The Bible transforms hearts and lives of people!

In the Sagasa Village, Tanzania, the Nguu people have come to realize the importance of the Bible in their heart language. It has brought new meaning to the lives of the people in their village -even the unborn children - as they understand the message of hope and love the Bible brings!

Sharing the word of God in the evening with Bible discussions and fellowship has become an important part of their lives. The Nguu Bible brought them freedom and a new sense of purpose!

The Nguu speaking people received the Nguu New Testament a few years back, but they are still yearning to have the whole Bible in their own language. 39% of the Old Testament is already complete. With your support they will soon have the whole Bible in their own language!

Why translate the Old Testament?

Show me a tall building without a solid foundation. Show me a house with no roof where the rain will not come pouring in. Show me a house with a roof, but no walls or foundation. This is the picture of an incomplete Bible. The complete Bible has the Pentateuch as foundation, the rest of the Old Testament as the walls and the New Testament as the roof — they are inter-dependent.

How can anybody think of the Bible as complete without the Old Testament? It would be like living a life with no recollection of the past, total amnesia with no points of reference. Jesus Himself frequently quotes Scripture from the Old Testament. Omitting the Old Testament is equal to denying Jesus being Jewish. Denying Him His part in the Trinity. Denying the history of God’s plan for man’s redemption.

The old Testament exposes with brutal honesty man’s inadequacy and sinfulness against God’s omnipotence and covenant love. The two Testaments form a unity bound by God’s love and should never be separated. If we do not have the Old Testament, we would never know the great treasure we have received in the New.

Henrietta Mears said: “The New is in the Old contained. The Old is in the New explained. The New is in the Old latent. The Old is in the New patent.”

Let us not be arrogant in deciding what God should and should not have left out of His revealed word to us. Let us enjoy and learn whatever we can from what he Has given.

Let us then proceed to translate the complete Bible for everyone in the language God gave them.

A purpose-filled life

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Nel Claassen is a consultant working with the TWFTW.

She was introduced to the concept of Bible translation while studying theology. She did a specialized course in Bible translation after completing her theological studies.

TWFTW is a Bible translation organization that works only in languages in which the Bible has not been translated. The organization empowers indigenous speakers to translate God's Word into their own language. "Who is able to speak a language better than a person born into it?"

According to Nel, this method is more effective, time-wise as well as money-wise. "A lot of money is saved because it is not necessary to accommodate a foreign missionary family at great cost. Expatriates also have to spend many years learning to speak the language. It takes a trained team of indigenous speakers 3 years to translate the New Testament, and 8 years for the Old Testament."

Nel also spent considerable time in Israel studying Biblical Hebrew. She consults teams translating the Old Testament.

Her many travels to different places have not always been as idyllic. She lost her only child, a son of 20, while she was working in the Comoros. "So many of us on the mission field have suffered severe personal losses. Therefore, I maintain, if the Lord does not call you to be a missionary - do not go!”

Nel recently returned from four weeks of consultation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She says that to her, the greatest privilege is working with God's Word, the greatest gift is the Pentateuch, and working on Genesis is always a revelation.

Even though successful, it was a stressful time, as both her mom and niece were ill during this time. Communication was problematic, which made Nel feel as if she was constantly stumbling through the dark.

While in Ethiopia, she worked with three new teams: Borna, Yemsa and Basketo. She was blessed with two assistants to help her. The Yemsa team completed consultation on Genesis. The Basketo completed Ruth, Obadiah, Esther and Jonah.

Nel is thankful for all the support she receives - through prayer or financially!

In 1 Samuel 30:24 and 25 King David laid down the principle that all share in the spoils of battle. We are in this together! Grace and peace to all.

Nel Claassen, TWFTW Consultant

 

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With God, anything is possible!

Continual training of translators form a crucial part of Bible translation. In some areas in Ethiopia, the trainers encounter many difficult situations. The roads, infrastructure and poor weather conditions can make it difficult to reach translation teams.

The knowledge that God is the provider, and that He makes a way where there seems to be none, keeps the dedicated members of the TWFTW focused on the goal of eradicating Bible poverty in Ethiopia. Therefore, they press forward to complete the task set before them.

In Ethiopia, TWFTW is currently busy with 23 translation projects. That is 23 language groups that are yearning to have the Bible in their heart language for the first time! We are so thankful that the Maale Bible was recently completed, launched and distributed!

Please continue your support through prayer!

“…I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19

The Bible is real and alive!

In the small village of Likuya in Tanzania the people now experience the Bible as real and alive. That is because they now have some books of the Bible in their heart language, Ndendeule. In this beautiful village the people can at last share their faith more freely within the church. They love family and community discussions about the Bible. This promotes fellowship in the community.

A boy in the village exclaimed: “Me and my friend share the Bible with others!”

With only 14% of the Ndendeule Bible complete, the Ndendeule speaking people still yearn to have the whole Bible in their own language. That is certainly the aim of TWFTW as we strive to be involved in translating the entire Bible into 500 languages by 2050 - our part of the world-wide vision to eradicate Bible poverty. The Ndendeule language is one of the projects that needs your support.

Become part of the vision to bring God’s Word to all people in their heart language by 2050.

 

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A Soul-Saving Endeavor!

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Bible translation consultation is a process in which translators and people with advanced training in Biblical languages work together to ensure that new translations convey the meaning of the original as accurately as possible. Earlier this year Joel Brown was part of a consultation team checking the Baiso translation of the New Testament. Nearly three years ago, he had the opportunity to help teach phonetics, phonology and orthography to these very same translators and was privileged to visit a church in the region where the Baiso people live.

The writing system for the Baiso language is still being developed and there are as yet no printed books in the Baiso language. In addition to their work of translating the Bible, the team of four translators have poured themselves into developing a writing system. They are using the Bible portions they have been translating to promote mother tongue literacy in their community.

The Baiso team have completed the final consultation on the New Testament. They will spend the next year proofreading and typesetting the first publication ever to be released in their own language!

“A multi-denominational, community-supported, culture-preserving, soul-saving endeavor – The Baiso New Testament! I feel amazingly blessed to have played even a small part in this monumental achievement. Praise God for what He is doing in Ethiopia!”

Joel Brown – TWFTW, consultant in training

Touching and Changing Hearts!

Hudumo Dimosha is an elderly man. His mother tongue is Maalegna. The Maalegna speaking people settled in Kamba many years ago. A literacy program was established in Kamba, near the border of Maale, South West Ethiopia. Hudumo inspired Maale church leaders to participate in the literacy program.

Hudumos’s children taught the people of Kamba how to read and write. Many participants of this program were not Christians. While learning to read and right, they used the Bible as a text. They have come to understand the message of the Bible in their own heart language. The truth of the Gospel was clearly communicated and touched their hearts!

More than 20 churches were planted. In places like Maale, where literacy programs are combined with Bible distribution, we see effective Bible engagement that results in transforming people’s lives.

Tamene Lale, Maalegna Bible translator, TWFTW Ethiopia

 

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God gave us our language!

Mbui Lingonu used to be the witch doctor in the Village of Ngongua in Tanzania for 38 years. At the age of 86, he is the oldest Chief of the Pogoro speaking people. He lived his life by instructions from his ancestors.

In 2018 he received the New Testament in his mother tongue, Pogoro. At first he was reluctant to read it. However, he felt a strange urge to open this book. After spending several days reading the book of Luke he said: “Behold, it is very true – God is the God of all languages. I thought ancestor spirits were the founders of the Pogoro language, but that is not the truth. The Good News in Pogoro shows me that the truth is that God is the giver of all languages!”

He also declared: “This book is alive. It goes straight to your heart, like an arrow. Because of what I read in Luke 22:15-20 I have come to believe Jesus is the King of all Kings.”

The Word of God revealed to him that Jesus died for him on the cross. Mbui Lingonu gave his life to Christ at the age of 86!

Story and photos by George Chombo, Tanzania

 

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