by Mark

Email Update, October 2018

January 5, 2019 in Wycliffe, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Tanzania by Mark

Every few weeks we send out newsletters or email updates. Our latest update from October 2018 is now available, with news of our international staff retreat, and various other travel that we have been doing. If you would like to sign up to receive these regularly, you can do so here.

We appreciate all that you do to support us as we serve language communities in Tanzania and Uganda. We have been grateful to see some answers to prayer over the past couple of months, and have some other updates to share too…

International Staff Retreat

At the end of June Laura helped to coordinate the annual retreat for our international staff in Dar es Salaam. This year we had three volunteers from our supporting church in Petaluma, California, come to help with childcare at the retreat, which we were very grateful for.

Laura was able to catch up with many people who she serves throughout Tanzania and Uganda, and to hear the kinds of challenges that they are facing in their work or in their personal lives as they serve in cross-cultural environments. As usual this was an encouraging and enjoyable time, but was also hard work for Laura. Read the rest of this entry →

by Mark

Email Update, June 2018

January 5, 2019 in Wycliffe, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Tanzania by Mark

Every few weeks we send out newsletters or email updates. Our latest update from June 2018 is now available, with an update on the Tanzania work permit situation, and other travel! If you would like to sign up to receive these regularly, you can do so here.

Thank you for your ongoing support for the work of Bible translation in Tanzania and Uganda. We are pleased to be able to update you on the progress of our work permits that we asked you to pray for in April, and other developments in the translation projects.

Work Permits

Last time we shared that we were waiting for our work permits to be renewed, as the government department responsible was planning to inspect our office before issuing more permits. The good news is that this inspection happened soon after we asked you to pray, and the permits, including both of ours, began to be issued again in mid-April.

However, the majority of the permits that have been issued have been stamped as “final grant”, meaning that as things stand, they will not be renewed again two years from now. Laura’s permit was one of those issued as final grant, while Mark’s was the only one that was not, out of a batch of around 12 permits. This means that, in theory, Mark should be able to apply for another 2-year permit from 2020, although Laura would not be allowed to continue working from that time.

As you can imagine, the uncertainty surrounding work permits is somewhat unsettling for our international staff, and also for our Tanzanian staff, as it leads to uncertainty as to the future of the various projects.

We are hoping that a group of bishops from around the country will be able to meet with the Minister of Labour to advocate for Bible translation, and for work permits for our organisation, possibly even this coming week. Please pray with us that this meeting would be able to happen, and that the Minister would be open to working with us to allow international staff to continue serving in Tanzania. Read the rest of this entry →

by Mark

Email Update, April 2018

January 5, 2019 in Wycliffe, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Tanzania by Mark

Every few weeks we send out newsletters or email updates. Our latest update from April 2018 is now available, with news of new staff orientation, planning meetings, and the Nyakyusa New Testament approaching completion! If you would like to sign up to receive these regularly, you can do so here.

We are thankful for your prayers for us over the last couple of months, which has been a busy time. However, we are now in a period of waiting, as our work permits are in the process of being renewed.

Orientation for new staff

Part of Laura’s role involves helping to give introductory training to new international staff arriving in Tanzania. In January we welcomed five adults and three children, who will be serving Bible translation projects throughout the country.

Laura helped to coordinate this orientation course, giving the participants a strong foundation for life and work in Tanzania, as well as orientation to our organisation and policies. These participants are now continuing with learning Swahili, before starting their work assignments in the coming months. Read the rest of this entry →

by Mark

Email Update, January 2018

January 5, 2019 in Wycliffe, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Tanzania by Mark

Every few weeks we send out newsletters or email updates. Our latest update from January 2018 is now available, with news of our travel to the US, strategy meetings in Tanzania, and looking ahead to the next few months. If you would like to sign up to receive these regularly, you can do so here.

As we look back over the last year and ahead to 2018, we are thankful for your support for us and for language communities throughout Tanzania and Uganda. As we visit the various offices and projects that we serve, we are always excited to see the progress that our colleagues are making, and the impact that their work is having throughout the communities.

Travel to the US

In September we flew to Oregon, where Mark participated in meetings about the role of linguistics throughout our organisation, and how to best make use of the linguistic resources that are available across the world. Linguistics is an important foundation for most translation projects, as communities work with linguists to devise an alphabet and writing system that is intuitive to read and write.

After this, we spent a couple of weeks visiting family, friends and supporters in Oregon and California. We really enjoyed this opportunity to catch up with people, and to share a bit about the work that is happening in Tanzania and Uganda.

Strategy Meetings

After returning to Tanzania in mid-October, we traveled to Mbeya and Mara to meet with the teams there. Laura was able to meet individually with all the international staff (a total of 37 people!), while Mark helped the teams think through their plans, budgets, and any HR issues that needed addressing.

At the end of November, we invited twenty staff in key positions across Uganda and Tanzania to participate in a week-long meeting in Dar es Salaam to think through our strategic priorities over the next five or so years. It was the first time in over five years that we had had the opportunity to have this kind of group together in the same location, so we appreciated having the chance to discuss various issues as a group.

Some of the strategic initiatives that we discussed were aimed at increasing the capacity of our staff to respond to the needs and requests of the communities, while others involved how we are structured as an organisation, and how we can best partner with churches, government agencies and other NGOs. Read the rest of this entry →

by Mark

Email Update, September 2017

January 5, 2019 in Wycliffe, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Tanzania by Mark

Every few weeks we send out newsletters or email updates. Our latest update from September 2017 is now available, with news of the Burunge New Testament celebration! If you would like to sign up to receive these regularly, you can do so here.

Thank you for your continued support for us over the last few weeks. We have been busy since we returned to Tanzania in June with lots of travel and a New Testament celebration, and are currently packing for a brief trip to the US for some meetings, and a chance to catch up with friends and family.

Burunge New Testament Celebration

On August 23rd, Mark had the privilege of being part of the celebration of the publication of the New Testament in the Burunge language – the culmination of many years of hard work for the team in the Dodoma office.

The celebration took place in the village of Goima, with several hundred Burunge present, along with special guests from the government, partner organisations, and others representing funders and donors from overseas. Choirs sang and danced, the Scriptures were brought in in boxes and prayed over, and pastors and others read from the New Testament and preached in Burunge.

The overwhelming feeling of the day was that the Burunge are proud to now have the New Testament available in their language. For the community, it is a testimony to the fact that God knows and loves them, that he sees them and he speaks their language. Our prayer is that the Scriptures will be well used in the lives of individuals and churches, and that God will speak to people through them. Read the rest of this entry →