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Knotted Strings

Harvey translating with the help of an Anuak informant

From “Knotted Strings” to Talking Bibles is Harvey Hoekstra’s captivating personal account of a pioneer missionary family’s years in Africa and beyond. Listen here to Harvey personally read his autobiography.

Harvey Hoekstra and his wife, Lavina, served as missionaries in the Sudan and Ethiopia for 30 years. Harvey is the founder of Talking Bibles International (formerly, Audio Scriptures International) and the father of Mark and Paul Hoekstra, who continue to serve as President and Vice President. The Hoekstras make their home in Escondido, California. They have six children, three of whom are full-time missionaries.

This revisited, revised, and expanded version of his autobiography was published by William Carey Library in Pasadena, California. The text and recording were copyrighted in 2003 by Harvey T. Hoekstra.


  1. How It All Began (38:03)
  2. Our First Day in the Sudan (24:48)
  3. Welcome by the Light of a Lamp (43:57)
  4. Learning a New Language (54:52)
  5. Baptizing New Believers (24:48)
  6. Letters Home about the Children (20:59)
  7. Customs and Concepts (50:54)
  8. Our First Furlough (17:43)
  9. Pokwo—Village of Life (61:02)
  10. Back at Akobo—A New MAF Plane (22:11)
  11. Pochalla (14:33)
  12. Pibor and the Murle Beckon (19:09)
  13. A New Challenge in Ethiopia (7:57)
  14. Finding the Majang (34:43)
  15. On the Godare-Teppi Trail (21:07)
  16. Early Days at the Godare (30:22)
  17. “Knotted Strings” (19:20)
  18. “This is Big Talk” (10:08)
  19. A “One-Family” Station (49:36)
  20. Hopes and Fears (37:05)
  21. Our Vision Grows (29:53)
  22. Contending with Illness (24:44)
  23. Expanding the Ministry from Teppi (55:07)
  24. Back with the Majang (55:15)
  25. The Next Dozen Years (24:29)
  26. Audio Scriptures International (28:54)
  27. The Media Shift (16:31)
  28. The Talking Bible (30:24)
  29. That Additional Final Chapter (37:42)