Touching and Changing Hearts!

Hudumo Dimosha is an elderly man. His mother tongue is Maalegna. The Maalegna speaking people settled in Kamba many years ago. A literacy program was established in Kamba, near the border of Maale, South West Ethiopia. Hudumo inspired Maale church leaders to participate in the literacy program.

Hudumos’s children taught the people of Kamba how to read and write. Many participants of this program were not Christians. While learning to read and right, they used the Bible as a text. They have come to understand the message of the Bible in their own heart language. The truth of the Gospel was clearly communicated and touched their hearts!

More than 20 churches were planted. In places like Maale, where literacy programs are combined with Bible distribution, we see effective Bible engagement that results in transforming people’s lives.

Tamene Lale, Maalegna Bible translator, TWFTW Ethiopia

 

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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.

A Whole New World

Training translators to translate the Bible into their own language is an enormous and critical part of what The Word for the World does, but the effects don’t stop there! Since people have been trained in the steps and procedures of translation, they are equipped to be able to translate anything. There are lots of educational pamphlets which people do not understand, but now they can translate them, for example information on medical concerns, agriculture, H.I.V, etc. Literacy programs have also been born in order to teach people how to read and write. This means the problem of illiteracy is in the process of being solved.

Job creation, improvements in education, and overall community development are all positive results of empowering people to be able to translate text accurately, clearly, and naturally into their own language. Praise God! For more on our training program, visit twftw.org/training. Our International Director of Training, Dr. Regine Koroma, would love to hear from you!

Provided by Rosemary Chimbiti, who is currently in her final year of the Diploma in Bible Translation with TWFTW. The above video was taken nearly 2 years ago when she had already begun working on the DBT.

The Spoken Word

In our hearts we carry this vision: to see every person with the Word of God, translated into their mother tongue, in their hands. Training, literacy, and all the other aspects of what we do circle around to this one goal. We are Gospel-laden. We are driven by our passion for the Bible and for people, and by the knowledge that God wants every tribe and every nation to know that He loves them and speaks their language.

But “we” includes so much more than the members and workers of The Word for the World. “We” includes you! 1 Corinthians 12:27 says, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” (NIV.) Only when we all work together can we fulfill the vision for every person to have the Bible in their mother tongue. Only when we all work together will we see the Gospel of Jesus Christ reach every corner of the earth.

You are just as much part of the work of Bible translation as we are. Thank you for partnering with us and being co-workers with us in this important mission! May God richly bless you and encourage you as you continue to work alongside us to bring about this vision.

Veronique Krüger

Training and Literacy

It’s no secret that The Word for the World is a Bible translation organization. What drives us is the belief that God wants every person to have access to the Bible in their own heart language so that they can understand God’s Word as clearly as possible and know that God speaks their language. But with that mandate comes two other very important tasks that you may not know about! Both of these are crucial to the work of Bible translation.

Training: TWFTW has developed a program that provides training for all the different participants (nationals) involved in the translation process: prospective Bible translators, testers, stylists, and church leaders. It’s aimed at arousing the desire for lifelong learning and providing a solid academic grounding so that students can continue with their studies.

Literacy: We also work with language communities to plan and initiate mother-tongue literacy programs alongside Bible translation that teach people to read and write. Many languages we work in have never had a writing system! Based on their sound system, a writing system is developed, usually using the alphabet of the state language as the basis. We then provide training and workshops to the people in how to set up, implement and run literacy programs in their communities.

Veronique Krüger