The Last Days-April 2013 update

April 16, 2013





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The Last Days


No, this is not an end of times, apocalyptic update. But, we are less than three weeks from flying back to the US to begin a new stage of life, again. We’ve done this kind of thing before—sell almost everything we own and pack the rest in small(ish) tubs or suitcases weighing 50 pounds (or less) and carry them half way around the world. This has prevented us from owning much stuff, especially big stuff. So, we’ve had a few “last days” in our lives in the past and we are in our last days now in Tanzania. We aren’t saying we will never come back because we never (or rarely) say never. As they say here, “Mungu anajua tu.” God only knows. We’ve had a few lasts already: last time through the game park, last rainy season, last speeding ticket (hopefully). The lasts that we still have will be the last trip to a village to show the Jesus Film, last trip to Dar, last dinner at “Street Chicken” (tandoori chicken grilled outside next to a street, it’s not really called “Street Chicken,” I called it that because I didn’t know what else to call it but it is the best chicken in the world and since I’ve had chicken on at least 3 continents in my life, I speak with self-appointed authority). These last days have given us a time to reflect on our time here. It has been an amazing season of personal growth and ministry. We have been truly blessed by God in many ways through His faithfulness, provision, and guidance. Thank you for being part of this season or our lives through your prayers, support, and encouragement. I hope this will continue into our next season.


Progress Update (can be read as prayer requests also)


One person interested in our car so far. It is possible by the time you read this it will be a “praise” instead of a request.


We have applied to a charter school in Cedar Hill, TX to send 3 of the kids for next school year.


We talked to a mortgage loan originator in Texas about our situation and he thinks we should be able to be approved for a loan without any problems.


Shonna’s dad arrives this week to help us pack. He and Grayson will leave next week and spend a couple of days sighting seeing in Dubai as kind of a late 14th birthday present. Gavin got a couple of days is London last year.


We fly in less than three weeks.


Here is the quick version of plans when we return:




August—Texas (to live and begin new roles with PBT)

We have and will continue to contact our supporting churches and individual supporters about visiting together during these months. Since we are continuing our service to PBT, we will continue to need to raise support for PBT.


Grace and peace,


Andy, Shonna, Gavin, Grayson, Garrett, and Genna


To donate, <PLEASE NOTE NEW ADDRESS> please make checks payable to Pioneer Bible Translators or PBT:

Andy and Shonna Ingram

c/o Denny Wells

114 Thompson Trail

Bastrop, TX 78602

Or through online credit card-

Andy and Shonna Ingram Ministry

Click “Teams” and scroll to “Ministry of Andy and Shonna Ingram”


Important announcement

January 31, 2013



Dear Friends,


Greetings from Tanzania and may God bless you in 2013. Shonna and I appreciate you all and thank you for the encouragement you have been to us over the past six years since we became recruits with Pioneer Bible Translators.


As you may remember, we originally committed to serve with the East Africa Branch for two field terms and hard as it is to believe, those two terms and our commitment will be completed this year. We have sought the Lord’s guidance on whether to extend our commitment. A major factor in our minds is the sense that we have completed well the purpose for which God called us to Tanzania and our team is now ready to begin a new phase of operations. For that and other reasons, including the need to raise additional funding , Shonna and I have decided not to return to Tanzania following our home assignment, which will begin in May 2013. We believe there is a season for everything. When we were preparing to come to Tanzania, we felt that we could commit to two terms and then pray about our future during the second term. We believe the time that God brought us to Tanzania has passed and it is time for us to relocate back to the US.


It is important for us to make this announcement now so that we can begin the necessary leadership transitions here, prepare our family for our own transition, and seek guidance regarding the next phase of life that God has for us. We are confident  God will provide for us and lead us to our next place. We are confident  the work in Tanzania will continue as the fifteen translation projects continue to progress toward the completion of the New Testaments in the  next couple of years.


We have talked to our leaders at the International Service Center of PBT in Dallas about serving in a role supporting the worldwide mission and missionaries of PBT.  We are excited to announce that we have been invited to serve in strategic state-side roles that will facilitate the recruitment, equipping, and care of our world-wide team. For now, we ask that you pray for discernment as we seek the Lord’s guidance while closing out the remaining months in Tanzania and transition into the next phase of our life. We ask for your continued financial support of PBT on our behalf.  As we begin our roles in the US, we will continue having ongoing needs for support so that we can help to equip and send out the next generation of missionaries who will serve all across the globe in the ministry of Bible translation.  We hope to see you later this year! 


Again, we are grateful for the years of support to Pioneer Bible Translators and prayers on our behalf. We humbly ask that you continue to pray for us.  If anyone has questions about our decision, please feel free to contact us.  We will provide new information each month with details on our progress such as travel plans and a time line for our transition.


Grace and peace,


Andy and Shonna Ingram

Boy was I wrong-

January 28, 2013



So I had this idea that I was going to make everything better for Christina. I would help her start a business and she would be able to “pay it forward” as the saying goes. But as we sat down and talked she said what she really needs in money to be able to put a roof on her 1 room house and be able to feed her kids. How Western did I feel. This is someone I have known for over 4 years. This is someone that has lived life with us for 4 1/2 years, yet I didn’t even know she needed a roof for her house. Building a house in Tanzania is their retirement investment. As we travel the roads of Tanzania we pass by many houses that have been started but haven’t been finished.  Or sometimes there is just bricks in the middle of a field where there is probably some plan to start a house. My goals have changed from changing her life to just helping her get a roof for her house. Sometimes as missionaries we want the big changes quickly. But working in a Bible Translation Organization I know that definitely doesn’t happen overnight. So I will focus on a roof today and maybe tomorrow we work on something else to make life for her a little more easy.

UPDATE: January 28, 2013

Thursday I was able to give Christina the last part of the money SHE earned to get her roof finished. I think that is probably the most exciting part, SHE did it all by herself. The business really took off over the holidays. I now feel like we can go to the next step. To be honest I am not sure what that is right now. But I am praying that she will be able to sell her food at a local grocery store. I went to the store and asked the owner if he would be interested in selling the tortilla chips he said he would have to try the product. I hope we can do that this week.

Blasida foods continued ……

December 3, 2012

Day 2- 

We had no idea how many people were going to come and we just guessed on how much to make. Luckily or through divine intervention she sold almost everything and made over $150 (which is about what she makes in a month) so not to bad for 3days work. She also made some good contacts. She was approached by a local restaurant and was told that she could sell her food there (Definitely, an answer to prayer). She is already starting to get regular cliental. I took some video of the experience.  

We will be talking to her about how to save for bigger ticket items (refrigerator and stove) but as of right now she currently doesn’t have any electricity or water at her house. There really isn’t any way to getting water and power to her house because of its location. Promises of “Maybe power and water in your area next year” have been made, we will see.  So she needs to stick with foods that she can make with a charcoal grill. Right now she can use our house but we are looking for a long term solution.

I will keep you posted on our arrangement.

Starting a Business- Blasida foods

December 3, 2012

Our housegirl (Christina) has been working for us for almost 4 ½ years. She was already employed by our organization when we arrived. She didn’t know any English and I didn’t know any Swahili. I remember one day while I was in Language school I was going to let her go home early. I thought I was telling her she could go “now” (sasa) but what I was actually telling her was that she could go at “1 pm” (saba). She was very confused by this because she normally left at noon. When we started out she had to wash all of our clothes by hand (that is a lot of dirty underwear), joyous was the day in our household when we were able to purchase a washing machine. So needless to say she has put up with a lot from my family.

We feel like that we pay her a fair wage, pay for medical issues for her and her family and provide a fund for long term advance loans that are paid back monthly. However, it still isn’t enough.  She is a single parent with 3 children and raising her nephew. She is trying to help get them through schools, but there isn’t a public school system, there are school fees.  Within the time we have lived here basic food necessity costs have gone up over 50%.  Their main food staple is maize flour that they make into paste. When we first got here it was 12,000 Tshillings for 25 kilos now it is 27,000 Tshillings for 25 kilo. Sugar, eggs and oil all have gone up over 50%.

So we want to help her, but how? We will not be here forever and the kids are getting old enough to take on some of her responsibility. But prices keep going up and we can’t afford to pay her what she is really worth. One thing she can do really well is cook. I can give her any recipe (in Swahili of course) and she can make it. Spaghetti sauce, ravioli, Enchiladas, bread, ect. This is actually very rare, first of all that she can read and second that she has the aptitude to understand how a recipe works.

The town that we live in is about 4 hours away from the big city (Dar es Saalam), we live on a beautiful mountain, it is cooler and it half way on the main rd (only road) to the capital (Dodoma). So we are starting to get an influx of wazungu (expat-white people) coming to live in our town. Other mission organizations, NGO’s, power and water companies along with already 2 tobacco processing plants.

We decided that Christina could probably start a business by selling foods that can be made with local ingredients. She was very excited about the idea and thankful for the help. We wanted to start small. There is a fair at the international school in town tomorrow. She will be making corn tortilla chips and focaccia bread to start. A friend of mine will helping another national with cinnamon rolls and sandwich size French bread.

So now we will see what sells.

November 2012

November 15, 2012

Ingram Update

November 2012


It is hard to believe that it is almost the end of the year 2012. Like many times in life, time feels like it flies by and other times it feels like you been somewhere or done something “forever.” For us, we had one of those experiences that you might not expect to give you reason for pause. Last month, we visited “US soil” (we went to the embassy) to reapply for the kids’ passports. It has been five years since we first obtained their passports and it is time for new ones. We realized we brought four little kids to the field and now we have three young men and a beautiful young lady. Our kids have been such a blessing to us in the way they handle new and interesting situations, events that have a tendency to be longer than what we would prefer, doing school work without complaint (ok, very few complaints), and their growth in relationship with Christ.




For work, last month saw us putting the finishing touches on a new agreement with our partnering organization. This had been a long time coming and we are thankful to have more clarity and understanding as we move forward in our work to bring God’s word to the Bible-less.


Each year, the final months of the year are important to our overall financial health for the year. This year is no exception. Our story is probably and unfortunately consistent with many others this year. We are getting the double whammy of lower income and rising expenses. Through the first nine months compared to the same time frame as last year, we are averaging $150 less per month with expenses being an average of $1260 more per month from last year. We have had increases in rent ($150/month), insurance, fuel, and travel for work. We ask that your pray for us and ask that you consider an additional gift before the end of the year. We continue to be humbled in awe of how God uses His people to provide for our needs.



Andy, Shonna, Gavin, Grayson, Garrett, and Genna

To donate, <PLEASE NOTE NEW ADDRESS> please make checks payable to Pioneer Bible Translators or PBT:

Ingram Ministry

c/o Denny Wells

114 Thompson Trail

Bastrop, TX 78602

Or through online credit card-

Andy and Shonna Ingram Ministry

Click “Teams” and scroll to “Ministry of Andy and Shonna Ingram”


january 2012

January 15, 2012


Ingram Update

I can now ask politely “where is the bathroom”


Language school: 3 ½ years of learning a language and I am still amazed what a few tricks can do to help us communicate and understand more. We were surprised that we didn’t have to stay in a tent for 2 weeks. We stayed in a 2 bedroom cottage with a bathroom (not a squatty potty) with running water about half the time. We enjoyed our time with good teachers that made it easy to focus on different aspects of the language and even had the extra bonus of getting the polite phrases: “Where is the bathroom” and “leave me alone, I am married”. While we were in Iringa we unfortunately got to check out the hospital when Grayson was diagnosed with malaria.

Vacation: As we were getting ready to leave language school we learned that the country was having a petrol crisis. As we looked into different options on how we were going to get back home for Christmas day, we had to make the decision if we should try to drive the 9 hours to Mt Kilimanjaro. It turns out we only had to spend one extra night at language school. When we did make it back home, there were a few gas stations that did have petrol. The lines were long and the motorcycles kept cutting in line that only needed a liter at a time and we had 20 liter container. We decided this was an opportunity we might not have again and went for it. It was a 9 hour trip up to Mt Kilimanjaro region. As we drove we were able at one point see the top of mountain. Since it cost $1,500 to climb the mountain, this was the closest we got this time. We didn’t do much that week because it rained almost every day. The house we stayed at had the extended versions of the “Lord of the Rings” which kept us busy for about 4 hours a day. There were plenty of restaurants including one Japanese restaurant. We were not very close to an ocean so we opted for the fried shrimp sushi, just to be safe. We were blessed with mostly safe travel, which included a 8 hour return trip on mountain dirt roads and the car getting stuck in the mud. Thankfully, the 4×4 truck that had been followed us for a few hours had a chain and was able to pull us out easily.

Braces: A few months ago we went to a dental clinic in Dar es Salaam (4 hours away. I found out that that they have a visiting orthodontist once a month. I called lasts Thursday and found out that the orthodontist would be in on Monday. “There are not any appointments but come anyway.” I was going to be in Dar anyway, so we decided to go ahead and try. After waiting 4 hours, the orthodontist said come in at 6:30 pm and we can start treatments. At about 8:45 pm Gavin got his top set of braces.

Praise: Safe travel, restful vacation, language learning went well.

Prayer: I will be starting a Ladies Bible Study for the missionaries this week; Andy is working on setting up goals and visions for the next year. Another productive year for His kingdom!

Thanks again for all our prayers and support. We couldn’t do it without you!

Ingram Ministry

c/o Denny Wells

1678 Carlemont Dr Unit E

Crystal Lake, IL 60014

Or through online credit card-

Andy and Shonna Ingram Ministry

Click “Teams” and scroll to “Ministry of Andy and Shonna Ingram”.

In His Service,

Andy and Shonna

Gavin, Grayson, Garrett and Genna Ingram




November 2011update “Please send me Bibles!”

November 16, 2011

“Please send me Bibles!” is what we heard from a Nigerian Pastor working in a small village up north, while visiting our newest missionary in language school. As we discussed more about his situation he said that he was told by his organization that all Tanzanian speak Swahili but, when he arrived at his village he was surprised that Swahili was usually only spoken during trade, at home and with friends the mother tongue was spoken. He said “Swahili isn’t enough to understand the truth the Bible provides.” I said “YES, that is why we do what we do!” Unfortunately, we are not the organization working to get the Bible to this language group. But I do ask that you will pray with us that the Bible will get to this language group where there is a pastor waiting to use mother tongue scriptures.

Scripture Impact- We have seen God grow the Translation and Literacy departments here in East Africa and just this month we have seen that God has called a new Scripture Impact team together. This team does not just want to get the Bible translated but they are taking a proactive stance to see that Scripture change lives.
• Beginning stages of a Scripture Impact team.
• God continues to protector and provide.
• We are planning a much needed week vacation during the upcoming holidays.

• A new short term missionary family (5 children, 7 years old and younger) will be arriving this week from South Africa.
• We will be attending Swahili Language School in December. Pray that our confidence in our Swahili language ability will increase so that better able to communicate and for health during that time.

To support PBT’s work in East Africa. Please send check write check to “PBT”
Mail to:
Ingram Ministry, C/O Denny Wells, 1678 Carlemont Dr Unit E Crystal Lake, IL 60014
Or credit card: give online Go to: Team; Subcategory; Andy and Shonna Ingram

In His Service, Andy and Shonna Ingram or

“I will not be silent”

November 10, 2010

As I looked at my past blog entry for January 2010. I ended it with “I will not be silent”. God has definitely provided many opportunity  these past few months for me to speak in churches, small groups and with individuals.

Before we left Tanzania I did not want to leave. Andy was voted in as Director of the East Africa Branch in April, the kids didn’t want to go back to America and I was finally feeling like I knew what I was suppose to doing (both at home and in ministry) . Since we have returned to America, I have found a different ministry. The ministry of sharing what God is doing in another part of the world.  Show how He has  been our protector and our provider, how it is clear that He wants His word translated into all languages and He wants a relationship with us.

Some highlights from our ministry-

2 weeks before we left, Andy had the opportunity to preach at a dedication of the “Gospel of John”. It was the first time EVER that the “Gospel of John”  was read in that particular language during a church service.

The new missionary families that have joined us are doing well. They are finding out where their ministry is fitting in and how to live in another country.

Travel around the U.S. has had its ups and downs.  We have been gone almost every weekend. We have enjoyed spending time with friends and family we never thought we would see again ( my plug for Facebook). My parents allowed us to use their  2009 minivan,  a local Church in Decatur provided us with a rent free house for 4-5 months.

We do ask for prayer, as well.

We are in need for a new vehicle when we return to TZ. Our car that we have is only a 5 passenger. It isn’t against the law to have 6 people in the car, but insurance will not pay if we get into an accident.
Please pray for our financial, spiritual and physical needs to meet. Thank you for allowing me to share with you what God is doing.

We found out that Gavin is probably suppose to be left handed and that should clear up some of his issues. I will be working with him everyday with new home physical therapy program. Pray for my patience:)



January or July? 2009 year in review

January 12, 2010

It is rather hot here. Which I actually don’t mind, but other family members do. The kids really miss the snow. I had to explain to my 5 year old why we would not get snow on Christmas she was sad at first, but was o.k. when we went to a local hotel to go swimming, thanks to Grandma and Grandpa Christmas present.

2009 ended on a sad a note for me because of a funeral that I had to attend the last week of the year. It was the first time that I had to deal with an innocent victim of the “diease of Africa” as they call it. But as I look back during the year I can see how God has worked in astonishing ways.

I am reminded during the earlier months of this year we were not sure how we were going to pay the national translators salaries. With 10 project and  each project with 2 or 3 translators it was hard to tell their families that we did not know how they were going to pay rent the rest of the year. As we prayed we didn’t know what to expect. Around the month of May we received a note that we could apply for a grant that would cover all the translators for the next 5 years. We received the grant which not just covers salaries, but new computers and few other things.

We started 5 new language projects.

We graduated 12 translators from the training program.

3 new missionaries families joined us.

Personal-Andy had his best year for running

Out of the blue, we were blessed with a teacher in November through May 2010. Which was perfect timing because our assistant administrator had to return to the states for 6 weeks.

I was also reminded of the themes that have coming through my life these passed few years.

2004- “I surrender”

2005-“This is the Great Adventure” part 1

2006-You want me to do what?

2007-“Trust and Obey”

2008-“This is the Great Adventure” Part 2

2009-Belief and trust, are they the same thing?

2010-I feel like God is telling me that it will be “I will not be silent”

I hope to be obedient to His call on my life for this year and be able to share with many of you while we are on home assignment.


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