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 →

Transitions…

May 27, 2013 in Life, Wycliffe, Mark, Africa, Front, Tanzania

The last few months have been a busy time for us, hence the lack of blog posts! In March we flew to our head office in Dar es Salaam, where I was part of a committee discussing how our Uganda-Tanzania Branch is governed. While that doesn’t sound very exciting, the meetings were actually very interesting and we made some good progress towards thinking through how staff from various countries and cultures can all give input in to policy, and how this might work in practice.

In Dar es Salaam we were also asked by our branch leadership to consider moving in to new assignments next year, and to bring forward our planned time in the UK and the US so that we would be back in Tanzania to start our new jobs in early-2014. So on arriving back in Mpanda we concentrated on handing our work over to our colleagues, particularly Isaack who will be taking on much of the day to day running of the office that I have been responsible for.
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 →

Sukuma Scriptures and Songbooks

October 30, 2012 in Wycliffe, Mark, Africa, Bible, Bible translation, Front, Language, Mission, Tanzania

There are over 120 languages spoken in Tanzania by communities across the country, the largest of which is the Sukuma people who number around five million. The Sukuma tend to be cattle herders and live mainly in Mwanza, Shinyanga and Tabora Regions, but there are also a significant number in and around Mpanda town here in Katavi Region.

On my way to work each morning I pass by an elderly Sukuma couple, who love to call out to me and greet me in their language. They seem to work on the principle that if they say the same greetings enough times then eventually they will stick inside my head, although I have to say the process is a slow one! 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 →