot, the lady I have been helping with both a dictionary for one language and a thesaurus for another, has heard about possibilities for publishing both of those via the internet and with on-demand printing of one to several copies. She and I am waiting for corrections to be sent from the heartland on the dictionary so it can be completed. I will be checking to find out what is necessary for publishing the thesaurus.


  1. Jeannette and Sarah will continue working through Acts, correcting Sarah’s translation
  2. I (Neil) will work on the Makoma to a) enter the last chapter and a half of the interlinear, and 2) come up with questions to check the translation with the Makoma translators
  3. I will also be checking into what needs to be done to publish the Thesaurus 


  1. For safety in travels (the Brussels airport bombing took place while I was traveling through Amsterdam)
  2. For the good progress made by the five teams at the Zambia workshop and the good progress Jeannette and Sarah have made
  3. For the translation work going on to get God’s word to the Bibleless peoples of the world


  • For God’s guidance and wisdom in getting the translated scripture in Sarah’s language available for her people
  • That I will be able to get the 9 chapters (and perhaps 15 if the translators gets them ready) of Acts ready for consultant checking by the next Zambia workshop in July
  • That I can soon finish the Thesaurus; also that the editor of the dictionary will soon finish his work and I can begin to get the dictionary ready for publication

Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.

Neil and Jeannette

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