Email Update, December 2016

January 29, 2017 in Wycliffe, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Tanzania

Every few weeks we send out newsletters or email updates. Our latest update from December 2016 is now available, with news of our travel to the project locations around Tanzania, and a trip to the UK. If you would like to sign up to receive these regularly, you can do so here.

Thank you for continuing to support Bible translation and language development throughout Tanzania and Uganda. Here is a brief update on the last few months, together with some plans as we look ahead…

Tanzania Translation Forum

At the end of September we were glad to have the opportunity to gather together all of the staff directly involved in Scripture translation – translators, advisers and consultants – from all around Tanzania for a 3-day forum in Dodoma. This was the first time in three years that we had had all the translation staff gathered in one place.

The 70 participants had over 400 years of translation experience between them, working in over 30 different languages!

You can read the whole update for more information. Thank you for praying for us! Read the rest of this entry →

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 →

“The people back home will not believe these books exist!”

June 17, 2015 in Wycliffe, Mark, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Tanzania

Three unexpected guests arrived in our Mbeya office this morning, asking to talk with the project manager. They were speakers of the Ndali language, and had traveled from the north of Malawi, having heard that we are translating parts of the Bible into the Tanzanian dialect of Ndali.

After introducing themselves they presented a letter, asking that they be kept informed of the progress of the project, attend advisory meetings, and have access to the books that are being distributed. Their desire for Ndali books was obvious, as they explained how they use Scriptures from the neighbouring Ngonde language in church, despite it being difficult for them to understand.

Seeing some of the Bible books that our office has produced in Ndali, their eyes lit up with excitement! They pleaded that they should at least be able to take home a sample of the books, as they think through how to build a sustainable distribution network. “The people back home will not believe that these books really exist!” they exclaimed, “except there are three of us, so they’ll have to believe us!” Read the rest of this entry →

Walking to the market with God

February 24, 2015 in Mark, Bible, Church, Front, Tanzania, Theology

Having moved around quite a bit over the past few years, we have had the privilege of hearing many different church leaders in three countries and two (three if you count American) languages, reading parts of the Bible and teaching what it may mean. While we have certainly heard some excellent teachers making fine points about various parts of the Bible, when I think back over all the sermons I have heard (and taught) in the past few years, I struggle to think of any “fact” or “teaching” that has really impacted my life. And I really have to try hard to remember any “application” from any of those sermons. OK, maybe I have a bad memory, and I’m sure I have dozed off in church too many times, as all male Woodwards are prone to do from time to time.

Read the rest of this entry →

Worth more than many apples

April 18, 2014 in Wycliffe, Mark, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Tanzania

One of my favourite parts of my new job is the fact that I get to hear reports of what is happening in Tanzania’s Dodoma, Katavi and Mbeya Regions as our colleagues are working alongside 20 language communities. While a lot of what happens in our project offices is often routine – analysing phonemes or grammatical constructions, drafting and checking Scripture passages, filing finance records, maintaining IT networks etc – it is always exciting to hear of how the work is impacting the lives of individuals and communities as they engage with materials in their local language.

Recently I heard the following account, told by the Team Leader for the Mbeya project, Pastor Mwaikokesya: Read the rest of this entry →