One country, five months, five New Testament launches

By Wycliffe UK

Exciting events in Tanzania in the coming months reflect how the pace of Bible translation is accelerating

The acceleration is happening! What is taking place in the coming months in Tanzania is testament to that.

The launch of the Ikoma New Testament today (10 March) is the first of five launches in Tanzania in the next five months.

Celebrating having the Scriptures in the Ikoma language

That’s one launch a month in just one country!

It also means that by the end of July over 1.5 million more people will have the New Testament in the language that they understand best! Decades of work are bearing fruit – indicative of the progress that is being made in the world of Bible translation.

Today’s launch is for the Ikoma people, and comes following 13 years of translation work. It will be followed by the launches of the Kabwa (14 March), Bena (28 April), Nyiha (13 May) and Safwa (29 July) New Testaments.Roman Mészároš, who serves with Wycliffe and worked with the Ikoma translation team during their final stages of translation checking and typesetting their New Testament says:

‘It’s really great to see the printed Ikoma New Testament and for it to be distributed to it the Ikoma community. But this is just the beginning. We pray that people would be listening to recordings, and that pastors would be preaching from the translated Scriptures. That it will be used and would impact people’s hearts, bringing many to know their Saviour.’

Ikoma speakers enjoying the book of Luke in their language

The launches represent a combined 69 years of translation activity, with local and international teams and partners working together to facilitate the efforts. All the translation teams have had to overcome considerable obstacles to reach this point of launching their books.

While most of the work has been done by local translators, people serving with Wycliffe UK & Ireland have provided assistance at various points in the translation process where there have been no local people to do specific tasks.

The book of Luke in Ikoma arrives at its launch event in 2011

Join us in praying

The Tanzania team has asked us to join them in prayer both today and in the coming months, as these five New Testaments are launched.

So please do take some time now to pray with us, using the following points:

As the Ikoma community hold its launch event today, pray for:

  • God to be glorified throughout proceedings;
  • the Holy Spirit to move in the hearts of all who attend, especially in those people who read the Scriptures in their own language for the first time;
  • all the logistics to go smoothly;
  • favour with the weather.

Pray for the other four teams and communities:

  • as they make for final preparations for their big celebration days;
  • for favour with details like the weather and attendance, especially for community and church leaders who will be invited as VIP guests.

Pray also for all the post-celebration work:

  • the distribution of printed and recorded Scriptures;
  • continued development of healthy engagement with God’s word in local churches and homes;
  • the possible launch of locally supported and managed Old Testament translation projects.



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