People of the Book

In Tanzania, 11 of the 15 local people who review the Ndendeule translation as it is completed are Muslim. They are thrilled to have something written in their language, even if it is the Holy Bible!

A while ago, we told you the story of a man named Maulidi Kimbunga from this language community who could not see, but when he was attempting to read the Gospel of Mark in Ndendeule, God healed him and he was able to see again. Maulidi had been a Muslim, but through his encounter with God when he read the Gospel of Mark, he became a Christian. Since then he has gone to his eternal home, but the testimony of his life and faith has spread among the other Muslims in his community.

We pray that through Maulidi’s testimony, which has amazed his Muslim friends and family, and through reading the scripture translated into Ndendeule, more Muslims in Tanzania will encounter Christ and be transformed by His Word!

The Ndendeule project is well underway and the New Testament is 58% complete. To contribute to this project, click here.

Supplied by George Chombo.

A Land of Milk and Honey

My name is Elias Joseph Hlomani Ncube and I was born in 1932 on July 13th. I was born here in Dombodema, Zimbabwe.

When we grew up here in Dombodema, there was a Bible in Kalanga which was called "Ndebo Mbuya". That is what we read when we were growing up. Then it was destroyed because of the war that happened between the white people and the black people. The black people thought that the missionaries had used the Bible to colonize them, and they never wanted to use anything associated with white people again, including the Kalanga Bible. So we burned all the Bibles and didn’t have them anymore.

But now we are very happy when we see that our children want to have a Bible in their own language, and our own people are translating the Bible, so they won’t think that white people are using it to control us again.

We used to sing a Kalanga song which said, "This is our home of Dombodema, we are here in the land of Dombodema, the land which is similar to the land of Canaan, a land that flows with milk and honey." This song was written in Kalanga but today it is only sung by us, the elderly, meaning that in the future there won’t be such a song anymore. Let the Ndebo Mbuya (New Testament) be translated, and may God also help that the Kalanga people may also hear the Word of God that they will believe.

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.

4 Ways to Help Us Change History

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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.

Who is that someone? Well…you!

If you’re wondering how you can get involved with Bible translation and be a part of bringing God’s Word to a language community in their mother tongue, look no further.

  1. Learn. Awareness, and helping to spread awareness, is key! Spend some time reading the testimonies and stories here on our blog, and sign up for our e-newsletter. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

  2. Pray. Prayer is essential to the success of Bible translation. Our translators and consultants constantly need wisdom and discernment, and all the members of The Word for the World face opposition for the work we do. Your prayers are invaluable and necessary. To get prayer and praise updates so that you can pray more effectively, sign up here.

  3. Give. Your financial contributions are like the fuel that keeps the car running: you can have the biggest, fanciest car in the world, with the ability to go anywhere and do almost anything, but if there’s no fuel, it’s not going anywhere. To contribute and help bring God’s Word to all in their language, click here.

  4. Volunteer. Are you interested in doing more than helping from afar? Consider volunteering with The Word for the World! We need people to train translators, train consultants, handle IT concerns, and much more. If you feel called to the work of Bible translation, please contact us and we will get in touch with you.

What will your legacy be?

 

Connect with The Word For The World

It Is Good!

I recently visited the Mt. Darwin area in Zimbabwe, where our Kore Kore translation project is taking place.

We were warmly welcomed by Reverend Takapera and his wife, Dadirai—and since we had traveled a long distance, we were treated to some cold water as we rested. After we had the delicious meal that Dadirai prepared for us, I asked her how she was coping since her husband is also the leader of the Kore Kore translation team.

Dadirai said, “I accept the work that my husband is doing because it is helping the community and also helping the family. Also the language of Kore Kore that was previously not written in any written form is now being written down in the form of the Bible. That is why I'm grateful and I say that it is good!”

Please pray for the team as they continue their hard work! To see the progress on our translation projects, click here.

Supplied by Piniel Zimbizi.

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.