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Essentially Translatable

Lutheran Bible Translators

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Explore missional conversations from global leaders in the Bible translation community. Discover their stories and why they‘re passionate about putting God’s Word in the hands of people around the world.
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Living Water

Lutheran Bible Translators

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Living Water: Experience Scripture. Experience God's Word through music. Feel the drama and emotion of the Scripture proclaimed in every verse. ___ Lyrics derived from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, is adapted from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright Division of C ...
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In this throwback episode of Essentially Translatable, host Rich Rudowske interviews Jim Laesch, a longtime member of the Lutheran Bible Translators community. This episode originally aired back in 2020 and focuses on Jim’s more than 45 years of missionary service. Throughout the years, Jim has served in a variety of roles, both in missionary servi…
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For this episode of Essentially Translatable, the celebration of 60 years of Lutheran Bible Translators ministry continues with this insightful throwback from 2020. Rewind to the first episode of the podcast and listen as current CEO Rich Rudowske interviews Dr. Mike Rodewald, the former Executive Director of Lutheran Bible Translators. Spanning ov…
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In this episode of Essentially Translatable, dive into the concept of setting a financial finish line to start a journey of mission-minded generosity. Brothers Kealan and Cody Hobelmann, one a surgeon and the other a financial advisor, are founders of the Finish Line ministry and hosts of the Finish Line Podcast. During this episode they share thei…
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Reflections on Memorial Day and Ending Well Memorial Day is thought of many different ways. A national holiday. The start of summer vacation. Family gatherings and cookouts. A day that honors those in the armed forces (That's actually Veterans Day in November). And then there is the actual intention - honoring those who have given their lives in mi…
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Our Guest this week is Jim Buske of Lighthouse Youth Ministry and he relayed a story he asked a man in the predominantly African American Garden Homes neighborhood of Milwaukee about the challenges the city and the neighborhood faces. His friends answer was informative, not just for minority communities, but speaks to an increasingly important need…
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In the past 60 years, missionaries with Lutheran Bible Translators have seen war and destruction effect the growth of ministry—but the faithfulness of God has never been disrupted. On this episode of Essentially Translatable, host Rich Rudowske celebrates the organization's 60th anniversary and explores a significant pivot in the history of Luthera…
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Voting is a significant topic in American culture, especially in an election year. But what does the "right to vote" really mean? While it seems straightforward, the reality of that vote changes in different contexts and today we want to talk about what voting is and means in the church specifically. The podcast today gives important context to the…
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In this episode of Essentially Translatable, Rev. Rich Rudowske shares a sermon given at Concordia Seminary, St Louis on overcoming jealousy and the significance of maintaining a good reputation. This sermon draws from Daniel chapter 6 and the Eighth Commandment with explanation from Luther’s Small Catechism. Rich reflects on personal anecdotes to …
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Have you ever wondered if God seems to care more about how we behave than who we are? It's honestly not fair of us to see the God of the Bible, the God of the cross and empty tomb this way, but in our world we tend to feel the constant judgements all around us. Whether it's at work, at home, in relationships, at church... we have opinions of others…
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Why Lutherans Use Creeds in Church Creeds are a statement of belief that help Christians express the basic truths that they believe, as both an individual or as a corporate church. Perhaps you already know this, but there is not a uniform agreement in the larger Christian church about the importance of validity of the Creeds. So why, in the Wiscons…
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In this episode of the Essentially Translatable Podcast, Rich Rudowske engages in discussion with Rev. Dr. Douglas Rutt on the importance of cultural and contextual nuances when communicating the Gospel. Dr. Rutt has an impressive 40-year career serving in ministry. Most notably he has served as missionary to Guatemala, Director for International M…
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Understanding Jesus Descent into Hell The Apostles Creed is a simple summary of the Biblical, Christian faith through the use of several statements that have rich theological depth to them. The second article, (or second paragraph of the creed) has to do with Jesus, who he is, what happened to him and what he does. As part of this creed, there is a…
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Three Thoughts on what God Has Already Given You In a sermon from a few weeks earlier, Pastor Pete shared an illustration that involved $80 as he helped the congregation wrestle with our guild driven anxiety that fuels the "TRY HARDER" voice we all wrestle with from time to time. With the illustration comes a great conversation on what it means to …
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How can a church congregation best provide care for a missionary abroad? On this episode of Essentially Translatable Rich Rudowske discusses the congregational care model with Shonna Ingram of Pioneer Bible Translators. Shonna serves as a Trauma Care Specialist, as well as a Career Transition Specialist with Pioneer Bible Translators. She has dedic…
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Biblical Observations from the Passion Story. One of the benefits of reading the Bible over and over is that we all mature through experiences. Wisdom comes from the combination of knowledge and experience and as we read the scriptures and become more familiar with the word of God in the Bible, we see more and more of God's truth and the applicatio…
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For this episode of the Essentially Translatable podcast, Rich sits down with Matt Kistler, the newest staff member to join the team at Lutheran Bible Translators. Matt serves as the Senior Measurement & Evaluation Analyst. He comes to Lutheran Bible Translators with education from Eastern University and experience working with Mission Mutual, the …
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How different does this sound? "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." and “If anyone wants to follow me, let a person deny themself, take up their cross, and follow me. Did you see it? "Must" vs. "Let a person" One is more direct and to the point, but has an edge that may go beyond the original…
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In Luke 9:23 Jesus makes this comment "23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. " For many of us we consider suffering to be the crosses that we bear. It makes a lot of sense, Jesus suffered on the cross, so he must be talking about learning how to deal with bad …
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Out of the 9 million visually impaired people in the United States, it is estimated that 95% of that population is unchurched. Daniel Jenkins, President for Lutheran Braille Workers is working to decrease that number by increasing access to Scripture through braille and large print bibles. For this episode of the Essentially Translatable podcast, D…
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On this episode, Rich and Emily bring you to Papua New Guinea to hear a first-hand account of the energy behind the Bible translation movement. Join us for an insightful conversation with Ministry Entrepreneur Duncan Kasokason. Duncan is a Bible translation consultant through the Bible Translation Association of Papua New Guinea. Starting in 1986, …
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This week, we celebrate 100 episodes of Essentially Translatable! For this episode, co-hosts Dr. Rich Rudowske and Emily Wilson reminisce about some of their favorite moments from the past four years on the podcast. The Essentially Translatable podcast has brought countless stories from the field, interviews with Ministry Entrepreneurs, and convers…
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On this episode of the Essentially Translatable podcast, Rich and Emily are joined by John Ndemba and Rev. Mike Kuhn, who serve in the Bible translation movement in Cameroon and have recently become involved with the SURAM project. Rev. Kuhn fills the role of Data Analyst for SURAM, he also has served as a Missionary with Lutheran Bible Translators…
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Does God have one specific purpose in mind for you? Have you ever paused to examine the various roles God has assigned for you in life? In this episode of the Essentially Translatable podcast, Dr. Jeff Leininger and Dr. Rich Rudowske discuss our callings (plural) and how we can recognize them. Dr. Leininger is the author of Callings for Life: God’s…
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For this special holiday episode, join us for a reflective study on the power and promise given to us through the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Cozy up and dive into an in-depth conversation of how the complexities of Jesus’s incarnation are represented throughout different languages and translations. Grab your favorite Bible translation and follow …
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In this episode, Rich and Emily are joined by Dr. James Maxey, Director of Strategic Partnerships for The Seed Company, and Dr. Nathan Esala, formerly Translations Coordinator for Lutheran Bible Translators—who has joined Seed Company as part of the strategic alliance between the two organizations. They discuss the power of partnerships across the …
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In this episode of Essentially Translatable, co-host Emily Wilson is interviewed by Rev. Rich Rudowske to discuss prayer as the strategy for the Bible translation movement. Emily works in the prayer working group for Lutheran Bible Translators and acts as the prayer point person for the illumiNations collective impact alliance. She shares valuable …
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Join us for a “fireside chat” approach in this episode, where Rich Rudowske, Executive Director + CEO, is joined by Paul Federwitz, Director for Fields Programs, for a vital conversation about the intersection of cutting-edge technology and the enduring practice of Bible translation. The heart of our discussion lies in the relationship between huma…
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The impact of Godly men can be profound on children, families and society. A force for good as they live out their roles as Christian men of God. When men and dads don't do life well, the destruction can be profound. Guilt tugs at all people, but in the culture of 2024 America, men find a lot of walls that exist between who men are told to be and w…
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In this episode, we are joined by two staff members of Lutheran Bible Translators - David Federwitz, Regional Director for West Africa, and Calvin Inman, IT coordinator, who recently returned from Liberia. They discuss the importance of being physically present in their work and how technology is a tool for spreading God's truth. The focus of the t…
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In Today's episode we are joined by Pastor Brad Snyder who is also the chairman of "Conquerors Through Christ" a ministry dedicated to helping Christians Resist-Reject-Recover from explicit imagery use or addiction. It is no secret that talking about sex in the church is an uncomfortable topic and for many Christians we have lost the higher ground …
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In this episode, we sit down with Rev. Chuck and Karen Tessaro, missionaries who have been serving in Nigeria since 1985. The Tessaros share their experiences working on translation projects and their transition to a role of consulting and equipping the church. They discuss the importance of putting God's word in people's hands (having served with …
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Did you know? The number one reason missionaries leave the field is the lack of quality education for their children. In this episode of Essentially Translatable, we welcome Deanne Gochanour, Lutheran Bible Translators missionary to Ethiopia. She teaches Bible and assists in the athletics department at Bingham Academy in Addis Ababa. Bingham serves…
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We want our kids to grow up in community. To be challenged, share in responsibility, grow friendships and relationships and sports is a great way to connect our kids to others and have a more positive outlet for all of that energy. But what happens as kids grow older and the demands of those communities begin to change, especially when it challenge…
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In this episode of Essentially Translatable, Ali Federwitz, Member Care Coordinator for Lutheran Bible Translators, joins the hosts to discuss the subject of trauma. We often refer to traumatic events that occur, but trauma is what we experience as a result of the event. There are “big T” traumas that are easier to recognize, but for many of us, es…
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Every years the staff at St. Paul's/The Bridge takes in the Global Leadership Summit, a conference that gives those leading families, organizations, and churches training and awareness of ways to consider to improve in their various leadership and organizational roles. Arica Drezdzon and Mike Westendorf open up their notebooks to talk about some of…
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In this episode of the Essentially Translatable podcast, CEO Rich Rudowske and Emily Wilson interview Dr. John Chesnut, the President and CEO of Wycliffe USA. They discuss the partnership between Lutheran Bible Translators and Wycliffe Bible Translators, which has spanned over several decades. They also touch on illumiNations, a collective impact a…
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The big C church, the one on the corner that people go to worship God and be part of a congregation, really finds it's foundation in the home. When a Christian man and woman become husband and wife with Jesus as the foundation, their joined lives represent the smallest functioning example of the "Body of Christ". When children come into that family…
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In this episode of the Essentially Translatable Podcast, Rich Rudowske and Emily Wilson interview Amy Formella, a Lutheran Bible Transators' missionary to Sierra Leone. Amy shares about her background, and current work with the Mende and Themne language communities and the importance of Bible translation in their lives. Translators face a unique se…
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Loneliness is an epidemic in our society today. Recent studies show that 58% of the general population struggle with a deeper level of aloneness while up to 78% of our young people in Gen Z claim a deep sense of longing for connection and yet fail to find it. In this podcast we discuss one of the features of God's church that, at least at St. Paul'…
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In this episode of the Essentially Translatable Podcast, Emily Wilson interviews Sarah Esala, Lutheran Bible Translators’ regional director for Southern & East Africa + Pacific. Sarah shares her experiences and insights from her recent visit to Papua New Guinea (PNG), discussing the exponential effect of partnerships and excitement for Bible transl…
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Mike Westendorf, Arica Drezdzon and Paul Schuessler continue the conversation on simple leadership lessons. If leadership is influence, then we all have influence so we start with a look at the serious view God takes on leading well. The team talks on some of the leadership pieces of advice in Carey's blog on 25 leadership insights for young leader…
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In this episode, we talk to Rev. Dr. Ryan Tinetti about the curse of knowledge, a cognitive bias that makes it difficult to communicate effectively. We discuss how the curse of knowledge can affect our understanding of the Bible, our relationships with others, and our ability to share our faith. We also offer some tips for overcoming the curse of k…
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"Everybody Wins when the leader gets better" “Leadership is influence and everyone has influence.” “A humble leader can learn from anyone.” How do you respond to these leadership quotes? If leadership is really influence then all of us lead in some capacities and all of us have moments where we follow and support leaders. In this episode, we share …
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Disappointment shows up in a very real, tangible, physical and emotional way when the gap between our expectation and the result is wide. We've all experienced it and for many of us, recovering from it is a real journey. In some cases disappointment is an eye opening experience when we realize just how much assumption goes into our expectations giv…
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Louisa Lehenbauer, the Director for the Concordia Mission Institute (CMI), shares her background as a missionary kid and her journey to her current role. Louisa also talks about the importance of the CMI Summer Conference and the sense of community it provides for the missionary community. Join us for an insightful conversation on engaging with hum…
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Our listeners have been asking some good questions of late and we have had a few iterations of this kind of question over the past year or two. When the Christian dies, what happens and more specifically will we recognize people other Christians that we knew while we lived on earth? What does the Bible have to say about that and what do we simply h…
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In earlier generations when people talked about becoming engaged it was often assumed in the church that engagement was tantamount to being married in God's eyes. Mike and Pastor Pete talk through the Biblical understanding of marriage and the impact of our changing cultural norms on understanding the process that takes a couple from dating to enga…
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Michelle Thompson discusses emotional intelligence (aka EQ) and its importance in ministry and international contexts. Emotional intelligence is composed of four components: self-awareness, self-control, social awareness, and relationship management. Technical competence is not enough in ministry - being able to relate with people is crucial. Miche…
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Not everyone loves language and history is both exciting to some and boring to other. But why are these topics important for Lutheran Pastors in the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS)? In this episode Mike and Pastor Pete talk about the importance of language as well as the caution when it comes to the use of commentaries as a substitute t…
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The partnerships of Lutheran Bible Translators connect on the international, national, and local levels as we serve alongside 131 language communities. Director for Field Programs Paul Federwitz shares his passion for investing in these partnerships to build capacity and establish self-sustainability for each language community. Listen in as Paul c…
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