Category: Scripture Engagement

Safwa New Testament launch celebration was marked by great unity and joy

Among the Safwa people of western Tanzania, at least six dialects are spoken. From serious conflict and suspicion in the translation project’s earliest days, many years of prayer and hard work has delivered a complete New Testament the community sees as very inclusive and easy for all to understand – and celebration dominated by a powerful sense of unity and joy…

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New Testament completed for half a million Bena speakers

“It feels so good to see change and hope in our people!” Joshua, a local pastor and married father of five, is one of the Bena speakers who worked for years to translate the New Testament in his own language. He and his colleagues have now completed that work, begun 18 years earlier, and they are excited to be part of the big celebration…

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Faith grows among Nyiha speakers even as they celebrate recently translated New Testament

“Scripture teaches we should love each other — that’s how this is happening!” Alongside a dusty dirt road lined with small shops, hundreds of Nyiha spent a day loudly celebrating a huge milestone in their history. “I once thought God only speaks the ‘big’ languages,” said a translator. “But now I know he speaks to all people in their own languages. From today, all Nyiha people can grow in understanding God’s Word…”

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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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Old calendar leads traveler to new translated Scripture

After a bus journey of hundreds of miles and several days, Batila was home. She speaks Pangwa, and in her family’s village she saw a calendar filled with writing in her language. “Are there books in Pangwa?” she asked. Soon she was reading Mark’s Gospel, and buying copies to share with her family on both sides of the country…

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Safwa community tastes God’s Word, wants more

From their first small portions of translated Scripture, a language community can quickly learn to engage with God’s Word. For the Safwa people of Tanzania, their completed New Testament is being printed soon. Especially now, teams of local Scripture Engagement (SE) workers can be very impactful and busy…

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Community engagement sparks three new translation projects

Several language groups in Tanzania will launch New Testament translation projects this year. Others have completed New Testaments in their hands (or final publication stages), and now they hope to locally own and manage an Old Testament project. In response, SIL Tanzania has launched the “Remaining Languages Project”…

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Scripture translation featured in Mbugwe language film

“Praise God for answers to all the prayers for the Mbugwe JESUS film!” After months of preparation and production, the Translation team have completed a version of the film in their own language, using their Mbugwe translation of Luke’s Gospel and the original film script. The Mbugwe community celebrated, of course, complete with a ‘premiere’ showing and sold-out supply of flash cards loaded with the film, Scripture text, audio and more…

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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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Search for JESUS film voice actors faced many challenges

Their film scripts were ready. Bende and Pimbwe translators needed voice actors from the language communities. They were delayed for months by COVID, then detoured hundreds of kilometres by washed-out road. “When we came,” said one translator, “some candidates wanted to be paid rather than volunteer.” Another added, “some follow another religion, and they were afraid that helping us might betray their own faith…”

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