Diane Lovell is a Bible translation consultant-in-training working with The Seed Company, a Wycliffe Global Alliance partner organization. She serves southern Africa, and she has been balancing her work with her role as a new mother. Take a look at this video to learn a little more about her.
Archive for the ‘Communications’Category
I’m in Cameroon this week meeting with the Ballards. Rodney and Joy moved with their family to Cameroon just a few months ago. Rodney is a new member of the Wycliffe News Network team, and he will be our Africa-based photojournalist once he and Joy complete French language study.
We were reflecting that it was exactly three years ago that…
- I came to Cameroon for the first time.
- I went on my first story gathering trip in Africa.
- AND, Rodney first contacted me about the possibility of being a photojournalist in Africa.
Rodney said that he remembered that I told him that it might take me a few weeks to get back to him because I was traveling – guess where? In Cameroon! We corresponded these last few years while Rodney and Joy transitioned from other work and built a team of ministry partners that would support them in new roles here. Now, three years later… I’m in Cameroon again this time meeting with Rodney who is now a new WNN team member based in Cameroon.
It’s reminders like this that help me remember God’s faithfulness, and the guidance he gives us on our journey. We may not know the future, but he does.Photo courtesy of Rodney Ballard
About a month ago a San community in Botswana celebrated the completion of a translation of the New Testament into their language called Naro. You’ve probably heard of the San, but maybe not by that name. The San people (also known as bushmen) were made famous by the movie, The Gods’ Must be Crazy.
This is the first time ever that a San language has had a translation of the New Testament.
It is estimated that more than five other San languages in southern Africa will also need their own translation of the scriptures because they do not have enough fluency in another language that currently has a scripture translation.
I sent a photographer, Zeke du Plessis, to photograph the celebration. Take a look at more of Zeke’s photos here.
One touching moment he captured was when a colleague, Durk Meijer, showed an older San man how to use a device with an audio version of the Naro New Testament on it.
You can see him here carefully listening to the content.
What a great smile he had after listening to just a little bit of God’s Word in his language!
A video about the translation is available in Dutch. If you’re interested in seeing it, go here.
It’s been more than a year since the Wycliffe News Network team met together for the first time. Since then members of the team have traveled to the Kingdom of Tonga, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, the Solomon Islands, Japan, and Brazil. Some of the stories have already appeared on the Wycliffe Global Alliance web site as well as the publications and web sites of other Alliance partners and members. Other stories from those trips are still in progress. It’s been exciting to see this coming together and building momentum!
We’re meeting again this year. This time everyone came to South Africa, and we’re meeting for two weeks. Week one has been focused on gathering four stories in South Africa as a training exercise. Everyone is getting some instruction in story gathering while producing some real stories for the Wycliffe Global Alliance web site. In a couple of months we should have four new complete stories. Week two will be team building, more training, a review of the year and a look ahead to next year.
Our team isn’t all together very often. We are based in five different countries usually communicating by skype, email and facebook. It’s been great to see everyone together in action – conducting interviews, doing photography, and transcribing interviews.
You can continue to pray for these meetings:
- For smooth logistics – there are still a lot to coordinate for our remaining week.
- For a great time of learning and team bonding.
- For God to guide our time.
- For God to give me His wisdom as I lead these meetings
- For God to provide times of refreshment during these busy weeks.
Top photo by Diane Lovell
From generation to generation
Andy was raised in the village of Abedju, which grasps the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda and holds them together at DRC’s northeast corner. Andy’s grandfather, one of the first Lugbara believers in DRC, became part of the Lugbarati translation team, which finished the Bible translation in 1966.
Andy’s father became an active proponent for Bible translation in the region as well. And, as the third generation in his family to follow Jesus, Andy also experienced the difference the translation had on his family and how it helped the church in the Lugbara community.
“This was the evidence for me, that once we had the Bible [in our first language], people started to move forward in their spiritual lives without the church being weakened by anything,” said Andy.
Getting involved in Bible translation
Andy pursued a degree in education with a major in teaching languages in Bunia, a city in northeastern DRC. While studying there, he met a young woman, Yvette, in the church choir, who would eventually become his wife.
Soon after finishing at university, he began teaching French with the conviction that education was the best way to help people to live more meaningful lives. However, a friend studying at AIU in Nairobi, Kenya, told Andy about the Master’s degree program in Bible translation at the university.
“Then, I realized that the Word of God was the true light people needed for an everlasting joy and life,” said Andy who decided to enroll in the program at AIU.
After graduation, he and Yvette returned to Congo where Andy worked as a translation advisor on Congolese Bible translation and language projects. He also taught an introductory course in translation principles to other translators and linguists at a local teacher training college.
“Being an African gave me the ability to explain things from the inside,” he said. “Because I speak [those languages], as well as share the worldviews, I was able to help translators solve some of the challenges they face.”
After five years, they felt motivated to do something more: multiply themselves. They returned once again to Nairobi and AIU. This time Andy did doctoral level studies in translation and research. In a few short years, Andy was encouraged to join the teaching staff in AIU’s Translation Department. He is now one of several lecturers in the department.
One of the courses Andy teaches is program planning—a course designed to help students understand how to plan a Bible translation and language development program.
Many people in Africa speak at least three languages. Those who attend school learn a national language like French or English, in addition to the trade language of their region and their mother tongue. However, Andy and his students all agreed that when the Bible is only offered in a national or trade language, it is deficient.
“Many people may be multilingual,” Andy said, “but their level of knowledge in those languages is not as deep as the knowledge they have in their mother tongue. The Word of God is more successfully communicated when it’s done in the native language.”
Through teaching, Andy is multiplying his knowledge and experience by helping people to have a meaningful part in Bible translation projects. His knowledge of language and personal experience with Bible translation make him an excellent fit for his role at AIU and an important part of Bible translation.
“It is one thing to lament over the spiritual and socio-cultural misery of the marginalized ethnic groups who do not have the privilege of reading the Word of God,” said Andy. ”It is another thing to get involved, one way or another, in taking the Word to them. I have chosen the second option because I know that reading the Word and living by it will make a difference in their lives.”
* AIU was formerly known as Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology (NEGST)
Photos by Taylor Martyn
Read a longer version of this story
Content and photographs for this article were provided by staff from African Inland Mission’s On Field Media team (AIM-OFM). See more of their stories on www.aimstories.com.
This story was written for the Wycliffe News Network.