A Soul-Saving Endeavor!

Translators - Joel 001 B&W.jpg

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

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

 

Connect with The Word For The World

Mother Tongue Translation

“In our hearts we carry the vision: to see every person with the Word of God, translated into their mother tongue. To empower mother tongue speakers to translate the Bible into their own language”

When a person reads the Bible in their mother tongue language, it speaks to their hearts and makes it easier to apply in life. When understanding the message, it brings change to their lives, and the lives of their families.

Enjoy this video on the impact of mother tongue translation with us!

Isaiah 50:4 New International Version (NIV)
4 The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary.

He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.

God Speaks My Language!

Imagine waking up one morning and everyone around you speaks a language you cannot understand. You are unable to fathom what is going on. You are unable to express your feelings. Helpless to speak and to be heard. You are at a total loss.

On a recent trip to a country I had never visited before, I sat in the plane listening to the voice of the airhostess. I could not understand any of what she was saying. Long sentences with many words, sounds that were meaningless to me. Foreign sounds. Then she switched to a language I understood. It was an incredible assurance!

I then realized what it must be like for so many people around the world who do not have the Bible in their own language. They hear the Word of God in a language they do not understand. What joy and revelation it must bring to people when they receive the Bible in their own language for the first time. The message of hope, love and salvation. The Good News in a language that speaks to their hearts!

TWFTW’s prayer is that every person will know that God loves them and speaks their language. The vision is that everyone will have access to the Word of God in the language God gave them.

The Words of His love and His ultimate sacrifice reaching the Bibleless everywhere!

Thank you for your support today that makes it possible to achieve this goal.

John 1:1 1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Transformation From Generation to Generation

“What I find incredible and what really touched my heart is that this work that we are doing will be going from generation to generation; it will never end,” said Tago, one of the Basketo translators in Ethiopia. He and his team members, Abate and Tezera, recently completed the final consultation of 1 Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah with the help of TWFTW consultant Nel Claassen. This means that these books are almost ready to go to print and is an exciting milestone for the team.

Blog-April-5-2019.jpg

The Basketo translation of the Old Testament is 28% complete. Since the project started, the impact on the community has been incredible. “Before, there was a resistance to the gospel, and even violence because of it. But because of Bible translation, the door for sharing the gospel is open. People are now asking for it,” said Tezera. “There is a pride that has developed because of Bible translation, because they recognise that they are important enough for God to have His Word in their language.”

Abate also said that a Basketo education program has even started because of the project. “This has given them an opportunity for a dictionary in their own language, something they’ve never had before. It is only because of Bible translation that this could happen. It makes the language precious, and it makes the people extremely happy.”

The impact that Bible translation is having on the Basketo people and the transformation that is happening in every sphere of their society is truly amazing. Your partnership with us is changing history, one people group at a time.

 

Connect with The Word For The World

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.

Spreading the Word

This past week, we had a wonderful time of training and team building with some members of The Word for the World’s Department of Promotions in Lusaka, Zambia. We are the ones behind the blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, who bring you all of these stories and testimonies on a regular basis!

The challenges we sometimes face are unlike what most organizations’ marketing teams need to overcome. Lack of reliable internet, less than ideal travel circumstances, and geographical distance from each other can make our work interesting to say the least. Much of this reflects what others in The Word for the World have to deal with as well. However, that always creates an opportunity for innovative and creative problem solving, and makes us all far more reliant on God.

Our time in Lusaka was blessed and precious, and a great time of encouraging each other as well as learning from each other. We covered some further training in photography and videography, as well as solving some problems like internet and travel difficulties. Most importantly, we connected with one another again and were all reminded of why we do what we do: so that every man, woman, and child can have the Word of God in their mother tongue, and know that Jesus speaks their language.

Thank you for your prayers and support! We are excited to continue bringing the Bibleless people of the world closer to your heart.

Veronique Krüger

 

Connect with The Word For The World

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.

Literacy is a Crucial Part of Bible Translation!

During 2018, TWFTW helped mother tongue speakers representing nine minority language groups to develop reading and writing materials for their own people. When a Bible translation project is initiated among a language community, the language is usually only oral and has never been committed to writing. A writing system is developed based on the sound system of the language, using the alphabet of the state which is adapted to suit the particular language.

Some of the speakers of these minority languages may be semi-literate in the state or national language, but since their language has never been in writing ever before, all of the speakers of these languages cannot read or write in their own language. Literacy materials are produced during workshops held in the respective regions and are compiled by the speakers of the languages according to the guidelines given by linguists and others.

Some materials provide a quick transition to reading in the vernacular for those who have already acquired literacy skills in a second language; and for the many who are illiterate in any language, there are materials to systematically teach them to read and write their own language and gain fluency in their newly found literacy skills. Books on basic mathematics, fables, and more are also prepared.

Since each language is unique, every language team develops an individualised set of books for later use in community literacy programs. Literacy is a crucial part of Bible translation! To learn more about our work with literacy, visit www.twftw.org/literacy.

Supplied by the Van As family.