Church Building in Tanzania

This church building-in-progress will soon house a congregation of 38 members and counting in a remote village in Tanzania.

George Chombo, one of the members of TWFTW’s Department of Promotions, visited this Nguu-speaking village at the end of last year and distributed recently printed New Testaments to the people. For the first time, these people were able to read the Bible and the words of Jesus Christ in their mother tongue!

At the time, the church only had 9 members, but in only 4 months it has grown now that the people have been reading the Word of God in their own language. Praise God for the faithfulness of the Nguu translators and of this pastor and his family who are building the church!

The Nguu Old Testament translation is currently 34% complete. Help the Nguu people to receive the complete Bible in their heart language!

Story and photos supplied by George Chombo.

I am a Child of God!

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Kofi John is a disabled man in the Pogoro-speaking village of Isongo, Tanzania. Although he has been disabled since birth, he has a full life, with a wife, five children, and a variety of livestock. He and his family make their living through farming the land and keeping chickens and ducks. He shares with great excitement about the goodness of God in his life since he read the Word of God in Pogoro.

“It is a great benefit to have a Bible which was written in your mother tongue, because it speaks directly to your heart. God is the owner of all languages. We feel so happy in our hearts when we read the Pogoro Bible because we know that God is speaking to us.”

After the release of the Pogoro New Testament, Kofi was also released from his loneliness. He started meeting regularly with a group of people to discuss the Bible and to pray with them. Now that they have the Word of God in their mother tongue, they are eager to fellowship together and study this Bible that they can now clearly understand.

“The Pogoro Bible made me see that I am very important to God,” Kofi John told us. “I read about Jesus and Peter and John healing cripples, and the love God has for us, and I know now that God did not create me by mistake. It has renewed my mind and I know that I am a child of God.”

Please, I Need Jesus

The Word of God continues to penetrate the hearts of many people when they hear or read it in their mother tongue, and they are changed by it.

In December, I took a trip with the Pogoro project leader, John Kahonga, to visit the Pogoro people in some of the villages of Tanzania. We ended up speaking with some of the youth in one particular village, telling them about God and answering their questions (some of which were very difficult!).

Then I told John to read them the Bible in Pogoro. Before we read to them, I showed them the Bible and said, “This is Jesus for you. When you read this today, you will see Him.”

John started reading. The Pogoro language has a very sweet, genuine sound. As they heard the words, the young people said, “What you said isn’t a joke, this is real!” One of them stood up and was almost crying.

“Please,” he said, “I need Jesus.” I asked him what had happened to make him say this, and he replied, “I don’t know, it is difficult to say. In my heart I know I need Jesus.” Five others also stood up and said, “What we have heard from you today has touched our hearts. Please help us to follow Jesus.”

We prayed with them and they all gave their hearts to Christ. Since we left, they have been keeping in contact with the Pogoro translators and have been going to church regularly.

Glory be to God!

Story and photos supplied by George Chombo.

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.

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

 

Connect with The Word For The World

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

Impact of the Bible

An elderly couple went to the launch of the Makua New Testament in 2016. After reading Scripture together in their heart language, they began to share it with family members. When reading John, they gave their lives to Jesus.

In another village, one woman became an evangelist and have group discussions on the Bible every Saturday and Sunday.

The chief of a village started to read the Bible every Saturday and Sunday. The group has grown from 5 to 21 people.

In the midst of experiencing all of these benefits of receiving the Word of God in their own language, the Makua people realized that their language was a wonderful tool. This provided the ideal way of expressing their new-found energy and joy.

What a blessing to hear of people among the Makua people of Tanzania writing their own songs, and worshiping God in their own language. No wonder there is a surge of energy leading to evangelism and many people coming to faith in Christ Jesus.

This is God’s work! But in a very real sense it is our work, working with God. It is your work also, through the support you lend to the work of eradicating Bible poverty

Soli Deo Gloria!

Véroni Krüger
International President

Story submitted by George Chombo

He Speaks Matengo!

This is the first time that the Matengo people of the southern highlands of Tanzania can read the gospel of Mark in their own language.

Around 308,000 speakers make up the Matengo community. They make their living in the mountains of Tanzania by farming and raising livestock. Coffee, maize, and beans are abundant here—but they do not yet have access to the complete Bible in a language that they can understand best.

However, with the recent launch of the book of Mark, their history is changing! In the 2 years that the team has been working on it, around 26% of the New Testament (which is about 6% of the whole Bible) has been translated into Matengo. It is our hope that they will soon have the complete Bible in their heart language!

As the gospel of Mark was being distributed, people were clamoring to get a hold of a copy, reaching their hands out in anticipation. They were saying, “We are very surprised because when we read this, it speaks to our hearts and we can understand what God is saying.” Now every man, woman, and child in the Matengo community can know that God loves them and speaks their language!

Please get involved to help the Matengo people to read the complete Bible in the language God gave them.

Veronique Krüger and George Chombo

Graduation Celebration in Tanzania

On Saturday, September 30th, The Word for the World Tanzania celebrated 9 students graduating with their Diploma in Bible Translation. All 9 students are Bible translators who have completed TWFTW’s training program, and who will now be able to more effectively work on the 6 translation projects of which they are a part!

Training is crucial to our mission of ensuring that all people eventually have access to the complete Bible in their own language! We want to enable people from language communities that do not yet have the Bible in their own language to take responsibility for Bible translation and related activities and to ensure its availability and accessibility.

The DBT (Diploma in Bible Translation) is practical, accessible, and third world-friendly while still adhering to high academic principles. It is a combination of formal lectures, self-study under the guidance of a lecturer, and on–the-job training. Students who have completed the DBT are far more equipped to be Bible translators and consultants!

Learn more about our training program.

Veronique Krüger

Food for the Soul

John Kapuku lives in the Matengo-speaking village of Mapei in southern Tanzania. He is 90 years old and has lived alone for a few years now, since his children are grown and his wife died some time ago. When we first met him outside his tiny house, he told us that he had no one to care for him, so we helped him to get food and to clean himself up.

After we helped him, he sat down and spoke with us. We shared with him about God and about the love of Christ, and he was very interested in what we were saying. We decided to give him the Matengo book of Mark, which was completed by TWFTW translators. As we read to Mr. Kapuku from the gospel, he started to smile and his face was full of joy.

“Please, how can I be connected with this Jesus?” he asked us. “This Word of God is speaking with me in my heart.” We prayed with him and he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior, and then he said that he could see angels in his house, which he had never seen before.

We spent a few more days with him and continued to help him and pray with him. Before we left, he said to us, “Now I believe that Heaven must be a beautiful place.” Eda Lupogo, one of the TWFTW Matengo translators, now cares for Mr. Kapuku and makes sure that he has food to eat and that he stays clean and healthy. We care for him as if he is our father. He has some of the scriptures in his own language that he can read and that feed his soul as food feeds his body.

Veronique Krüger and George Chombo