Soli Deo Gloria!

A couple of weeks ago our minister gave a sermon on Jesus telling his disciples that one can tell a mountain to go and jump in the sea and it will be done. That reminded me of a message from the International President of The Word for the World on the same subject, saying that he knew how it could be done: by taking a shovel and a wheel-barrow, going to the mountain, and saying: “Thou shalt be removed!”, and then start working on it.
 
Looking back on my history with TWFTW, I can still see us going to Malawi (the Funnell family), Ethiopia (the van As family) and Zaire (yours truly), with our imaginative spades and wheel barrows and much faith in a good God, doing just that. In hindsight I can only testify about the abundant blessings of God on the work accomplished in His Name, and the fact that he gave us excellent leaders to direct and drive this wild cart and keep it (and us) on track! And we did have some serious road works on the way.
 
I always say I work for God with TWFTW, because at the end of the day one’s walk depends on obedience to God. Herewith I add that there is no other organisation that I would rather work with. Our vision in TWFTW is to have 500 complete Bibles by 2050 – hopefully by then I will be sitting next to Jesus, cheering everyone on. At the moment we are working on 109 projects in many different countries, mainly in Africa. We also have 10 full time consultants and 19 in training; 364 students, and 325 full time translators. We also run literacy courses where people cannot read – because the Bible is not like a lucky charm to be displayed or dusted when the pastor visits. And all this because of God’s grace and to His glory.

Nel Claassen, a TWFTW translation consultant

Empowering Consultation

Translating the complete Bible into a language which has never had one is a big project; and like other big projects it takes a team of empowered, skillful, and dedicated practitioners, all operating in different roles and functions. On twftw.org, we talk a lot about our translators—teams of well-trained and Spirit-filled men and women who tirelessly explore the depths of meaning found in the Scriptures and carefully transcribe them into their own heart language--and they really are stars. However, today, we want to take a moment to celebrate our consultants and consultants-in-training.

Describing the role of a translation consultant can be difficult. The job requires extensive knowledge and experience in academic and religious topics like Biblical language and culture, exegesis, cultural anthropology, and textual criticism. The job also requires practical, business skills like project management, conflict resolution, mediation, and mentoring. Also, don’t forget to add in practical and theoretical linguistics. Translation consultants come alongside translation teams, working verse-by-verse through their translations helping solve all types of linguistic, historical, cultural, and theological problems. It is a job that requires diligence in balancing compassion with academic know-how—and results in clear, accurate, and natural translations.

Last year, TWFTW held a Translation Consultant Training event which gave 20 consultants-in-training (CiT’s) the opportunity to enhance their skills and to be placed into our Consultant Growth Plan. Some of the CiT’s are translators being promoted into new roles and some are from outside the organization—all of them are passionate about showing people that God does indeed speak your language!

As an organization, we are thankful for all the consultants, both in and out of TWFTW, who are a part of our team—and we are incredibly excited about the consultants God is raising up into the great calling of empowering mother-tongue speakers to translate the Bible into their own language!

Explore ways to partner with our teams, and get involved with TWFTW!

Joel Brown

Bible Translation: Fast Training

All Bible Translators working with TWFTW gain a broad foundation through interdisciplinary studies alongside of their translation work. They have either completed or are working towards our Diploma in Bible Translation (DBT), a de-centralized and accredited study programme that combines formal training in intensive modules with on-the-job training and self-study under the guidance of a mentor.

To achieve the goals of the DBT programme, we need people who can teach and mentor aspiring Bible translators from minority languages who do not know English in the 20+ subjects. That is how the idea to offer fast track training was born. In 2015 we enrolled 15 suitable nationals, mostly graduates with relevant experience in SE Asia, in our first fast track DBT training. They were to build the core of permanent training teams with the necessary language and cultural skills in various locations. The first group has just completed their final module. These key people are now training non-English speaking members of Bible-less communities in the 20+ DBT subjects, in 5 different languages of wider communication, making a path for millions to meet God in their heart language!

This is what they had to say about their training experience. (Please bear in mind that none of these trainees are English-speaking.)

  1. “It was a wonderful time of learning the subject Lexicography. Even though the duration of the training was only three days, the lecturer took good effort to make it understand for the students. Everybody learnt how to make a dictionary. The examination and assignments were completed before everyone left the training centre.”
     
  2. “It was a useful time in my life to learn Lexicography. I have been using many dictionaries but this training gave me an understanding of how to make the dictionary. I also realized the hard work behind dictionary making. “
     
  3. “It was a very good training for me and I learnt something completely new; The Flex software is very useful. It helped us to apply the knowledge we gathered in the first part of the class, such as determining the head word, forms of the lexeme, gloss, morphological type, derivational, inflectional, grammatical information, grammatical categories, semantic domains etc.”
     
  4. “This was my first experience with fast track DBT training, and I found it very useful. As a linguistics student the assignments were really helpful for me to prepare for my examinations. Through the dictionary making project plan I got a brief idea about how to collect data before working on a dictionary. I am looking forward to attend a dictionary making workshop to get more practical knowledge on this.”

Please invest in TWFTW training programme!

Regine Koroma

A Tribute to TWFTW Translators, Featuring a Team in South East Asia

The whole translation team (all with Hindu background) accepted Jesus as their saviour. The Gospel is spreading wherever we go and changing communities. Entire villages are hearing the Gospel for the first time. Translators keep on working, despite bad weather, power failures, illness and local opposition.

It is the beginning of a great Revival in all six languages groups that started translation work in April 2016. Many people came to know Jesus as Saviour and were baptized.