The Bible in Our Heart Language

“It is the right time for God's Word to shine into the hearts of Pogoro people,” says Barnabas Sigwasa, the pastor of Pentecost Church in Tanzania. “When my wife and I started our church, we had five members. But then some people brought the gospel of John in Pogoro into our village and started reading it, and I brought it to use in my church.

“It was a miracle! At the first Sunday service where we read the Bible in Pogoro, 6 people accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. The next Sunday, 8 more people came to believe in God. I can see that there is great power in reading the Bible in our own language. Nowadays, people come from far away just to hear us read the Bible in Pogoro, and now our church has 22 members because of it.

“My wife and I rejoice and thank God for the miracle of the Pogoro Bible. To read the Bible in our own language will save many lives.”

Story and photos supplied by George Chombo.

Immanuel, Glorious Light!

Two thousand years ago, God came to our world in the person of his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the true Word of God, who brought light into the darkness - the truth about God, salvation for all who believe in Him, and access to the power of God to overcome every obstacle we face. At this time of the year we celebrate his birth with great joy. We sing with enthusiasm “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!”

By God’s grace we have a permanent record of the dealings of God with and on behalf of people, in the Bible. Although the Bible is not the Word of God in the same manner as Jesus Christ is, we nevertheless experience God speaking to us through Scripture. Someone said ”Jesus Christ comes to me from the pages of the Bible.”

As we celebrate Jesus Christ during this season, He is ready to meet each one of us where we are. May we recognise Him and may our love for Him grow.

Véroni Krüger

International President

Music in Our Heart Language

The people in Mukumbura, Zimbabwe speak Kore Kore, which falls under the Shona group of languages. The Word for the World is currently working on the Kore Kore translation project.

Nisbert Chagoka, who lives in Mukumbura, accepted Christ earlier this year and is still learning about the Bible. The joy of salvation is still fresh and burning inside him. 

"I'm feeling very happy that the Kore Kore Bible will soon be here,” he said. “It will help us if there is a Bible in Kore Kore so that we can understand it even better.” He has a passion for music and he has several Christian which he has composed himself in Kore Kore, and he hopes to one day record them.

When the Kore Kore Bible becomes available, it is not only going to be beneficial for reading in church or at home but it will also enable young people like Nisbert Chagoka to be able to compose songs in their own Kore Kore language for the benefit and edification of the Kore Kore people. Many Christian songs and music have been penned, composed or derived from the Bible. Music forms an integral part of Christian life and there is no better source for this music than the Word of God itself, in the language that we understand the most, our heart language!

Story and photos supplied by Piniel Tawanda Zimbizi.

Serving Bernatus

Bernatus Kachelewa is 83 years old and lives alone in his Pogoro-speaking village in Tanzania. He cannot work due to his age and the fact that he suffers from leprosy. Because of this, he relies on his neighbours for food and his other needs. His neighbour’s son came to visit him every day and read the gospel of John in Pogoro to him. He says that hearing the Word of God in his language touched his heart and hearing the Bible in his mother tongue brought peace to his spirit. He gave his life to Christ after hearing the gospel in his own language!

I went to visit him along with John Kahonga, the Pogoro project leader. We cleaned his house for him and brought him food, drinks, and clothing. We shared with him more about the love of God, and as we were reading the Bible with him, some of his other neighbours came to join us. After hearing us read the Bible in their heart language and seeing how we had served Bernatus by cleaning his house and bringing him food, they also decided to give their hearts to Christ!

“Jesus brought love into my life,” Bernatus said. “People who were in darkness can now see the light because they see the love of God completely when they hear the Bible in their language.”

Story and photos supplied by George Chombo.

Literacy is a Crucial Part of Bible Translation!

During 2018, TWFTW helped mother tongue speakers representing nine minority language groups to develop reading and writing materials for their own people. When a Bible translation project is initiated among a language community, the language is usually only oral and has never been committed to writing. A writing system is developed based on the sound system of the language, using the alphabet of the state which is adapted to suit the particular language.

Some of the speakers of these minority languages may be semi-literate in the state or national language, but since their language has never been in writing ever before, all of the speakers of these languages cannot read or write in their own language. Literacy materials are produced during workshops held in the respective regions and are compiled by the speakers of the languages according to the guidelines given by linguists and others.

Some materials provide a quick transition to reading in the vernacular for those who have already acquired literacy skills in a second language; and for the many who are illiterate in any language, there are materials to systematically teach them to read and write their own language and gain fluency in their newly found literacy skills. Books on basic mathematics, fables, and more are also prepared.

Since each language is unique, every language team develops an individualised set of books for later use in community literacy programs. Literacy is a crucial part of Bible translation! To learn more about our work with literacy, visit www.twftw.org/literacy.

Supplied by the Van As family.

Thanksgiving

There is so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving! We are grateful together with those who have received the Word of God in their heart language for the first time and pray that through this, they will know Him more deeply. And we are thankful for YOU for partnering with us and helping to end Bible poverty! May you experience God’s abundant blessings in your life, and we look forward to continuing our work with you to bring people the Word of God in their heart language.

We Give Thanks to Him!

 

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving

and his courts with praise;

give thanks to him and praise his name.”

-Psalm 100:4


 

This has been a year full of the blessings and abundance of God and we are filled with thanksgiving for His goodness, His provision, His strengthening, and His faithfulness! Here are just a few of the things that we are thanking God for:

  • The release of the Sakachep New Testament and the distribution of over 15,000 copies in Southeast Asia!

  • The amazing impact that the Word of God has been having in the Matengo community in Tanzania as translated portions of the New Testament are released to the people.

  • In Zambia, the widely celebrated and much anticipated release of the Soli new Testament despite the translation team experiencing illness, drought, and death. We praise God for their perseverance and for the Lord sustaining them through their work!

  • The joyful anticipation of the Kalanga and Kore Kore people groups in Zimbabwe as the translation teams work hard to bring the Bible to their people in their own language.

  • The many testimonies of physical, emotional, and spiritual healing that have occurred in communities that now have the Word of God in their mother tongue!

  • The 26 successful training events that we’ve held in 8 countries over the past year, and the 2 that are still to come before the end of 2018.

Last but surely not least, we are thankful beyond words for you; your prayers, your unending support, your encouragement, and your unwavering belief in the work we are doing. As you gather with family and friends, may you have a blessed, restful Thanksgiving and receive the abundant blessings of God in your life.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Veronique Krüger

 

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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?

 

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