Using vernacular Bibles in Tanzania: You may wonder why we are involved in scripture engagement and may even ask the question; well now if they have the scriptures in their own language surely they would use what has been provided? Perhaps so in some instances, however in our modern world so many countries have a common trade language which all people in the country are supposed know and to use fluently. In these countries they have become used to using the scriptures in that language if indeed that language has the scriptures.
In Tanzania that is the case as Swahili is the common language and they have had the scriptures in that language for some time.It was our privilege to visit Tanzania once again this year. Last year we attended the launch of the 10 new Testaments and then went on to provide a conference for the pastors at Ifakara primarily aimed at the Ndamba people group.
This year a small team travelled to Dar es Salaam at the beginning of September. Alwyn a UK board member travelled together with the pastor Tom McGibbon and His wife Judy from Oundle Road Baptist church in Peterborough. Raymond Bigwa the Tanzanian Assistant Director and his wife Elizabeth were there to meet the team and were actively engaged in the logistics and as translators for our time in Morogoro and then in Handeni and Tangeni. The Morogoro and Tangeni conferences were aimed at the Luguru speaking people group while the conference held in Handeni was for the Zigula speaking people group. Please click here to read the full report.
3 Jan 2017
Await of 90 years: This precious Ndendeule man waited 90 years to hear the life-giving words of Jesus in his mother tongue. George, in charge of our promotions in Tanzania, visited this Mus1im man three years ago when research was being done to start a Ndendeule translation project.
George promised him that one day there would be a Bible in Ndendeule, because God loves them. George promised to return to visit him again. Three years later George met him again, but this time he had a Gospel of Mark in Ndendeule to present to him. He told the man about forgiveness of sins through Christ, and the old man was thrilled to see the book. His eyes had become dim through age, but that day they seemed to open as he enthusiastically read the Gospel of Mark to his wife.
convinced of his need and accepted Christ as his personal saviour. A few weeks
later he passed away. He had waited far too long to hear the good news of Jesus
in his heart language but the power of God's Word did not return void and he
received the gift of eternal life!
Please help us (through your prayers and gifts) to reach other language groups with the good news of Jesus, before it is too late for them! How long must they wait?
2 Dec 2016
Vidunda New Testament unveiled: During my consultation visit in the last two weeks of July with the Yao and
Ngoni teams, I (Barry) was able to witness a village launch of another New
Testament in Tanzania. Attending the launch was a welcome break, as we had spent
long hours in the translation office that week checking Galations, Ephesians,
Colossians, Philippians, and 1 & 2 Thessalonians with the Yao and Ngoni
teams. We still had 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, 1 - 3 John and Jude to
check the following week.
The Vidunda people are one of the ten groups who have received a New Testament in the past year due to the efforts of TWFTW in partnership with Pioneer Bible translators. It is a 3 hour drive from Morogoro through a lovely game reserve into the beautiful Ruaha mountains where the 40,000 Vidunda live. There was great celebration, dancing and drumming as the New Testament was unwrapped and given to the people who gathered. Please watch this video of the launch and get Damas' amazing story as a translator:
One of my personal delights was when a Mus1im man came up to me in the crowd and asked if he could also have a Bible. I said the Bible is for all, and handed him one. I briefly explained to him Jesus died to forgive our sins. He accepted Jesus as his saviour there and then (see photo below) and asked if we could go to his house as he wanted all of his family to hear this good news.
20 September 2016
Operation spectacles: Appeal for reading glasses in southern Ethiopia. On 10 July the Maale Bible will be launched in Ethiopia and a large number of the reading population need reading glasses to be able to enjoy reading the Bible in their own Maale mother tongue for the very first time. To donate to this cause please click here.
The Maale people of southern Ethiopia did not have the Bible in their own language until very recently. Their full Bible was recently published and will be dedicated during a ceremony to be held there in July of this year. Anthropologists have classified the Maale people as being in the New Stone Age. Their language was not written and only spoken until, when twenty-one years ago in 1995, a family from South Africa went to live there and help them to translate the Word of God into their own language. Once the alphabet, which is based on the State language, Amharic, was decided, a literacy programme was initiated through which many thousands of Maale adults and children learned to read and write in their mother tongue. Many of these had been illiterate in the State language and were reading for the first time ever.
This July, the people of Maaleland will receive the scriptures. It is to be an exciting and historic event. For the many that have poor eyesight, particularly the elderly who cannot read because they don’t have reading glasses, we are appealing to you to donate reading glasses of varying power ranges to be taken up and handed out to those in need. Such a gift would empower the many who won’t be able to enjoy reading God’s Word and the many other culturally-relevant materials that were developed over the years, to participate with their county men in reading too. Any contribution you could make would be invaluable and since numerous people will be traveling to Ethiopia for this event, we will be able to get the spectacles to the people. Thanks you for taking the time to consider this request. If you would like to contribute to Operation Spectacles please click here, or are interested to know more about the Maale people, the project or work of The Word for the World, please feel free to contact us.
7 June 2016
The colourful launch of the Lambya New Testament took place on 23 April 2016. Gratitude was given to God that the dream finally became a reality for the Lambya people. They have been waiting for over 2000 years to receive those life giving words of Jesus in their own mother tongue! What a joy to unwrap the brand new New Testaments.
The New Testaments are now being used in many churches in Chitipa, are being studied in Bible study groups, and are being read in many homes. We are so thankful to all the people who have prayed for and supported the translation team over the past 10 years. Their goal to to finish the Old Testament by 2018. Please keep partnering to get the full Bible into the hands of the Lambya people.
12 May 2016
The Lambya New Testament will be lauched on 23 April. We congratulate the team
on their hard work and know that the 5000 New testaments will be received with
great joy by the Lambya people. Watch this space for news and photos of this
exciting event! Two team members have spent the last month in Uganda doing an
audio recording of the Lambya NT as well in readiness for the launch.
As part of the launch two seminars have been arranged for Lambya pastors to give them some teaching and encouragement, for the first time, from a New Testament in their own Lambya language. Some of these pastors have been helping to review the New testament before it was published. The Jesus film in Lambya will also be screened open air on two evenings.
As you may have read, Malawi has experienced severe drought and famine. One family from South Africa has donated R25,000 (£1,200) to make the launch extra special by enabling us to give bags of maize to needy pastors and families at the launch.
15 April 2016
Ndamba people rejoice: What a joy to witness the historic launch of the New Testament in 6
languages in Tanzania. It was wonderful to see peoples’ eagerness to get a New
Testament in their hands in their own language for the first time ever. I gave
this young disabled Ndamba girl an audio version of the Ndamba NT and her smile
says it all!
Hungry for God's Word
The team from UK (3 board members and one pastor) were so blessed to see the hunger for God's Word by the Ndamba people.
What a joy to give out those Words of life to about five hundred thirsty souls! As it says in Phil 2.15b, 16: "You shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life..."
Why not consider joining us in our next short term visit to do Bible distribution? Please email me (Barry) at email@example.com if you are interested.
We also gave out 150 Jesus films (based on Luke's Gospel) in Ndamba, as well as 150 audio version of the Ndamba NT. There was such joy and excitement.
Please watch the video of the distribution below:
27 Jan 2016
The Ndamba of Tanzania respond to the Gospel of John: Redemptus Msambila, the Ndamba Bible translation Project Leader, recently shared that he went to some Ndamba villages to preach from the Ndamba Gospel of John. He then handed out some booklets of the Gospel, which was launched in 2010, and is still transforming lives. The people were very eager to receive the booklets.
They said, "Today God instructs us by using our
language”, and many refused to leave until they received a copy! After the
booklets were handed out, one man gave his life to Jesus. The people were
elated and thanked God for the translation of John. 13 Jun 2015
Scripture Impact: NTs and DVDs for Roma: 10,000 children's DVDs were produced in the Eastern Slovak Romani language in Slovakia. They contain 37 New Testament Bible stories. Six thousand have already been distributed to the 300,000 speakers.
Faith Comes by Hearing have recorded a dramatised audio version of the New Testament, and it is also available to read and download on the internet at www.bible.is.
We congratulate Pierre and Lisa Van Vuuren and the Roma team for the launch of the Eastern Slovak Romani New Testament on the 8th November 2015. The New Testament was published by TWFTW International. The chairman of TWFTW UK, Ken Cherry, Regine Koroma, Alwyn Bull and Barry Funnell travelled from the UK to attend the launch. Click here to see video.
5 Dec 14