Thanks for your prayers over the last couple of weeks for the partnership meetings and language survey in the west of Tanzania, exploring the possibility of a new Bible translation programme among language groups there. We were excited to hear that the main partnership meeting yesterday went really well. Louise writes:

After introductions Rev. Mwita led the group in a devotion from 1 Kings 5:1-18. In small groups, they discussed questions together and then fed back to the group about how Solomon and Hiram worked together well on the same project for different purposes. I gave an introduction including to Bible translation and the Church, and what language development and Bible translation projects look like. What is the church’s role. Susi then did a great job presenting the outcome of the sociolinguistic research they/we did.

Now it was the first time the rubber would really hit the road. Mwita asked, “Do you want to cooperate together to be involved in this ministry? The answer – “Yes!” “How can we not?” “This will be a tremendous help to us in our ministries.” “People will understand God and His Word so much better if they have the Bible in their mother tongue.”….

Then the church leaders discussed which languages, and they did so with real understanding and wisdom, taking into account all that they had heard from Susi’s presentation and what they already knew. The discussion was animated and positive. In the end, they decided on the following:

For language development and Bible translation:
1) Bende (to also serve Tongwe)
2) Pimbwe ( to also serve Rungwa)

For distribution, Scripture Use work, and possibly literacy and non-print media:
1) Sukuma
2) Rundi

For more investigation:

1) Lwila

Susi and I discussing language possibilities with the church leaders

They then chose an interim committee to send out the minutes from this meeting and to set up the next meeting, which will be November 3rd. Its members are from the Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran, Africa Inland, and Tanzania Assemblies of God churches. read more

Thank you for your prayers, and please continue to pray for the communities and church leaders in western Tanzania. We’re very excited to see what God is doing there, and to think about how we may be working alongside some of the people in the photos in the next couple of years!

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