Tanzania’s Burunge language community completes their New Testament

Goima Town, Dodoma Region, Tanzania

In July of 1997, SIL first met with churches in the Burunge community to discuss working together to develop the Burunge language.  Linguistic work began in 1998, efforts in literacy began in 2000, and the first draft of a reading and writing guide was ready in 2001.  Two pastors, John Kenee and Emmanuel Doe, were selected to attend courses in translation from 2002-2004.  These pastors officially began the work of translating Scripture into the Burunge language in 2005. 

On August 23, 2017, these translators led a procession of Burunge people as they sang, danced and carried the box of Burunge New Testaments through the crowd. From center stage, Burunge Scripture was read, the first New Testaments were distributed, and speeches were given while the Burunge community responded with excitement.

One Burunge man said, “I thank God that we’ve got the Bible. This is indeed the Word of God, so now what is needed is for every person to take the Bible and read it, to know everything that it says.”  The guest of honor for the event said, “The Burunge people will be very blessed and will now understand better since it’s in their own language.” Still another person indicated that August 23 should be set aside as a special day for the Burunge people to remember this historic event. 

Praise God for the official launch of the Burunge New Testament. It was an incredible day!  May a new work be launched in the hearts of the Burunge people as a result of hearing from God in their mother tongue.

This story was written for SIL Tanzania by:

Michelle Haupt (Scripture Engagement team, Dodoma Region)

SIL International is a global partner among academic and professional organisations which offer language development services. SIL works alongside speakers of more than 1,700 languages in over 100 countries. Active in Tanzania since 1989, the organization makes its services available to all without regard to religious belief, political ideology, gender, race or ethnolinguistic background.