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 →

Bible books available in Burunge

December 1, 2010 in Prayer, Wycliffe, Africa, Bible translation, Language, Tanzania

It’s exciting for us to see people in Tanzania hearing the Bible in their language for the first time, so we were eager to read recently of the dedication of seven new Scripture books in the Burunge language of Dodoma Region. The Burunge live to the north of Dodoma town, where I was based from 2004-05, and speak a language that is not even vaguely related to Swahili.

Pastor Doe preached a message from 1 Timothy in Burunge.  It was obvious that he had the crowd’s complete attention.  One older man sat listening with tears rolling down his cheeks.  Pastor Doe clearly explained the Gospel and told of God’s great love for all people.  The sermon was also translated into Swahili for non-Burunge speakers.To close the event, portions of the new books were read aloud by members of the community.  It was such a blessing for our literacy workers to hear people reading new portions of Scripture in Burunge. All the church leaders then gathered together, prayed over the books, and dedicated them to Lord. After the dedication, people were able to purchase their own copies from a book table.

Praise the Lord for a fantastic celebration and an opportunity to thank our Lord for His work among the Burunge people!  Pray that the Lord would use these Scriptures mightily to strengthen Burunge Christians.  Pray also that, in turn, they would boldly proclaim what God has done in their lives so others would come to know Him. Read More

Burunge men look at their copy of The Acts of the Apostles

I attended the dedication of the book of Ruth back in November 2005, which was the first book ever to be published in the Burunge language, so it’s exciting to see how the team are progressing. That book is now being revised, as part of ongoing translation work.

You can find out a bit more about the Bible translation work that is ongoing among the Burunge people, and amongst other groups in Tanzania and Uganda. Please also remember to pray for others in the two countries who don’t yet have access to the Bible, including those of Katavi Region who we are hoping to work alongside in the future!

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

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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.