Another no-installation mobile broadband dongle

Having to install dongles on lots of computers is a bit of a pain and this one from Huawei seems to fill a need many in Nigeria might have. Huawei E355 3G and Wi-Fi USB Internet Modem Dongle – White

I’ve had a mobile hotspot with a battery inside but I can see there may be many situations where actually a small (translation) office or home could connect several WiFi devices through the same connection powered by USB either from a backup battery or a computer. Wonderful when you don’t need to mess about installing any software to make it work. If I get one, I’ll post feedback on how well it actually works in Nigeria.

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William Tyndale – the most dangerous man in Tudor England

An excellent Melvyn Bragg film about William Tyndale expresses eloquently why people all over the world need access to the Bible in their mother tongue and gives an insight into the dramatic changes it can bring.

It was on iPlayer in June 2013 and hopefully will be again. Well worth watching. We found it inspiring for our own involvement in Nigeria. It was interesting to see that Tyndale had to flee his native land and needed the theological, linguistic and technical support of others in Europe to make the translation happen. But crucially it was a native speaker who actually did the translation.

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New Fifth Column for Evangelicals in the Church of Scotland

The establishment of the C of S has proclaimed the creation of a new ‘network of evangelicals’ who seem to be committed to remaining yoked to the denomination no matter what.

This seems to be seizing the initiative from Forward Together which has struggled and stalled over the years to reconcile people/congregations who were evangelical first, CofS second and those who were the reverse. I find it interesting that this is trumpeted by the official mouthpiece of the denomination and is happening as a torrent of gospel-focussed churches declare the necessity of distancing themselves from a compromised denomination. How many well-intentioned people get swept up without recognising it to be a fifth column (or Trojan horse) will remain to be seen. Those of us who have seen the reality of the lies and scheming of those desperate to wring the gospel from the Kirk will be forgiven if we appear sadly cynical.

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Languages I have been working with

As we’ve talked about our work in Nigeria, several have asked about the language(s) I work with. One quick way to find out some basic information about any language in the world is to look it up on the SIL Ethnologue. So roughly in order of more – less involvement on my part here are a few languages:

  • Gworok (just starting their work)

    • If you look at the page linked, you’ll see that Gworok is officially listed as a dialect of Tyap, which already has been developed fairly significantly, and has a Bible translation project well under way for some years.
    • At first sight it seems that there are some fairly significant differences between Gworok and Tyap, though some Gworok speakers can just about follow the Tyap Bible. But there seems to be substantial interest in having a Gworok translation.
    • Gworok is sometimes known as Kagoro, which is the town at the centre of the language area. Often outsiders refer to a language by the name of the most significant town in the area.
    • I really don’t know the number of speakers of Gworok. I’d hazard a guess at 50,000+.
    • Similar in some ways to neighbouring languages Ninkyob (who are still struggling to start) and Irigwe/Miango (whose New Testament was just launched).
  • Maya (started 2008, but still a fragile project)
  • Duya (started around 2010)
  • Koro Waci (started 2011)
  • Nyankpa

Those with good memories may remember I thought I might have involvement with the Tal Bible translation project. I’ve had some chats with the Nigerian missionaries involved in church planting there but there’s not been anything in particular for me to help with yet.

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All that competition

A nice piece of spam to today reads:


Would you like people who are looking for to find you before all of your competitors? please click here


Well if only there was more competition to promote mother-tongue scriptures in Nigeria! I don’t really care if people find first, but finding scriptures in language that speaks to the heart/innards/intestines/gut is all that matters.

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Typo? Former Church irk moderator

Well done Daily Record:

“In fact, the Church voted in favour of a last-minute option brought to the table by a former Church irk moderator, the Very Reverend Albert Bogle.”

Not quite sure what it was trying to say, but it’s fitting. (There’s been much more irking than moderation, though.)

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Bible translation and more – some Wycliffe videos

Here are a couple of great videos.

Dineke and Klaas from the Netherlands explain a bit about what it’s like to move to a completely new place and adjust to life, language and culture there. This is Asia and many things are different to our Nigerian context, but many aspects are the same. Continue reading

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Equality for colour-blind people

For hundreds of years the classification of ‘red’ and ‘green’ colours has discriminated against sincere colour-blind people, the government claims. In a long-overdue move supported by the majority of the British public, David Cameron is taking a bold step forward in redefining ‘orange’ to embrace the categories formerly known as ‘red’ and ‘green’. Continue reading

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DIY electricals: LED lamp

The sun did not shine
It was too wet to play.
So we sat in the house
All that cold, cold, wet day…

Finally, after weeks of waiting for the appropriate rainy day, a mildly snowy day came along. Mum was out and so the 3 kids got to play… making a nice energy-saving, money-saving lamp. Here’s the result:

The completed lamp, shown off by Elizabeth and Rebekah
So here’s what we did: Continue reading
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The Highland Clearances Revisited

Growing up in 1990s post-industrial Scotland, the harrowing narrative of the Highland clearances was evoked time and again as a metanarrative to explain (or excuse?) the pitiful state of the nation. I remember the none-too-subtle play The Cheviot, The Stag and the Black Black Oil being performed (rather well) at the High School of Glasgow. In both History and English we studied the effects of the Clearances and were collectively outraged at the tales of woe and injustice as subsistence farmers were driven cold-heartedly out of their ancestral lands by absentee landlords who had contributed nothing to the value of the land but had squeezed the poor crofters for every last penny they had, so as to live it up in distant London. (Actually the reality may be rather that most of the landowners were probably Scots and not English, and were just as likely to have been squandering their ill-gotten gain in Edinburgh as in London, but that’s beside the point.) Continue reading

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