Excellence and Perseverance

In November of last year, 49 students representing 16 translation projects attending a training event in Lusaka, Zambia. During the month that the training took place, 9 different subjects were taught, including Principles of Bible Translation, New Testament Exegesis, Hebrew, and Textual Criticism.

Despite the intensity of the subjects being taught, all the students who attended completed their courses and received their credits at the end. Not only that, but 20 students from Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe graduated with their Diploma in Bible Translation on November 23rd!

We are thankful for the successful training and congratulate those students who graduated! To keep up with our training events, take a look at our Training Calendar.

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.

Soli Deo Gloria!

A couple of weeks ago our minister gave a sermon on Jesus telling his disciples that one can tell a mountain to go and jump in the sea and it will be done. That reminded me of a message from the International President of The Word for the World on the same subject, saying that he knew how it could be done: by taking a shovel and a wheel-barrow, going to the mountain, and saying: “Thou shalt be removed!”, and then start working on it.
 
Looking back on my history with TWFTW, I can still see us going to Malawi (the Funnell family), Ethiopia (the van As family) and Zaire (yours truly), with our imaginative spades and wheel barrows and much faith in a good God, doing just that. In hindsight I can only testify about the abundant blessings of God on the work accomplished in His Name, and the fact that he gave us excellent leaders to direct and drive this wild cart and keep it (and us) on track! And we did have some serious road works on the way.
 
I always say I work for God with TWFTW, because at the end of the day one’s walk depends on obedience to God. Herewith I add that there is no other organisation that I would rather work with. Our vision in TWFTW is to have 500 complete Bibles by 2050 – hopefully by then I will be sitting next to Jesus, cheering everyone on. At the moment we are working on 109 projects in many different countries, mainly in Africa. We also have 10 full time consultants and 19 in training; 364 students, and 325 full time translators. We also run literacy courses where people cannot read – because the Bible is not like a lucky charm to be displayed or dusted when the pastor visits. And all this because of God’s grace and to His glory.

Nel Claassen, a TWFTW translation consultant

The Life & Times of Translation Consultants

The Word for the World is currently working on 111 full scale Bible translation projects, each one representing a language. For 111 projects, there are only 10 full-time translation consultants! They have their plates full checking the translations against Greek and Hebrew, usually in person, but sometimes over Skype or email.

Barry Funnell, one of TWFTW’s international consultants, travels approximately 10 times per year to Asia and Africa doing consultant work, which totals about one third of the year in time away from home. He also has been doing Skype consultation in between with the Roma team from Slovakia, as you can see in the video.

Mary* is another consultant with TWFTW and has just returned from a trip to Asia, where she worked with six language teams to check their Gospel of John. The Paratext computer programme enables Mary to check six languages simultaneously because she can look at an English word-for-word translation generated by a computer of all six languages even though they are written in a script she can't read or understand. Please pray for Mary as she goes to Malawi soon to check Psalms and other Old Testament books in the Lambya project!

Please also pray for Nel Claassen, who will be in Ethiopia in May consulting on the Pentateuch, and who will also be doing an email consultation on a project in Southeast Asia. We thank God for technology that makes what we do more accessible and efficient!

If you would like to know more about becoming a consultant, visit our Volunteer page at twftw.org/volunteer.

Veronique Krüger

*Pseudonym

Launch of the Lambya New Testament in Malawi

A group of around 85,000 people in Malawi, Zambia, and Tanzania who speak Lambya as their mother tongue have just received the New Testament in their language for the very first time in 2016! Pastors from all denominations are preaching from it in their churches, and believers are reading the Bible in their own language for the first time. What an incredible thing to finally have the Word of God in your heart language!

As for the Old Testament, it is also well underway! 20 books, from Genesis to Proverbs, have already been checked by consultants, and the book of Daniel is currently being checked.

Audio Bibles in Lambya have also been distributed, and they have been so popular that there are no more available! People are so hungry for the Word of God in their heart language and audio Bibles are a wonderful way for the Lambya communities to access scripture. Please pray with us that more audio Bibles can be made available to every single person who wants one!

Sadly, John Kadalinga, who started the Lambya Bible translation project, passed away recently due to medical issues. Although we are greatly saddened by the loss, we know that the work he began was not in vain, and under the guidance of project leader Robert Mulagha, it will be completed. Please continue to pray for all of our translators and their families as they do this incredible work.