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

 

Connect with The Word For The World

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.

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.

Training and Technology

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It has been a busy year for training in TWFTW, with some wonderful milestones! At a recent training event in Slovakia, an entire course was taught via Skype for the first time. The translator (unnamed due to sensitivity) who is working with a translation team in Slovakia to translate the Bible into Romani has been making use of Skype to help with the translation from Israel! For this event, this translator Skyped in to teach the students Introduction to Hebrew. Despite some challenges, it was a great success and TWFTW in Slovakia plans to conduct more training events like this in the future!

32 students also attended a training event in South Asia, where Introduction to Greek and Biblical Exegesis were taught. This included training on how to use the software program Paratext, and the students reported that they enjoyed the event immensely and feel that they learned a great deal that will help them to translate the Bible into their language more effectively. To learn more about TWFTW’s training programs, visit twftw.org/training!

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