First Scripture portions drafted in Bende and Pimbwe

June 8, 2014 in Wycliffe, Mark, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Language, Tanzania

Many of you will remember the Bende and Pimbwe language communities that we were working with from 2012-2013 in Katavi Region of western Tanzania. Over the past year since we left Katavi, our colleagues have continued to work with these communities, helping to devise and test writing systems and preparing to start translating the first portions of Scripture into these languages.

We are always excited to hear news of what is happening in Katavi, and wanted to share with you a couple of stories written by our colleague, Karin.

At the end of the short orthography testing workshop in the village of Majimoto (Pimbwe area), I asked the participants to write stories in Pimbwe. This is not only a good way of practicing their Pimbwe writing skills but it will also help me to gain more insights into the language and continue with the analysis. We would also like to publish a small booklet with stories written in Pimbwe. Most participants wrote folktales or about personal experiences. But one group took out a Swahili Bible and started translating a passage from the gospel of Mark into Pimbwe. That really excited me and touched my heart. It is my hope and prayer that it won’t take much longer until we can officially start translating the Bible into Pimbwe so that the people will get God’s word in their mother tongue.

Read the rest of this entry →

“Jesus should have been arrested for destroying their business!”

February 16, 2013 in Wycliffe, Mark, Africa, Bible translation, Church, Front, Mission, Swahili, Tanzania

Our team leader, Richard, and I were driving around Sumbawanga town this afternoon, trying to meet up with regional bishops and church leaders to update them on the progress of writing down the Bende and Pimbwe languages in preparation for Bible translation to start. Arriving at the house of the FPCT (Free Pentecostal Church in Tanzania) Pastor, we were told that he was at a meeting of Sumbawanga church leaders at the EAGT (Evangelical Assemblies of God in Tanzania) church.

Sure enough, when we arrived at the large EAGT church we found not just this pastor, but about 20 leaders from churches across the town. We were grateful for the opportunity to update these pastors on the work that our team has been conducting with the Bende and Pimbwe communities over the past few months, and our hope of seeing Bible translation started soon.

After giving this update, Richard asked the pastors if they had any questions. Read the rest of this entry →

Creating alphabets for the Bende and Pimbwe languages

September 17, 2012 in Wycliffe, Africa, Bible translation, Culture, Front, Language, Mission, Tanzania

“People will believe that God knows them if their language has Scripture in it… they will be very happy!” This was the opinion of Stephen, a speaker of the Bende language in Tanzania’s Katavi Region. But in order for parts of the Bible to be written in a language, there must first be an alphabet that is easy and intuitive for speakers of the language to read. Read the rest of this entry →

Why translate the Bible into Kibende?

April 21, 2012 in Wycliffe, Mark, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Language, Mission, Tanzania

Last month we were excited to be able to host six speakers of the Kibende language, as they took the very first step towards writing their language and later starting to translate the Bible into Kibende. During the week that they spent with us here in Mpanda they managed to collect over a thousand words in their language, which will later be analysed linguistically in order to come up with a writing system that is intuitive and easy for Kibende speakers to read and write.

For us it was encouraging to see this first step in the translation project, and to look ahead in faith to the coming months and years as the Bende hopefully become more and more involved in the work, and start to produce the first portions of Scripture. Read the rest of this entry →

Arrival in Mpanda

March 20, 2012 in Life, Mark, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Language, Tanzania

After many years of thinking and praying about moving to Mpanda, trying to imagine every last detail of what life might be like in our new home, last week we finally made the 3-day journey from the language school in Iringa to Katavi Region, where we are now living. Apart from being very long and very bumpy, we were grateful that the trip itself was largely uneventful, and thankful for the many people who were praying for our safe arrival.

Last Tuesday we arrived and were extremely happy to see our good friends again. Mark’s friend Richard has gotten married since we last saw him, so it was exciting to finally meet his new wife, Karin. We were also very pleased to be reunited with our friends Tim, Jeana and Micaiah who we met in the UK and visited in Canada last year. Read the rest of this entry →