Mbugwe Book Celebration

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

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 →

Safwa Scripture Celebrations

October 11, 2014 in Wycliffe, Mark, Africa, Bible, Bible translation, Church, Front, Language, Mission, Tanzania

At the end of August, I flew to Mbeya in southwest Tanzania, to be attend the dedication of several books of the Bible in the Safwa language. The books of Ruth, Jonah, Mark, 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus, are the first to be published in Safwa, and were greeted with much singing, dancing and joy by the crowd assembled in the town of Mbalizi, about 30 minutes drive from Mbeya.

Various honoured guests were present, including a Member of Parliament, local businessmen and traditional Safwa community leaders. The celebrations included performances by choirs and bands, and speeches by various guests, the highlight of which was our German colleague, Andrea, giving her speech entirely in Safwa, to the amazement of all! Read the rest of this entry →

After years of perseverance…

October 28, 2011 in Wycliffe, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Tanzania

Andrew and Misha are friends of ours who are working in Tanzania’s Mara Region to support local pastors as they translate the Bible into several languages there. Their blog is always interesting to follow, both to gain an insight into the kinds of issues that they encounter in their work and also to see what daily life is like for them in Mara.

Recently they have written a couple of posts about how some of the first parts of Scripture to be produced have been received in the various language communities. This is particularly interesting and exciting for me, as these were communities that I was involved in surveying back in 2005 and 2006 (and again in 2006) to evaluate their need for Bible translation and to help collect words for an initial alphabet creation workshop. Read the rest of this entry →

Sangu Bible celebrations in Mbeya, Tanzania

May 24, 2011 in Prayer, Wycliffe, Africa, Bible translation, Church, Language, Mission, Tanzania

After many years of hard work a couple of weeks ago the Sangu people of Tanzania’s Mbeya Region were able to celebrate the publication of the first ever books of the Bible in their language. The books of Jonah, Ruth, Mark, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon have all been translated and are now available in the Sangu language.

Our friend and colleague Danny Foster was at the dedication ceremony and celebrations…

When I arrived on Friday at the town’s main market, I was welcomed by the chairman of the local Sangu language committee as they were making preparations for the celebration. I immediately got the sense that Saturday was going to be a party! I headed further out into the plains and stayed with a local rice farmer who is a good friend of mine and also works as a translation reviewer. That night we sat under the stars and talked about two journeys: the two-day journey of a crazy man from Dar es Salaam to the Sangu Plains on a motorcycle and the 14-year journey for the Sangu people to see their first dedication of Scriptures!

The next day we went back to town for the celebration. Everyone was there. The dedication was attended by the area MP, government officials, the Sangu chief, and a crowd of locals who were drawn in by the music and festivities. I even noticed a number of people from the neighbouring Sukuma and Masaai tribes taking part in the celebration. Several churches provided choirs who sang and danced with what can only be described as full-on joy! For me, it was a party like no other! Finally a small package containing Ruth, Jonah, Mark, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon was cut open by the Mbarale District Council Chairman and then prayed over by all the local pastors. Read more

Sangu dedication

Take a look at Danny’s blog for more about the ceremony, and a video of some enthusiastic Sangu dancing!

Please continue to pray for the Sangu, that they would use the translated Scriptures and that communities would be transformed as they engage with the Bible. Pray also for the Sangu translators as they continue the long and hard work of translating other parts of the Bible.