I am a Child of God!

john.jpg

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.”

A Longing for The Word

The Kharam people have been longing for the Word of God in their own language, and now a Kharam translation project is being facilitated by The Word for the World! They recently received the Gospel of John and we expect the New Testament to be ready for print by the end of 2019.

Become part of the vision to bring God's Word to all people in their heart language by 2050! Commit to give.

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.

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.

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

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

Bible Translation Consultants

TWFTW is actively involved in the training of indigenous Bible translators and consultants. The consultant development plan includes post-graduate studies and internships especially designed to help indigenous leaders become Bible translation consultants. At present, there are 10 individuals enrolled for post-graduate studies with the South African Theological Seminary (SATS). TWFTW provides academic supervision for the students pursuing Master’s and Doctoral studies.

In addition, we have 19 consultants-in-training (CITs) from Africa and Asia. All of our post-graduate students and CITs are contributing to the work of Bible translation in various ways.

It is exciting to see the Lord growing this facet of the Bile translation process.

One of TWFTW’s consultants wrote the following about her recent consultation in Asia:

“We edited the Gospel of John in six languages. After two weeks everyone was exhausted and happy. We stayed at a centre outside the city with an abundance of coconut palms, squirrels, bats and a variety of birds, butterflies and dragon flies.

The hard truth of Bible translation was always that one had a long wait before one’s work could be published. The teams in Asia, however, made their translations available as a cell-phone app. Each time a book has been approved, it is added to the app and can be downloaded with or without sound. They have also created a Christian songs app.”

If you want to help bring God’s Word to the Bibleless people in the world, consider giving to this worthy cause. Visit www.twftw.org/give.