Email Update, December 2016

January 29, 2017 in Wycliffe, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Tanzania

The Mbeya office staff

Every few weeks we send out newsletters or email updates. Our latest update from December 2016 is now available, with news of our travel to the project locations around Tanzania, and a trip to the UK. If you would like to sign up to receive these regularly, you can do so here.

Thank you for continuing to support Bible translation and language development throughout Tanzania and Uganda. Here is a brief update on the last few months, together with some plans as we look ahead…

Tanzania Translation Forum

At the end of September we were glad to have the opportunity to gather together all of the staff directly involved in Scripture translation – translators, advisers and consultants – from all around Tanzania for a 3-day forum in Dodoma. This was the first time in three years that we had had all the translation staff gathered in one place.

The 70 participants had over 400 years of translation experience between them, working in over 30 different languages!

You can read the whole update for more information. Thank you for praying for us! Read the rest of this entry →

Poppies, football and perspectives: why I agree with FIFA

November 3, 2016 in Mark, Culture, Random, Sport

Next Friday the England football team will take on Scotland in an important World Cup qualifying game, and since the game happens on November 11th, Remembrance Day in the UK, both teams have proposed that they wear poppies (the traditional British symbol of war remembrance) to commemorate those who lost their lives in past wars.

PoppyIn the past 24 hours it has been revealed that FIFA, the governing body for world football, has denied the request of England and Scotland to wear poppies, as it violates their principle of not allowing political, religious or commercial messages on team shirts. Many in the UK have reacted strongly to this decision, with the Prime Minister Theresa May saying it is “outrageous”, claiming that the poppy is a neutral, non-political symbol to remember those who have died.

While it is undoubtedly true that many who wear a poppy do so purely to remember loved ones who have passed away in wars, I think it is naive to think that the poppy would be universally seen to be non-political. Read the rest of this entry →

Mbugwe Book Celebration

September 4, 2016 in Wycliffe, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Language, Mission, Tanzania

Mbugwe community members listening to the books being read

Last week I had the privilege of joining with the Mbugwe language community in Tanzania’s Manyara Region as they celebrated the publication of the books of Ruth and Jonah in their language. Apart from some old Mbugwe Scriptures that are now out of print, these are the first books that have been produced in the Mbugwe language.

The day started off with a service at the Catholic church, and continued with a parade bringing in the box of books. As the honoured guest at the celebration I then opened the box, and lifted up the books for the gathered crowd to see. I tried to read the first couple of verses of the book of Jonah, stumbling through the Mbugwe words that I couldn’t understand! Read the rest of this entry →

A Kisi Alphabet

December 29, 2015 in Wycliffe, Mark, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Language, Tanzania

Lake Nyasa at Matema

Last year I had the opportunity to visit a village in the Kisi community on the eastern shore of Lake Nyasa in southwest Tanzania. Although to be honest there is not much of a shore to the lake on that side – for mile after mile the towering Livingstone mountains drop straight into the lake, with just room for one or two houses at the water’s edge. Travelling to the Kisi from Mbeya town requires a 3-5 hour journey by car, followed by 8-12 hours in a wooden boat with an outboard motor, praying for good weather and a calm lake.
Read the rest of this entry →

“The people back home will not believe these books exist!”

June 17, 2015 in Wycliffe, Mark, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Tanzania

Visitors from Malawi

Three unexpected guests arrived in our Mbeya office this morning, asking to talk with the project manager. They were speakers of the Ndali language, and had traveled from the north of Malawi, having heard that we are translating parts of the Bible into the Tanzanian dialect of Ndali.

After introducing themselves they presented a letter, asking that they be kept informed of the progress of the project, attend advisory meetings, and have access to the books that are being distributed. Their desire for Ndali books was obvious, as they explained how they use Scriptures from the neighbouring Ngonde language in church, despite it being difficult for them to understand.

Seeing some of the Bible books that our office has produced in Ndali, their eyes lit up with excitement! They pleaded that they should at least be able to take home a sample of the books, as they think through how to build a sustainable distribution network. “The people back home will not believe that these books really exist!” they exclaimed, “except there are three of us, so they’ll have to believe us!” Read the rest of this entry →