We would like to say “thank you” to all those who prayed especially for the meeting of the Nsenga tribe that took place yesterday, 11 Feb 2012. Although the main item was a discussion of several issues surrounding the Tuŵimba ceremony (the traditional Nsenga planting-time ceremony held every October), the Nsenga Bible Translation Project was given a prime slot in the agenda.
Representatives from the NBTP Committee were able to speak (in Nsenga!) to a large group of influential Nsenga leaders, including representatives from all 11 Nsenga chiefs, Members of Parliament, village headmen, clergy, and other leaders from all over the Nsenga-speaking area. The reception to the project was very positive, especially from those outside the Petauke area, who had not heard of our efforts before.
Recently-produced brochures about the project were distributed. Many people took extra copies to give to people in their villages and churches to raise awareness and gain support for the project. In addition, several contacts were made with promising candidates for the position of Mother-Tongue Translators (MTT), the all-important Nsengas who will put pen to paper to bring God’s Word to their own language.
We currently have 4 applications from prospective MTTs, with at least two more coming in. Eventually, through a series of tests and sample translation activities, the committee will choose three full-time MTTs to work long-term on the project. Please continue to pray that these key positions will be filled with the right people!
One humourous story from the meeting: At one point, some dissatisfaction with the way the Tuŵimba ceremony has been run of late caused the entire sitting committee (about 12 people) to be dissolved by the gathered delegates. But with the entire committee out, who was to run the elections for the replacement committee? Some enterprising soul nominated Chris, the only mzungu at the meeting, who obviously would be a neutral (if slightly confused) party. So Chris spent the better part of 45 minutes calling for nominations, asking for hands to be raised, and getting heckled in Nsenga for his lack of proper parliamentary procedure. But in the end, and a new committee was elected. And then we all ate a nice meal of goat meat and nshima and laughed about it afterward.
Work continues to progress in Africa, slowly but surely, in large part thanks to the prayers and support of so many of you in the U.S. Thank you for being a part of this with us!