Karen was home from out-of-state for Thanksgiving and we enjoyed her being here. We had 17 people at Thanksgiving dinner, including all of our children, except for Eric who was in Ohio. Our two Chinese students were also here. We also had Jeannette’s parents, her brother Brad and one of his sons with his son’s wife and son and Brad’s daughter with her boyfriend. A big celebration for all of us. Brad was surprised by two of his children being here since they usually don’t come to our family get-togethers.
During Thanksgiving, Karen told us she had a surprise to tell us, but she could not tell us yet. Well, she arrived this past Sunday morning, even though her final final exam for this semester is on December 18. Her surprise was that she was auditioning for a flute substitute positions with the local professional opera orchestra. The audition was today and she was one of four chosen for flute sub positions in the opera. This was her first professional audition—a major accomplishment for someone still working on her Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance.
The rest of our children are doing well, although they do not have news quite like Karen’s. Our son Neil’s wife, Lori Anne, is close to finishing her Bachelor degree as an Art major, and will graduate in a couple of weeks.
As with many husbands, there is quite a long honey-do list, and sometimes things can stay on the list for quite a while. And some of those things on the list are things that we know we can save money doing, but we are afraid of some “gotcha” that will pop up, such as that faucet core that should pull out easily, but takes 30 minutes of hard pulling to get out, or the part that breaks as you are trying to do a late night repair after the stores close. Well, when I got home, I found out that Jeannette had hired a local handyman to do a lot of those things that I have been putting off for too long. She did not tell me about them—I just discovered a few of them. When she finally told me about what she had him do, I was quite surprised, but also quite pleased that they had been finished, without my having to agonize about all the things that could go wrong with them and having to come up with contingencies for all of them. Thanks, Jeannette.
Before I left for Zambia in October, there were three home maintenance and repair things we arranged to be done, including gutters on part of the house and replacement sashes on 8 of our Pella casement windows that had rotted and no longer worked properly. I thought I could order them and they would be installed by the time I returned home. But the “gotcha” was that I had to stain and finish them with a polyurethane finish before they could be installed. So I have been working around cold weather and too many people in the house to get them stained and finished. I have 4 of them finished, and two more in process. I am enjoying learning how to apply stain and finish but will be glad when I can spend more of my time working on translation. We also have a major window refinishing project coming up in the spring. There is some mold on many of our windows and rather than spending a lot of money on replacing them, we have chosen to clean them and refinish them. My staining and finishing skills should come in handy on that project.
I returned home from Zambia in Africa on November 15. The time adjustment coming back home from Africa has always seemed worse than going, so I have learned to not push too hard for about a week after I return home. So the first week back was slow. My second week back included Thanksgiving and our daughter Karen being home. Finally last week was a full work week, apart from the time I spent working on the windows. So the last part of November has been a bit slow.
By the last week in Zambia, we were able to finish checking three chapters of Acts (chapters 4,6, and 7) along with the hard part of chapter 2, Peter’s sermon. We were able to print those chapters with the rest of 1, 2 and 3 from the first workshop into a booklet for the Makoma team to take back to their home areas for distribution and checking. The Makoma team also took home several copies of the whole book of Luke that was printed earlier this year. Luke was completed in late 2013 by the original consultant who was working with the Makoma. During the translation of the Jesus Film Script, many changes were made to Luke as the Makoma translators found better and easier ways to say thing in the translation. The final printing was done earlier this year. We praise God that the Good News is now available to the Makoma people in their mother tongue, the language of their heart. My next trip to Zambia will be in February-March of 2016. Before then I need to get some interlinear data into the computer to prepare for checking more of Acts in Makoma.
We also praise God that the Jesus Film will be recorded among the Makoma in April of 2016. Pray now and also in March that the team doing the recording will have a safe trip to Zambia and also inside Zambia. Pray that the rains will stop in time to do the recording in relative silence. (Rain on a metal roof makes so much noise that it is impossible to do recording.)
I have begun training Sarah to work with the Paratext program, which should make it much easier for her to do editing on what she has drafted. It will also give her many more resources to work with on the translation. The program will make it easier for her to work on the translation in Canada and send the work she has done to us so Jeannette and I can work on the translation here, and do checking with her.
I have two dictionary projects that I have been working on with Dot Thomas. I have been helping her as a computer consultant on computer problems as well as doing data entry for her. There are a few things I need to do to finish the dictionaries and I hope to finish those things in the next few months—perhaps even before my next trip to Zambia in late February next year.
- Continue training Sarah in working on Bible translation in Paratext
- Make plans to be able to finish the work on the two dictionaries for Dot
- Enter the interlinear data for Makoma
- For a safe trip to Zambia and home
- For the work done in Zambia
- For Karen’s successful audition
- That I will be able to get everything done I need to do in December
- For good community checking of the Makoma Acts 1-4, and 6-7
- That Christ will be honored, glorified and clearly presented during this Christmas season
Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.
Neil and Jeannette