Email Update, March 2019

March 26, 2020 in Wycliffe, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Tanzania

Every few weeks we send out newsletters or email updates. Our latest update from March 2019 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.

Greetings from Los Angeles airport, where I (Mark) have a few hours before my flight for a two-week trip to Tanzania. We are currently in the middle of a short furlough time in the UK and the US, and have appreciated the chance to be able to share some of what God is doing with many of you!

Katavi Team Progress

You may remember that we lived in Katavi Region in western Tanzania from 2012-2013, serving the Bende and Pimbwe communities there. Both communities now have full-time translators, and are progressing through translating parts of the New Testament, in addition to Ruth and Jonah which they have already finished. The book of Luke was the first New Testament book they translated, and they are also planning to record the JESUS Film in each language soon.

In addition to the Bende and Pimbwe, the Katavi team has been hard at work engaging with two new communities – the Ruwila and the Konongo. We don’t have the technical capacity to develop alphabets and initiate full written translations for these communities yet, but the Katavi team have worked alongside experts from overseas to help the Ruwila and Konongo take the first steps in oral translation. This means that the participants hear the Scripture portion in Swahili, and draft and check it orally in their language, using special software that doesn’t require the translation to be written.

Please pray for strength and wisdom for the Katavi team, for the volunteers from the language communities, and for outside experts who are guiding the process.

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Email Update, January 2019

March 26, 2020 in Wycliffe, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Tanzania

Every few weeks we send out newsletters or email updates. Our latest update from January 2019 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.

Thank you for being part of our work with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Tanzania! We are excited to update you on what has been happening, and also let you know about our furlough plans between now and April in the UK and the US.

New Testament Completions

We are excited that several New Testaments are very close to being completed! The Nyakyusa New Testament is currently on a ship, somewhere in the Indian Ocean, and eagerly anticipated by the Nyakyusa community! Kinga is about to be printed, and Vwanji is in the final stages of typesetting and checking. Meanwhile Malila, Sangu and Ndali should all be typeset and printed in the coming months.

Please pray with us for all these final steps, and that the books and digital materials would be well used by these communities. Please also pray for wisdom in knowing whether and how we might continue partnering with them on future work beyond the New Testament.

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Email Update, October 2018

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

Global Leaders Meetings

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 →

Email Update, June 2018

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

Translation projects in Tanzania

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 →

Email Update, April 2018

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

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 →