written by Helen Eaton (Linguistic Consultant)

I’m working on Genesis! Yippee!

With the help of one of my colleagues, Odilo, a local Sandawe Christian, who has recently translated the first three chapters of Genesis into Sandawe. My job is to check the spelling, add some punctuation (there usually isn’t much!) and provide an English translation.

So to this end I am working with Nestori, my language helper, every afternoon for a couple of hours. I calculated earlier today that we are averaging four and a quarter verses per hour so it is going to be a long job! It is a very satisfying job though, and there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing, even if it does seem like an impossible task sometimes. (The Jonah translation is beginning to look easy in comparison!) 

When I got to the “Let there be light” verse, I was reminded of one of the verses which was given to me in October 2002, during the last service I attended at my home church in England before coming out to Tanzania – “The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple” (Psalm 119:130). 

That is definitely my prayer for the Sandawe – that this verse will one day describe the impact of the Sandawe Bible. Right now the words of the Sandawe translation of Genesis seem very much in need of unfolding – please pray for everyone involved in making the translation as accurate and understandable as possible!