May 2013 Update
Ken & Sarah Beckley (1984)
Dear Prayer Partners,
The last two months were quite a ride! Our colleagues leaving for furlough...finishing the last three weeks of the Bible school program without them...late nights typing or printing the notes in Dendi...three kidney stones...almost three weeks in Nia-mey to get a new passport...two weddings for three cou-ples...and temperatures hovering around 110 every day! Yet there is the bright side - at night, it cools right down into the mid-80s!
We praise the Lord for varied ministries He has given as well as many blessings He brings along with the chal-lenges. With Colin and Teena Ovenell heading to the States for eight months of Home As-signment and the birth of another child, all the responsibilities of the ministries here have fallen on our shoulders. It is a bless-ing to see different village churches con-tinue their ministries of evangelism and edification. Even the new church plant in Couberi is continuing and doing well with the help of some men from our local Guene church.
Ken enjoys opportunities to teach classes in the Dendi Bible school program. This year’s course on Prophecy (Daniel and Revelation) was no exception. The one chal-lenge was that for most of the class, he was working with only half the texts he needed! The book of Daniel has not yet been translated, so Ken printed a summary of each chapter in the notes the students received. When they got to Revelation, they did have the New Testament in Dendi. However, our translators were behind in getting all the course notes translated for Ken. So he spent most nights typing and printing what he had just taught that day! We were able to finish all the notes be-fore the end of class, so the students had a complete set to take home with them!
We then traveled the very rough road north to Nia-mey, the capital of Niger, to get a new passport for An-drew. The turnaround is supposed to be 10 days or less, but the State Department took a little longer this time! Sarah continued to teach the boys, while Ken purchased equipment and supplies and helped the boys with some of their courses. He was also able to make some helpful contacts regarding the translation work.
Yes, the hot season is here, making school and all other activities challenging. But the Lord provides the strength and grace we need each day. We are grateful for our solar system, which provides power to run small fans at night. The best gift during hot season is mangos!
Another blessing: we are anticipating the soon arrival of a good friend and colleague from Mali! For 23 years, Cindy Faile has directed the women’s program at our Bible school in Mali. She also trained women in the local churches to evangelize and disciple women and chil-dren. Because of the current problems in Mali, she has not been able to return to her ministry there.
For years, the churches here in Benin have seen the need for more training of women. Cindy has committed to serving with us for a year and a half, to help us do here what she has done there so well!
Speaking of Mali—it has been interesting to see the development of events over the past year! During our years of ministry, many people asked us, “Where is Mali?!” or “ Do you mean Maui?” We have often said, “If you haven’t heard of Mali, that’s good; because countries in Africa only make the news when they have a war or disaster!”
Well, unfortunately now everybody knows where Mali is! All the Christians had to leave their homes and ministries when the Jihadists invaded a year ago. We praise the Lord for the new ministries they have initiated where they are living in the south.
Unfortunately, the “liberation” of the last few weeks has only driven the “bad guys” into hid-ing. With the ongoing guerilla war, it is still not safe for the Christians to move back home. Pray that God will give them wisdom in their current ministries. Pray that they will also know when and if it will be safe to return home to the north.
? Is this word spelled “kpatako” or “kpataako”?
? Here we have “Gɛrisom”, and a few chapters later, “Gɛrisɔ͂”. Are these the same person’s name, but one misspelled, or are they two different people?
? In this verse, is the word “beere”, “bɛrɛ”, “bɛɛrɛ”, “bɛrɛɛ” or “beire”?
This is just a small sample of the many questions we are asking each day, while double-checking all the details in the first 10 books of the Old Testament. It is a slow, meticulous task , mak-ing sure we have all people and place names spelled properly and not confused with others, making sure our spelling is consis-tent, and trying to get all formatting and grammatical details correct! We plan to print a test-version of Genesis through 2 Samuel before the end of the year.
We praise God for the wisdom and strength He gives each day as He directs our efforts. Putting His word into the local languages, so that all may hear of His love, is not always easy, but it is reward-ing! Thank you for your prayers that we may be attentive to each detail to get it all right!
Oh—and those ques-tions? Here are the an-swers:
! These are two differ-ent people—you can check them out in Exodus 2:22 and Exodus 6:16.
! Each of these are proper spellings of different words in Dendi. We need to check all 383 verses where one of these words is used, and make sure we used the right spelling, based on the context! And remember, we don’t have Dendi spelling and grammar checkers on our computers!
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