Mason, Don & Ruth


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Reading, UK




SIL International
Partners in Language Development


Ruth, of course, has been back to Ika a few times fairly recently, a couple of times first of all with Esther Nordman (I'm sure you knew her as Esther Gross), with whom she worked trying to get a modern, more colloquial Igala Bible translation off the ground. Then finally in March 2010, when she visited Igalaland on her way back from a three-month teaching assignment at the Theological College of Northern Nigeria (TCNN) in Jos. She stayed for one night at Ika, lovingly cared for by your sister Lois. She was so very pleased she made that visit, as she was able to be with your mother (Phyllis Dibble) one last time before she was called home to be with Jesus.

Ruth writes, "As far as I know the Igala New Testament has been translated in first draft but still needs more work. One of those who has been involved, Isaac Ogohi, a church elder, is now studying at TCNN, where I spent three months in 2010. So he is not involved at the moment. Esther Nordman has been working on literacy materials from her home in the US but hasn't visited Nigeria for quite a while. However, Caroline, Esther's mother, died fairly recently in the US but wants to be buried at Anyigba, so Esther and the rest of the family will be going out for that some time in June, but I haven't heard anything about actual dates. I've written to her recently but have had no reply just yet."

While Ruth was in Jos some bad violence broke out quite near to TCNN, and one of the students there was shot dead. Houses were torched and gunfire could be heard. The SIL personnel were packed and standing by to dash to the airport at one point, but in the end Ruth stayed on until the end of the term. Then she went south to Igala before returning to Abuja and the UK.

Ruth and I are now in our mid-seventies, but keep fairly busy. Ruth has written a book about her childhood, and is currently writing a novel based loosely on what she experienced in Jos two yeas ago. I still preach, and also work voluntarily for a Christian charity called Open Ears, which ministers to people, like myself, with impaired hearing.