Just before attending BBTI, Tim was visiting western Ukraine. He had learned some Russian, and his friends there asked him what he planned to do when he returned to the US. Not knowing the word for “institute,” he used the word for “university.” He thought he was saying, “I am going to enroll in (pastupayu) a university,” but he actually said, “I am going to buy (pakupala) a university.” They were completely speechless as they […]
After church while we were waiting to eat, some church leaders asked me if we had corn in America. I said, “Yes, but it is not a staple food like it is here in Tanzania.” They then asked me what our staple food was. I answered that there are many different types but my favorite was shoes. They looked quite puzzled. One asked me how we cooked that. “We boil them in water until soft […]
Many words in Bislama are duplicated English words. For example lukluk is look and fatfat is fat. It is easy to make the mistake of thinking this applies to the majority of words. A missionary trying hard to do things the Ni-vanuatu way told the visitors arriving at his hut to come sitsit. Unfortunately, the Bislama word for sit is sidaon; sitsit means (to put it politely) go to the bathroom. Not quite what the […]
Charlotte “Lottie” Moon 1840-1912
“I would I had a thousand lives that I might give them to…China.” —Lottie Moon
Lottie looked all around her to see that the people whom she loved so dearly were starving to death. She didn’t have much to give them, but what she did have, she gave. But now Lottie’s health was failing; her weight was down to fifty pounds. Fellow laborers felt […]
Cherith began literacy work among the Kamea in 2009 as a single woman. Today, she continues that ministry along with her husband, Jason Ottosen. She wrote the following report of their ministry during the early days.
The four Kamea primers were finished, and I, Cherith, was introducing and testing them in local villages where they had never seen their language written. Two men, Nicodemus and Lazarus, immediately became immersed in the excitement of reading the primers. […]
The Brunei Malay people are a native Malay ethnic group that live in Brunei, a little-known nation on the island of Borneo. The country is tiny (a little larger than Delaware), but enjoys the wealth from oil resources. The Brunei also live in Malaysia, Canada, and the United States. The in-country population is 184,000; the worldwide population is 556,000.
Their language, also called Brunei Malay, is different in […]
King Solomon said,“of making many books there is no end.” There are millions of books, both true and ficticious, covering every possible subject. Imagine how many things we read in a day besides books, newspapers, or magazines. We read instructions (sooner or later), road signs, billboards, medicine bottles, letters, signs for businesses, house numbers, labels on food or drink containers, T-shirts, tattoos, bumper stickers, the Yellow Pages, text messages, and so on. However, this is […]
A newly arrived missionary in Costa Rica wanted to go to the market and begin learning Spanish. He looked up how to ask the price of things in his Spanish-English dictionary and found the words for “how” and “much” to be “como” and “mucho.” Then he walked around the market pointing at things and saying, “Como mucho.” Everyone laughed because he was actually saying, “I eat much.”
While preaching in an open air market I was giving an illustration using clean water and dirty water. I held up the clean water bottle and said, “If I hit this water, it brings satisfaction.” Realizing immediately that hitting water is an expression meaning to drink hard liquor, I tried to correct myself before anyone had enough time to let it sink in—but it was too late. The crowd one by one slowly “lost it” […]
A missionary preaching in Mexico City from the story of Hannah read where Hannah told her husband that she wouldn’t take the child Samuel up to the tabernacle until he was weaned. Instead of saying “destetado” (weaned), he said “destazado” (to chop up). It was even more hilarious when Elkanah responded, “Do what seemeth thee good; tarry until thou have ‘chopped’ him.” —RLC