For many years we have prayerfully and financially supported missionary Linda Jordan who works with Wycliffe Bible Translation. She works among the minority language groups of southern Africa to find remaining Bible translation needs and gather information to start translation projects. Linda primarily works in Angola, but also travels and trains people in Namibia and Zambia. We have been blessed to host Linda at our congregation several times, where she shares news about her work and the advancement of the Gospel in Africa.
Blessed be the Lord! For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. --Psalm 28:6-7
Dear Prayer Partners,
Greetings from Johannesburg, South Africa, and happy belated Thanksgiving to my American prayer partners! I am here working at the Wycliffe South Africa office for the week, in transit to the US to spend Christmas and New Year with my family in Wisconsin. Hopefully I will see those of you who are within easy reach of Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to do much visiting farther afield, as my time in the States will be limited. Following is a long overdue update on what’s happened over the past couple months.
On September 25, I left the capital city of Luanda for a three-week survey trip to the provinces of Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul. I had been very happy to have Senhor Gomes, the language institute's driver, along on the trip. Unfortunately, at a routine police stop a couple hours out from Luanda, we discovered that his driver’s license had expired! I had to take the wheel after that and drop him off at the next town so he could catch a bus back to Luanda. Isata and I continued without him, and I was then our sole driver- a situation I'd hoped to avoid, as the stress of long distances and poor road conditions makes it difficult to be at my best when we reach our work destination. We drove all the way across the country from Luanda on the Atlantic coast to the far northeastern border of Angola, near the Democratic Republic of Congo (and back). By the time the survey trip started, I'd already driven alone for two days to reach Luanda and meet my colleagues from the language institute.
Isata and I arrived safely back in Luanda on October 15, after a long, challenging but successful survey trip. Along the way we visited the Musuku people, who live in both Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They speak one of the major languages of the area, but there is not yet any Scripture available in it. The Bakhongo people also do not have any translated Scripture in a language that speaks to them clearly. During this trip, we collected the information needed to start organizing Bible translation projects for both these groups.
After spending some time working with Isata at the office of the language institute, I started the journey back home to Huambo on October 19th. The next day, I arrived home to begin processing the information from this survey trip and start preparations for the next one. I was finally able to collect my passport at the immigration office upon my return, with the visa renewed for one more year in Angola.
A week later, I developed a fever. On October 31st, I went to a local private clinic to get it checked out, by that point suspecting it would turn out to be malaria. That was indeed the case, but instead of sending me home with some pills, they kept me there for five days! It was quite a serious case- I am praising God for his healing power, for the good care He provided through the staff at the clinic, and for the love, prayers & assistance of friends in Huambo. During the month of November, I continued to recuperate at home, having been released on the 5th.
Just like that, the fieldwork for this calendar year was over. On November 12th, I was supposed to have started the drive back north for the survey of Malanje Province, our last scheduled trip of the year as the rainy season started to gather force. That trip has now been postponed until next year because of my health situation.
for safe travel to the provinces of Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul and for a successful language survey there.
that I was able to collect my passport with the renewed visa when I returned from the survey trip.
for healing from malaria and recovery in time to travel to the US for Christmas.
for the Musuku and Bakhongo people of Lunda Norte Province, who do not yet have any translated Scripture available in a language that speaks to them clearly.
that I would fully recover from the effects of my bout with malaria, and for strength and energy as I travel.
that we would be able to get all the language survey priorities in Angola done next year, as my work visa expires in September 2017.