Being drawn into the story of Jesus

September 27, 2011 in Mark, Bible, Church, Front, Theology

Laura and I have recently started leading a home group for our church, where a small group of people meets together every couple of weeks to encourage and support each other. For the first few meetings we decided we wanted to focus on communication, relationships (in the non-romantic sense) and how Jesus related to people.

In our first session last week we looked at how Jesus communicated to people what the kingdom of God is like. He didn’t just sit down with people and give them a list of bullet points or a 5-part sermon where every point began with the same letter for easy remembering. Instead, Jesus communicated what God’s kingdom was like primarily through his actions and through stories. Maybe he did this because he knew that stories communicate in a way that facts don’t. Maybe it was also because stories connect with us, inspire us to action, and can ultimately help us to see the whole world in a new light. Read the rest of this entry →

God Speaks Malila!

September 25, 2010 in Prayer, Wycliffe, Mark, Africa, Bible translation, Language, Tanzania

While the goal of Bible translation is never simply to produce books, it’s always exciting for me to see the dedication of parts of the Bible in a language, and the potential for a community to engage with God’s message in a new way as it is available in the language of their home.

Recently the Malila community in Mbeya Region, Tanzania, were able to dedicate several books which have recently been completed. Louise writes

The Malila Dedication was great! On Friday, August 27th the Biblical books of Mark, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Ruth and Jonah were dedicated to God and entrusted to the Malila Church to use for their growth and for sharing the good news with those who have not yet heard or understood. […]

The celebration was high spirited, the words spoken were heartfelt, and the sense when praying over the books was that God was there in that church with the Malila. And when those chosen to read read the Scriptures from Mark out loud in Malila, there was first keen listening, then thunderous applause and ululation. God was speaking to the Malila in their own language! […]

Reading from the book of Mark in Malila

The sales of the available Scriptures – both books and cassettes,  Bible-related materials, and literacy materials that day were unusually high.  It was market day so people from all the neighboring villages were gathered and they had come with money.  We sell at cost or a loss, but it is really encouraging to see people enthusiastic about buying materials in the language that speaks to their heart!

Malila Scripture Portions

Scripture portions on cassette

Read More

Matt and Liz also have some photos from the event on their website… here are a couple:

Selling Malila books

Malila crowd

Please pray for the Malila people and their church leaders – that they would interact with the Bible in their own language, and have a fresh sense of God being one of their community.