By Larry Krieg

Remember our missionaries, Rich and Maya Rudowske? They were here last fall with their children and talked to us about their Bible translation work in Botswana, southern Africa. Rich and Maya are our Together in Missions partners! We support them financially and through prayers.

When Rich was an agnostic attending EMU, Maya brought him here, and he came to know the love Christ had for him! Now, he’s a pastor, a missionary, and a Bible translator. That’s pretty special!


Rich has just been appointed by Lutheran Bible Translators to be Director for Southern Africa. He’ll be taking care of translation not only among the SheKgalagari people (the Kalahari Desert is named after them), but also many translation projects in several southern African nations. Sounds like a big promotion to me!

It wasn’t exactly optional. It was “orders from headquarters.” It’s a really big transition for him, Maya, and their five kids. They have been asked to move back to the U.S., where Rich will serve at translation headquarters, which is in Aurora (southwestern Chicago-land), Illinois. And he’ll be expected to travel several times a year to southern Africa. That’s quite a challenge for him and the whole family!

Not only have they just moved from one part of the Kalahari-land to another a few months ago, but before the end of the year, they’ll be picking up roots and moving yet again. Stress. Uncertainty. Schools. Expenses mounting.

The Rudowskes have a newsletter, and Rich posted a FAQ about the transition. Here’s a brief excerpt:

Q: Do you still need financial support?
A: Yes. Next question.

With all their stress and financial pressure, they need more than just money. They need our prayers. St. Luke, let’s remember the promise we made when the Rudowskes visited and when we agreed to be their Together in Missions partners.

Here’s what being a Together in Mission partner involves:

  1. Developing a personal relationship with your missionary through letters and email.
  2. Encouraging your missionary in the work to which God has called them.
  3. Offering Hospitality to your missionary when on home service, showing them they are an integral part of your congregation’s life.
  4. Praying regularly for your missionary and your joint efforts in ministry. “Pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you” (2 Thessalonians 3:1).
  5. Investing financially in a specific missionary as they proclaim the Gospel globally.

As our missionaries take this next step of faith trusting and following God’s calling, let us take the next step of faith in our support for these missionaries. Some of us have an acquaintance with the Rudowskes, maybe sort-of almost “personal”. If you don’t know them, take a look at their website to learn more. Maybe send a letter with a word of encouragement and support.

We as a church body support them financially. Is there a way you as an individual or family can support them financially?

Your next step of faith and support may be adding them to your prayer list. Know the names of their children and their specific needs as you pray for them. Pray for their safety and transition. Pray that through them the love of Jesus that filled Rich when he first heard would pour out of them into the people that they touch.