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

The Word of God is Life

“There is power in our language,” says Marco Peter. “Now I can say that Jesus is Lord in my life.”

Marco is a Pogoro-speaking man in a small village in Tanzania. When he heard people from The Word for the World reading the Pogoro New Testament to some of the teenagers in the village, he went to them and said:

“I was listening when you told the young people about Jesus and read to them. Please, tell me how I can read the Bible too?”

The translation project leader, John Kahonga, offered to read with him. When Marco heard the words of Jesus in his mother tongue, he said, “There is power in our language that can lead me to say that Jesus is Lord in my life. I have complained a lot to God, but now that I hear Him speaking in my language, I believe God loves me and has a very good plan with me. He is the only way.”

Marco gave his life to the Lord that day because he heard the Word of God in his heart language. The Word of God is life!

Story and photos supplied by George Chombo and Spencer Erasto.

I am a Child of God!

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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.”

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.

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.