Friday, February 10, 2017

The Beautiful Language

“Lord, we ask you now for wisdom to render your Word clearly into the beautiful language of Kinga.”

Bible Translation Consultant Samuel Mubbala opened the day’s work with that prayer in his soft, mellow voice. At the table also were Kinga pastors and translators from Tanzania, Saul Lwilla and Zakayo Swallo. A draft of Hebrews 10 in Kinga shone brightly, projected on the wall. Their laptop computers were open, ready to edit the text.
Today’s work began by simply reading. Samuel read aloud slowly, in English. Saul followed him, reading the Kinga draft. Both spoke with feeling, clearly savoring the great truths of covenant and sacrifice. After each section was read, they discussed notes from Samuel’s study of the draft. Should the Kinga word for oxen be used for bull? Should we say the first covenant or the old covenant? In some African languages, God’s glory can be confused with shining. Does Kinga have this problem?

But the problems and notes were few. Yes, the work was very good. Good enough to impact these three men, even in the midst of their checking. While reviewing covenant theology, Samuel's comments suddenly became very personal.

“When we come to Christ, something is…” Samuel hesitated, obviously searching his own heart. “Something is ‘installed’ in us,” he continued. “We receive a new person and a new life. That is why [God] said, ‘I’ll make a new covenant. I’ll write the laws in your heart.’ And we call that Born Again.”

It will soon be planting season here on the Kinga mountainsides. Good seed will receive summer rain and grow. The same will soon be true of God’s seed, his Word “in the beautiful language of Kinga.”

Thank you for your faithful prayers and generous gifts toward my Wycliffe ministry. God is providing through you. You also have a part in meeting the needs of those who are waiting, just like the Kinga.