The Word of God is God’s Story

illumiNations Bible partners with several Bible translation organizations, including The Word for the World, to provide God’s Word in everyone’s heart language in a format they can engage with so their lives may be transformed. To learn more, visit their website here.

When the Chaga people of Tanzania see Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest freestanding mountain in the world proudly raised at 20,000 feet, they boldly declare their only reasonable response: kibo, which means “wow!”

As we reflect on this illumiNations weekend, kibo feels like our only reasonable response to all we experienced. God is opening doors like never before for the Word of God to reach the nations. Jesus is showing Himself strong on behalf of the unreached.

Louie Giglio shared with us, “God meets our obedience with His faithfulness.”

There were so many kibo moments from our weekend together. Friends, we celebrate the stunning generosity and faith-filled obedience you demonstrated. Thank you for your response to pour into the nations what lasts forever.

This Book is Alive,
Mart Green and Todd Peterson
illumiNations Bible

The Feet That Bring Good News

Sometimes George Chombo, who works with The Word for the World’s Promotions department, carries Bibles on foot so that he can reach places and people that are unreachable by car or motorcycle. Recently he did this to bring some of the Nguu people their completed New Testament, and they were ecstatic to receive the Scripture in their own language! Many of the people are Muslim, but they are filled with joy that something like the Bible has been translated into their language, and they even gather together to read it.

One elderly man told George the good that God has done in his life since he received news of the Nguu Bible translation project. In 2016 he was very sick and could also not see with his left eye, so he had to rely on his right eye. Just before he went for an operation to improve the eye, he had a dream.

He said that he saw someone give him the Nguu Bible, and the person who gave it to him said, “You will not go for an operation for your eye, but instead you will be healed. But tell of this and speak with the older people in your village about the Nguu Bible.” When he woke up the next morning, he realized he could see out of his left eye! So he went right away to the church to tell his pastor about the dream, and the pastor told him, “Jesus Christ was the man in your dream, and He has healed you.” Praise God!

Story and photos supplied by George Chombo.

Success in Sudan

This past July, 23 students representing 11 different languages attended a TWFTW training event in Sudan to study Sociolinguistics, Biblical Exegesis, Introduction to Hebrew, and the Process of Bible Translation.

Kamal, one of the students who participated, said, “I am getting more experience and knowledge in my language and in Bible translation work. We are discovering new things about our own languages and cultures and become aware of sociolinguistic issues of our languages and communities. The sociolinguistics course helped me personally to know more about quality control of the translation.”

We praise God for this successful training that will aid the students in effectively translating the Bible into their own language! A follow-up training event just began on October 2nd and will continue until October 21st, so please keep Kamal and the other students, as well as their lecturers, in your prayers as they continue these crucial studies. For more information on our training, visit twftw.org/training.

Provided by Dr. Regine Koroma, International Director of Training.

Revolutionizing Translation

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Historically, the model for Bible translation was this: a (usually) white, Western missionary would go and live in a village, spend time learning the language, and then set about the mammoth task of translating the entire Bible by himself. It was a process that could easily take a lifetime to complete. And, as incredible it was that those people finally had some scripture in their language, the translation often wasn’t as natural as it would have been had a mother tongue speaker completed it.

The Word for the World is a Bible translation organization, yes – but one that is driven by the vision of training and empowering mother tongue speakers to translate the complete Bible into their own language. These translations are accurate, clear, and natural, which is vital to people’s understanding of the Word of God! The process is usually also cut down by a considerable amount of time, and those people groups are able to receive the Bible much more quickly.

To find out more about our training, visit twftw.org/training! We thank you for your continued prayer and support as we work to bring the Word to everyone in their heart language.

Veronique Krüger

The Word in Zimbabwe

My name is Benita Nleya and I live in Hikwa Village, Zimbabwe. I'm grateful and thankful that there is going to be a Bible in our language of Kalanga soon. We have been struggling to interpret the Bible into Kalanga after it has been read in either English or Ndebele. When we have the Bible in our language, we will finally be able to understand it when we are reading, and also can teach the little ones who are fluent in Kalanga. So I'm grateful for this project. May it succeed, may God make it to succeed.

As for me, the Word of God has helped me a lot because I was a sickly person but because of prayers and the knowledge of the Word of God it helped me a lot in my life. So I'm grateful that there will be a Kalanga Bible that will help me understand the Word of God even better, because all my life is dependent upon God and Him only. Thank you.

Supplied by Piniel Tawanda Zimbizi. The Kalanga project is well underway and 30% of the New Testament has been translated so far. To contribute to the completion of the Kalanga Bible, click here.

How Do You Eat an Elephant?

Supplied by Antoinette van der Meulen, who recently consulted on the Lambya translation project in Malawi. TWFTW has a huge need for consultants to keep up with the translators’ fast work! If you’re interested in this, please contact us.

The bus-trip from Lilongwe to the far north of Malawi wasn’t for sissies. Once there, internet access was difficult, but otherwise staying in Chitipa and working with the Lambya team was very enjoyable. We got a move on with the Psalms, starting from Psalm 36 where we stopped last year. It’s usually the little words that cause the problems: an incorrect article, conjunction, adjective or prefix can completely change the meaning of a sentence. People are usually nervous about Psalm 119, but it was eventually not too difficult. One finds synonyms for words: law, the law, laws, commandments, instructions, teachings, commands, ways, and ordinances, and then one approaches the task as one would eat an elephant, “one bite (or verse) at a time”. And before we knew it, we had completed the Psalms.

And before we knew it, we had completed the Psalm. It’s pleasant work; I particularly like the Psalms of praise.

Because I was staying in their town this time,
 the Lambya translators could stay at home.
 Pastor John stays outside the town, is 82, and
 rides 15km by bicycle to work each morning,
 and then home each afternoon. A local church
 supplied us with a free office as their contribution to the Bible that they will receive when the translation is complete.

A Whole New World

Training translators to translate the Bible into their own language is an enormous and critical part of what The Word for the World does, but the effects don’t stop there! Since people have been trained in the steps and procedures of translation, they are equipped to be able to translate anything. There are lots of educational pamphlets which people do not understand, but now they can translate them, for example information on medical concerns, agriculture, H.I.V, etc. Literacy programs have also been born in order to teach people how to read and write. This means the problem of illiteracy is in the process of being solved.

Job creation, improvements in education, and overall community development are all positive results of empowering people to be able to translate text accurately, clearly, and naturally into their own language. Praise God! For more on our training program, visit twftw.org/training. Our International Director of Training, Dr. Regine Koroma, would love to hear from you!

Provided by Rosemary Chimbiti, who is currently in her final year of the Diploma in Bible Translation with TWFTW. The above video was taken nearly 2 years ago when she had already begun working on the DBT.

Training and Technology

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It has been a busy year for training in TWFTW, with some wonderful milestones! At a recent training event in Slovakia, an entire course was taught via Skype for the first time. The translator (unnamed due to sensitivity) who is working with a translation team in Slovakia to translate the Bible into Romani has been making use of Skype to help with the translation from Israel! For this event, this translator Skyped in to teach the students Introduction to Hebrew. Despite some challenges, it was a great success and TWFTW in Slovakia plans to conduct more training events like this in the future!

32 students also attended a training event in South Asia, where Introduction to Greek and Biblical Exegesis were taught. This included training on how to use the software program Paratext, and the students reported that they enjoyed the event immensely and feel that they learned a great deal that will help them to translate the Bible into their language more effectively. To learn more about TWFTW’s training programs, visit twftw.org/training!

A Bible in My Language

I'm Mrs Regine Masuku and I live in Dombodema with my husband, Peter Masuku. I'm joyful to hear that the Bible will now be translated into our language of Kalanga. We normally use English or Ndebele Bibles, but it is so difficult because there are elderly people here who do not understand English. So I find this translation to be a good work that has been planned. We ask and desire that God may bless us with this and we also thank the person who came up with this idea, because this person has remembered us. May he also give us wise people who are fully equipped who will make it possible for this Bible to be produced. Let us unite as Kalanga people and see that our Bible is produced, because if we don't have our own Bible, it's like we are lost. It is said that a child who does not cry will die of hunger, so let's cry together, crying as we act, as we work, and as we help each other.

Story and photo provided by Piniel Zimbizi.

Bible Study in Litembo

One of the villages in Tanzania that speak the Matengo language is called Litembo. The Word for the World translators have already completed about 44% of the translation of the Matengo New Testament! In the village of Litembo, there is a group of villagers who meet together for fellowship every Saturday to pray and read the Book of Mark, which has been translated into the Matengo language.

The group testifies that their fellowship has been excellent and began when the village leader encouraged them to gather and read the scriptures together. They are very thankful that the Bible is being translated into the Matengo language and they pray for God to make it possible for the whole Bible to be translated. One young man has even begun preaching the Gospel to people in nearby villages using the translated Gospel of Mark!

They are thankful for what has already been translated, and to all people who support this work of God! Thank you for helping us to bring people the Word of God to them in their heart language. To get involved, visit twtftw.org/give.

Story and photos supplied by George Chombo