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.

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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.

 

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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

 

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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.

Thanksgiving

There is so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving! We are grateful together with those who have received the Word of God in their heart language for the first time and pray that through this, they will know Him more deeply. And we are thankful for YOU for partnering with us and helping to end Bible poverty! May you experience God’s abundant blessings in your life, and we look forward to continuing our work with you to bring people the Word of God in their heart language.

4 Ways to Help Us Change History

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Approximately 2,500 language communities already have some or all of the Bible. That leaves over 4,000 languages with no access to God’s Word unless someone steps in and changes history.

Who is that someone? Well…you!

If you’re wondering how you can get involved with Bible translation and be a part of bringing God’s Word to a language community in their mother tongue, look no further.

  1. Learn. Awareness, and helping to spread awareness, is key! Spend some time reading the testimonies and stories here on our blog, and sign up for our e-newsletter. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

  2. Pray. Prayer is essential to the success of Bible translation. Our translators and consultants constantly need wisdom and discernment, and all the members of The Word for the World face opposition for the work we do. Your prayers are invaluable and necessary. To get prayer and praise updates so that you can pray more effectively, sign up here.

  3. Give. Your financial contributions are like the fuel that keeps the car running: you can have the biggest, fanciest car in the world, with the ability to go anywhere and do almost anything, but if there’s no fuel, it’s not going anywhere. To contribute and help bring God’s Word to all in their language, click here.

  4. Volunteer. Are you interested in doing more than helping from afar? Consider volunteering with The Word for the World! We need people to train translators, train consultants, handle IT concerns, and much more. If you feel called to the work of Bible translation, please contact us and we will get in touch with you.

What will your legacy be?

 

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Revolutionizing Translation

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Historically, the model for Bible translation was this: a (usually) white, Western missionary would go and live in a village, spend time learning the language, and then set about the mammoth task of translating the entire Bible by himself. It was a process that could easily take a lifetime to complete. And, as incredible it was that those people finally had some scripture in their language, the translation often wasn’t as natural as it would have been had a mother tongue speaker completed it.

The Word for the World is a Bible translation organization, yes – but one that is driven by the vision of training and empowering mother tongue speakers to translate the complete Bible into their own language. These translations are accurate, clear, and natural, which is vital to people’s understanding of the Word of God! The process is usually also cut down by a considerable amount of time, and those people groups are able to receive the Bible much more quickly.

To find out more about our training, visit twftw.org/training! We thank you for your continued prayer and support as we work to bring the Word to everyone in their heart language.

Veronique Krüger

A Bible in My Language

I'm Mrs Regine Masuku and I live in Dombodema with my husband, Peter Masuku. I'm joyful to hear that the Bible will now be translated into our language of Kalanga. We normally use English or Ndebele Bibles, but it is so difficult because there are elderly people here who do not understand English. So I find this translation to be a good work that has been planned. We ask and desire that God may bless us with this and we also thank the person who came up with this idea, because this person has remembered us. May he also give us wise people who are fully equipped who will make it possible for this Bible to be produced. Let us unite as Kalanga people and see that our Bible is produced, because if we don't have our own Bible, it's like we are lost. It is said that a child who does not cry will die of hunger, so let's cry together, crying as we act, as we work, and as we help each other.

Story and photo provided by Piniel Zimbizi.