Greetings from SIL!

Posted on: 
August 1, 2018

(written the beginning of August)

Greetings in Jesus' High and Mighty Name from the Summer Institute of Linguistics at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. We have been experiencing the intense learning, the good fellowship, the broadening of perspective, and the constant lack of sleep that SIL has been offering us the last 8 weeks. Yes, we are actually at the end of Week 8 now and only have one more week left. It's rather hard to believe that we have been out here for nearly two months now. But throughout our time here, God's grace has been ever present and He has certainly kept his promise, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor. 12:9 NKJV)

I've been asked to give you an update concerning our summer here at SIL, as well as recent ABT-related events.

In April and May, our family made plans to attend ABT Orientation Weekend and the Camp Week that followed. However, God made some adjustments to our plans via a needed surgery for our infant son. So we ended up being in State College only for the Orientation Weekend; our time there was so enriching! We came home from PA on May 20th, and on May 21st, we took our son to Indianapolis for a small surgery on his urinary tract. Thankfully, he recovered quickly from that surgery and we were soon home again.

A little less than two weeks later, we were on the road again, this time heading to the Red River Valley of North Dakota for our summer at SIL. My sister also came out to SIL to be a part of the Childcare Team—with a specific interest in taking care of her nephew. She has been a tremendous help and blessing to us as we study out here.

We were a little worried about how our son would adjust to life here at SIL. We also wondered, with his track record, if he would stay out of the hospital during our time here. But praise the Lord, he has done quite well here!

I am taking the entirety of Package A, which contains the following:
• Learner-Directed Second-Language Acquisition
• Articulatory Phonetics
• Introduction to Sociolinguistics
• Syntax and Morphology

My wife is taking only two classes: Second Language Acquisition, and Articulatory Phonetics. We have both been enjoying our studies very much. In Articulatory Phonetics, it has been so interesting to learn to form the many, many speech sounds used throughout the languages of the world. Also, we have enjoyed learning some Dutch Sign Language as part of our Second Language Acquisition course.

Besides classes, we enjoy our everyday interactions with the staff and our fellow students, many of whom serve in various parts of the world and bring with them a wealth of experience that we have opportunity to glean from. Overall, we are thankful that we had the privilege of coming here to study.

We have also been blessed to be able to study here this summer with many fellow ABT-ers. ABT is represented in Packages A and B, and also in the advanced courses. Package B consists of the following:
• Phonology (introduction to the analysis of the sound systems of spoken languages)
• Field Methods (practical aspects of linguistic fieldwork and analysis)
• Media Technology for Linguistic Research
• Ethnographic Methods (methods for collecting cultural data)

There are about 30 ABT-associated people out here, including children. We have especially enjoyed getting together with them on Sundays to worship and study the Word together. Three of the ABT families are living off-campus, so sometimes we have church at one of their places. Other times we have it at a nearby park.

Thank you all for praying for us! I hope this has given you a glimpse into our lives this summer.


RB is from Indiana and is training to be a New Testament translator.

  • “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
  • “Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witness of these things.” Luke 24:47, 48
  • “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” Matthew 28:19
  • “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:3
  • “That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the Gospel.” Ephesians 3:6
  • “That they all may be one; as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that You sent Me.” John 17:21
  • “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’?” Mark 11:17
  • “Ask of me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance.” Psalm 2:8
  • “Behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes.” Revelation 7:9
  • “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1
  • “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
  • “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
  • “As cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a far country.” Proverbs 25:25
  • “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” Psalm 19:10
  • “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You.” Psalm 22:27
  • “Truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.” Numbers 14:21
  • “Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.” Psalm 96:3, 4
  • “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14
  • “That all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.” 1 Kings 8:60
  • “For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; in every place incense shall be offered to My name, and a pure offering; for My name shall be great among the nations.” Malachi 1:11
  • “All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name.” Psalm 86:9
  • “For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” Isaiah 61:11
  • "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" Psalm 46:10
  • "This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:3, 4
  • "You are worthy. . .; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God." Revelation 5:9, 10