Category: Region: Mara

Gospel for Christmas: First Translated Scripture

After watching a neighbouring language community work for 14 years to complete a translated New Testament, the Isenye people are now joyfully on that same journey for themselves. But by doing a translation adapted from their neighbour’s, they have already published Matthew’s Gospel (their first Scripture), and hope to print their own New Testament in just 3-4 more years…

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Kabwa New Testament gets vibrant celebration, strong distribution

“What joy, to see our community use and understand God’s Word for themselves!” Morning rain storms may have kept some away, but a determined crowd packed the small village church for hours of singing, dancing, ceremonies and feasting to mark the completion of the New Testament translated in the Kabwa language…

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New Testament arrives for the Ikoma people of Tanzania

On the edge of the Serengeti, threats of rain could not keep away the crowd as the Ikoma community celebrated completion of a 14-year work to translate the New Testament in their own language. Speeches and preaching, dancing and singing went on for hours. “Even the new songs were in Ikoma!” one guest cheered. A colleague of the translation team added, “This day greatly encourages me that all our labour has not been in vain”…

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The Greatest Gift Brings the Greatest Joy

“We now have God’s Word in Simbiti!” cries a dancing man. “Simbiti people say Oye!” They shout it in response, as a growing crowd parades through the village. The long-awaited celebration of a completed New Testament for Tanzania’s Simbiti people has begun. “This day was not easy,” says one of the Translators, “but the people are very happy to see that now the Simbiti New Testament is in their hands…”

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“We know the work is hard—but keep going!”

A busy season in several Mara Region communities has translation teams feeling freshly inspired to their work. In a Kwaya village, reviewers reported how many are enjoying reading and listening to Scriptures the team has completed. On a visit to check Matthew and Romans with the community, the Jita team kept hearing, “We know the work is hard—but keep going!” While checking eight new Ikoma Scripture portions, reviewers helped the team choose the best word for shepherd…

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Scripture engagement ignited by local listening groups

Community interest in Scripture translation runs high when audio copies hit the streets. Since a listening group workshop in the Ikizu language area, families and friends are listening together, spreading fresh demand for more. After a training for church leaders in the Kwaya area, one pastor played Scripture on the church’s sound system so the neighbors could hear. That’s drawn a lot of attention, too…

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Adult literacy expanding quickly in Mara Region

“They were very excited,” said Neema (SIL Literacy team). In the Ikoma language area, Neema and a colleague had been training 19 people to teach transitional literacy classes for adults in their own language. “They promised to go and use what they learned,” Neema said, “to serve their community.” When the team returned just a week later, what they found happening surprised them…

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Language identity sparks new research by linguists

Originally ‘clustered’ together with Simbiti (a related language), the 30,000 people who speak Kiroba “have such a strong group identity” that linguists have begun to investigate the need for a specially adapted translation. Their latest research study began with a week collecting Kiroba words in the village of Nyabange…

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Jonah inspires evangelism in Kabwa Christians

Since the team’s “listening workshops” with Scriptures on solar audio players, Kabwa families listening at home now find neighbours — even those of other major religions — curious to know what they are hearing. In a recent follow-up event, one group chose to listen to the book of Jonah in Kabwa. As they began to discuss God’s message in the story, one point was very clear to them…

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