Does Jesus Speak My Language?

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“Does Jesus speak my language? How can I speak to him if he doesn’t understand me?”

It’s hard for us to imagine that there are people in the world who feel this way. But if you’ve gone your whole life without a Bible in your own language, you may not even know that Jesus exists, let alone that he desires to speak with each and every one of us!

You can help.

The Word for the World is currently involved in over 130 languages, working to translate the entire Bible. Even better, we are empowering the people who don’t have a Bible yet to translate it into their own language — thus ensuring a natural, clear, and accurate translation that will be accepted by the community.

Here is how you can help to end Bible poverty!

  1. Learn: Sign up for our e-newsletter. We would also love to connect with you on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube!

  2. Pray: Your prayers are invaluable and necessary. Sign up for our e-newsletter to receive prayer and praise updates.

  3. Give: Click here to support a translation project or the work of Bible translation as a whole.

  4. Volunteer: 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?

The Bible transforms hearts and lives of people!

In the Sagasa Village, Tanzania, the Nguu people have come to realize the importance of the Bible in their heart language. It has brought new meaning to the lives of the people in their village -even the unborn children - as they understand the message of hope and love the Bible brings!

Sharing the word of God in the evening with Bible discussions and fellowship has become an important part of their lives. The Nguu Bible brought them freedom and a new sense of purpose!

The Nguu speaking people received the Nguu New Testament a few years back, but they are still yearning to have the whole Bible in their own language. 39% of the Old Testament is already complete. With your support they will soon have the whole Bible in their own language!

Why translate the Old Testament?

Show me a tall building without a solid foundation. Show me a house with no roof where the rain will not come pouring in. Show me a house with a roof, but no walls or foundation. This is the picture of an incomplete Bible. The complete Bible has the Pentateuch as foundation, the rest of the Old Testament as the walls and the New Testament as the roof — they are inter-dependent.

How can anybody think of the Bible as complete without the Old Testament? It would be like living a life with no recollection of the past, total amnesia with no points of reference. Jesus Himself frequently quotes Scripture from the Old Testament. Omitting the Old Testament is equal to denying Jesus being Jewish. Denying Him His part in the Trinity. Denying the history of God’s plan for man’s redemption.

The old Testament exposes with brutal honesty man’s inadequacy and sinfulness against God’s omnipotence and covenant love. The two Testaments form a unity bound by God’s love and should never be separated. If we do not have the Old Testament, we would never know the great treasure we have received in the New.

Henrietta Mears said: “The New is in the Old contained. The Old is in the New explained. The New is in the Old latent. The Old is in the New patent.”

Let us not be arrogant in deciding what God should and should not have left out of His revealed word to us. Let us enjoy and learn whatever we can from what he Has given.

Let us then proceed to translate the complete Bible for everyone in the language God gave them.

A Soul-Saving Endeavor!

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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

 

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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.

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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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