Growing up at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Grove City, Ohio, Stephen and Rachel were blessed to learn the value of knowing and serving God, as well as serving others. The Katterhenrich Family has been serving with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Tanzania since 2011.
Wow. It’s been 10 years since we began taking classes in linguistics. Stephen carried on with classes to help him in his role in translation, and now as of December, Stephen has completed his Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics! The last several months have included countless hours of reading, studying and completing class work in order to finish his degree. The deadline to complete the degree was coming up soon, and we decided it was worth taking a few more months away from the field to finish this milestone. The final comprehensive exam included six hours of writing essays to three major questions on linguistic topics. We were all relieved to hear that Stephen had passed and scored well. Stephen has been blessed by his education and time at Dallas International University (formerly Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics).
An exciting event took place a few months ago for the Bungu community — their first dedication of a portion of Scripture! The translation for the Book of Mark was completed earlier this year, going through all the steps — drafting, advisor checks, community testing, consultant checking, reviewers check and linguistic check — and finally to the printer.
A group of Bungu leaders then arranged for a dedication ceremony to celebrate this Gospel book being available in their language. Although we were not able to attend, we rejoice with them and praise God that He has provided His Word in a way that we trust He will continue to use to build His kingdom among the Bungu people.
Getting back to the task
After several months of visiting churches, family, friends and studying in the United States, we are getting ready to return to our work in Tanzania. Flights are booked for Feb. 6, but there’s much to be done before that date arrives. The most pressing need which weighs on us is to get our ministry support levels back up before we can return.
Many of you are already giving generously to support our ministry of Bible translation in Tanzania, and for the past nine years God has faithfully provided all that we needed to continue serving the Bungu people and the other communities awaiting a Bible in their language. Please pray with us that God would provide pledges for the remaining amount.
We’ve had some other milestones in our family recently. Scott turned 3 years old in November and had a small party with a few friends and many little figures from the Paw Patrol (his recent favorite TV show). Hope also had a birthday and is now 6 years old. She had a stunning cake made by her aunt that was a combination theme of mermaids and “Frozen” (movie). She also learned to ride a bike without training wheels this fall which has been very exciting. We were so grateful to have had several good friends to be with during our time in Dallas for school — some we already knew and some were new friends and we thank God for those special relationships!
Having wonderful relationships with people in many different places is one of the biggest blessings but also one of the biggest challenges in our lives. We often have this conversation with our kids, about how we are always missing someone somewhere, but we have so many people whom we love and who love us!
Hope recently said, “I wish that Ohio and Texas and Kansas City and Tanzania, and all of the places we’ve been could all be smushed together so we could just walk to see everyone.” It’s a beautiful dream, and it’s something we can really look forward to, when we are all united in Christ and redeemed by Him. We can’t wait to see heaven filled with people from all tribes and tongues!
Stephen Katterhenrich, an NALC Global Worker, is serving in Tanzania with Wycliffe Bible Translators/SIL. For additional information or to learn how you can partner with their ministry, please visit thenalc.org/stephen-katterhenrich.