Read our latest Vis-À-Vis newsletter!
Approximately 2,500 language communities already have some or all of the Bible. That leaves over 4,000 languages with no access to God’s Word unless someone steps in and changes history.
VISION & MISSION
The Vision: The glory of God through transformed lives by the power of His Word in everyone's heart language. The Mission: To empower indigenous persons and organizations for Bible translation.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music;
make music to the Lord with the harp,
with the harp and the sound of singing,
with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
shout for joy before the Lord, the King. (Ps 98.4-7)
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (The angels in Luke 2.14)
Joy to the world
The Lord has come
Let earth receive her King
(Isaac Watts, 1719)
These represent the thread of joy experienced over the ages at the prospect of the revelation of God, climaxing in the joyous response when Jesus was born.
Similar expressions of joy are repeated many times over when people receive the Word of God in their own language for the first time. Praise God that we have been able to bring Scripture to people groups with a total number of speakers close to 32 million.
As we celebrate the coming of the King, let us remember those who have not yet heard the Good News about Jesus Christ.
A few weeks ago, we told you about John Kapuku, a 90 year-old Matengo-speaking man who received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. You can read more about him here. Three months after this, he passed away and went to be with the Lord.
After he passed away, we received a phone call from one of the Matengo translators, Eda Lupogo, and a Matengo pastor. They told us that in the last few months of his life, he was full of joy such as he had never experienced before he found the love of Jesus. He said that he had seen Jesus through the Word of God, and also through those of us who brought him food and clothing.
Since the day we first visited him months ago to give him food and clothing, Eda had been going to see him to pray with him, care for him, and read the Bible with him. Praise God for John’s life and for the peace, love, and joy he experienced before he died!
The Matengo pastors give thanks to God for their people coming to Jesus and their lives being transformed, just like John’s. Please continue to pray for those working on the rest of the Matengo translation so that they might have access to all of God’s Word in their heart language!
Two translation teams in Ethiopia have completed the translation and checking of the books of Exodus and Ruth over the past few weeks! There are 22 ongoing translation projects in Ethiopia at the moment, all at various stages of completion. All of these are first-time translations in which the communities have not had access to Scripture in their own languages before.
How exciting to think that soon this will change! Just last year, the complete Maale Bible was launched, and all 121,000 Maale speakers can now read the Word of God in their mother tongue.
The Guji translation team also made progress with the checking of I & II Chronicles, as well as I Kings. The Guji New Testament was released in 2008, and they only have one book of the Bible left until the whole Guji Bible can be distributed!
Please continue to pray for the Guji translators and the consultants who are working with them as they near the end of their long and arduous journey to bring the Word of God to their people in their mother tongue.
Recently, volunteers comprised of family, friends and supporters gathered at TWFTW office in Southeast Asia to receive a truck load of 15,000 freshly printed Sakachep New Testaments.
Some days later the Sakachep people turned out in large numbers to attend the launch of their brand new New Testaments. There was great excitement between both young and old and many people eagerly purchased their own copy as can be seen in the video above.
Now the 35,000 Sakachep people can find the treasures in God's Word for themselves. "Your Word is more precious than gold." Ps 19.10.
The Word for the World is continuing to also translate the Old Testament. Please pray for the team and consider helping to support the Sakachep translators, who are based in SE Asia.
Geresu is one of the translators working on the Basketo Old Testament in Ethiopia. He is married and a father of four children, one girl and three boys. He came to Christ in 1981 due to his father’s illness.
Geresu´s father was critically ill and it had become known that one of the best ways for people to get out of any kind of physical and spiritual problem was to become a Christian (or a Misona, as the Basketo say).
When Geresu saw that his father was healed of his illness after becoming a believer, he decided to also give his life to Christ and follow Jesus! Geresu himself had many life challenges that he would like to be freed from, and Christ did the same for him.
Geresu has been serving for a long time now as a leader in the Kale Heywit Church in Ethiopia, and was also one of the translators for the Basketo New Testament for the past 15 years. They are now working hard to translate the Old Testament for their people!
There are well over 90,000 Basketo speakers in southern Ethiopia and they are desperate to have a complete Bible in their mother tongue. They value their New Testament, but need the whole Bible to be translated in their own language. Their culture has been adversely affected by years of demon worship and witchcraft and they sorely need to the freedom that Christ brings!
In our hearts we carry this vision: to see every person with the Word of God, translated into their mother tongue, in their hands. Training, literacy, and all the other aspects of what we do circle around to this one goal. We are Gospel-laden. We are driven by our passion for the Bible and for people, and by the knowledge that God wants every tribe and every nation to know that He loves them and speaks their language.
But “we” includes so much more than the members and workers of The Word for the World. “We” includes you! 1 Corinthians 12:27 says, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” (NIV.) Only when we all work together can we fulfill the vision for every person to have the Bible in their mother tongue. Only when we all work together will we see the Gospel of Jesus Christ reach every corner of the earth.
You are just as much part of the work of Bible translation as we are. Thank you for partnering with us and being co-workers with us in this important mission! May God richly bless you and encourage you as you continue to work alongside us to bring about this vision.
This is the first time that the Matengo people of the southern highlands of Tanzania can read the gospel of Mark in their own language.
Around 308,000 speakers make up the Matengo community. They make their living in the mountains of Tanzania by farming and raising livestock. Coffee, maize, and beans are abundant here—but they do not yet have access to the complete Bible in a language that they can understand best.
However, with the recent launch of the book of Mark, their history is changing! In the 2 years that the team has been working on it, around 26% of the New Testament (which is about 6% of the whole Bible) has been translated into Matengo. It is our hope that they will soon have the complete Bible in their heart language!
As the gospel of Mark was being distributed, people were clamoring to get a hold of a copy, reaching their hands out in anticipation. They were saying, “We are very surprised because when we read this, it speaks to our hearts and we can understand what God is saying.” Now every man, woman, and child in the Matengo community can know that God loves them and speaks their language!
Please get involved to help the Matengo people to read the complete Bible in the language God gave them.
Veronique Krüger and George Chombo
Some members of TWFTW International Board were hosted on a pre-opening visit to the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. It was incredibly informative and impressive. What a testimony to the preservation of the Bible, it’s history and relevance still today.
The official opening of the museum will open November 14, 2017 with Broadway’s Amazing Grace: The Musical. On visiting the museum, you will be able to see the Bible come to life. From Biblical artifacts to digital presentations to beautifully rendered narratives to informative and engaging exhibitions, the Museum of the Bible will be full of the greatest book ever written and all of its facets.
“The museum in Washington, D.C. will be housed in a 430,000-square-foot building just two blocks from the National Mall and three blocks from the nation’s Capitol, and it will open in the fall of 2017. It will provide guests with an immersive and personalized experience as they explore the history, narrative, and impact of the Bible.
The Museum of the Bible will be an unparalleled experience, using cutting-edge technology to bring the Bible to life. It will span time, space, and cultures, inviting everyone to engage with the Bible. With three permanent sections and space for temporary exhibits, there will always be something new to explore.”
For more information about the Museum of the Bible, visit their website at museumofthebible.org.
On Saturday, September 30th, The Word for the World Tanzania celebrated 9 students graduating with their Diploma in Bible Translation. All 9 students are Bible translators who have completed TWFTW’s training program, and who will now be able to more effectively work on the 6 translation projects of which they are a part!
Training is crucial to our mission of ensuring that all people eventually have access to the complete Bible in their own language! We want to enable people from language communities that do not yet have the Bible in their own language to take responsibility for Bible translation and related activities and to ensure its availability and accessibility.
The DBT (Diploma in Bible Translation) is practical, accessible, and third world-friendly while still adhering to high academic principles. It is a combination of formal lectures, self-study under the guidance of a lecturer, and on–the-job training. Students who have completed the DBT are far more equipped to be Bible translators and consultants!