At the end of August, I flew to Mbeya in southwest Tanzania, to be attend the dedication of several books of the Bible in the Safwa language. The books of Ruth, Jonah, Mark, 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus, are the first to be published in Safwa, and were greeted with much singing, dancing and joy by the crowd assembled in the town of Mbalizi, about 30 minutes drive from Mbeya.
Various honoured guests were present, including a Member of Parliament, local businessmen and traditional Safwa community leaders. The celebrations included performances by choirs and bands, and speeches by various guests, the highlight of which was our German colleague, Andrea, giving her speech entirely in Safwa, to the amazement of all!
The day was a chance to remember all the hard work that has gone into making these publications possible, with numerous challenges along the way, as well as a chance to reach out to the entire community, inviting them to continue to be involved as the project moves forward, towards hopefully completing the entire New Testament.
This was the first Scripture dedication that I had attended for almost 10 years, and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the occasion. Here are some photos, to give you a flavour of the day…