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We took a road trip north from Morogoro to Nairobi, Kenya for Emily to take a child safety training course. Here is a look at our week.
My name is Chris Vickio and my wife is Emily. We both grew up in southern Delaware, having apparently met each other as children in nursery while attending the Lewes Church of Christ (neither of us can remember that far back). It was at that same church that we got married in the summer of 2007, and after selling our house in Delaware we moved to Dallas, Texas to join PBT.
After a few months of cross-cultural training in Dallas, and with the much appreciated support of our friends and families, we packed our bags and got on a plane for our first overseas trip ever. We arrived in Tanzania, East Africa in 2010 and began our first term as missionaries.
Emily attended Central Christian College of the Bible in Moberly, Missouri. She went on to get a degree in Elementary Education from Hannibal-Lagrange College in Hannibal, Missouri in 2007. She has 10 brothers and sisters and she misses them all! Emily enjoys quilting and reading and she hates snakes.
I didn’t attend college, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m uneducated. I began working with computers when I was 11 and got a full time job working at an ISP in Delaware when I was 16. I learned a lot on the job for 10 years as I continued working as a programmer and system administrator in the transportation industry.
I also enjoy playing music, photography, and going on adventures. Pretty much any kind of adventure.
We work at the PBT EAB. For the uninitiated, that is the Pioneer Bible Translators East Africa Branch. We joined PBT looking for an opportunity to use our talents and skills in full time ministry overseas. We told them we’d go wherever they needed a teacher and an IT guy. They said Tanzania, and we said OK. So that’s where we are.
Tanzania is located in eastern Africa right on the coast of the Indian Ocean. This is good because having grown up near the coast in Delaware, we find that we are happier when we are near the ocean. Pretty much any ocean, as long as it’s salty.
We live in a city of about 300,000 people where PBT’s East Africa Branch is headquartered. So we’re not in the bush living in thatched-roof dirt-floor huts, but we don’t have to go too far to find them. We have plumbing (bad plumbing) and electricity (almost all year) and high speed Internet (OK, that’s an overstatement).
We really like it here, even if we are missing home often.
It’s pretty simple. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to read or hear the Bible in a language that speaks to their heart. There are a lot of people (like over 300,000,000) who can’t do this because they speak a language into which the Bible has not yet been translated. So we’re doing our part to help make the Bible available to them.
In Tanzania, where we are working, there are over 100 distinct languages! Not dialects. Languages. PBT is currently working in 15 of those languages, training and assisting nationals to translate the Bible. The languages are distinct enough that they require separate translations, but similar enough that we can work simultaneously in multiple languages to expedite the process. That’s about all I can tell you since I’m not a linguistic. I mean a lingual. Whatever.
My job here is to keep our branch’s 60 computers running smoothly. Well not just the computers, but the network and the phones and whatever else has an electrical pulse running through it. And the printers, oh, the printers. It’s really dusty here and if the dust doesn’t kill your computer, the African viruses will. No joke. I really enjoy my job here. It’s challenging in a fulfilling way.
Emily teaches the MKs (you know, the missionary kids) who are here with PBT. There are currently 4 families with children here. We have a room in our house designated as the schoolroom, and every weekday the kids come here for homeschooling. She does a great job handling the wide range of ages, and being the oldest of 11 in a homeschooling family, she is well qualified.