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From Great Hall to Tents—God's Answer to Prayer

05March, 2019

Prayer Coordinator

Never Give Up | Prayer Request | Wycliffe Associates Advancing Bible Translationh

Thank you all for praying. God has answered your prayers—though the challenges were many. The accomplishments were incredible.

First, a community church in Uganda made all the arrangements for this MAST workshop. A large number of facilitators from Uganda and 10 language groups of 40 translators each all traveled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). That’s well over 400 people! They met in the great hall of a church in Goma, DRC. Wycliffe Associates was asked to assist by sending workshop leaders!

The Uganda team of planners and facilitators were stopped and held two days at the border—no time for final arrangements. The computer tablets and printers that they brought from Uganda were held for ten days by Congo customs.

On day three of the workshop the leaders discovered that they had to leave the great hall—unbeknownst to them, a wedding had been scheduled. There were no other facilities available that could handle the size of this group. So many tents, 100 tables, and 500 chairs were rented. The translators kept working under a cloudy sky while the tents, tables, and chairs were set up.

By the end of two weeks, there were eight completed and accuracy-checked New Testament translations. The remaining two were just chapters away from completion. But. . . without the computer tablets that first week—the translations were all hand written.

Prayer team, please continue to pray for the typing and printing of all the translations this week. There are two translation team members from each language group who stayed in Goma to type up their New Testaments. Two leaders also remained to coordinate their work. And God provided for them a place to work and sleep this week.

Let’s think about all the work that takes place to bring the New Testament to the church and community. During the last two weeks the translators were following the MAST steps of translation. Translators go through four steps to draft their translation. They follow the drafting of each portion of Scripture with a self-edit, a peer-edit, key word check, and a verse-by-verse check. The majority of time is spent working with partner team members to make sure all the important terms, concepts, meanings and theology are all there and correct. If you’d like to see the MAST strategy in detail you may visit our website https://wycliffeassociates.org/what-we-do/translation-strategies/mast-white-paper-introduction.

The 10 translation teams have gone through these eight steps for their entire New Testament. Due to the late arrival of the computer tablets and printers, two translators from each language group remained in Goma and are typing their New Testament in its entirety into the translation software. Then the transcriptions will be checked before multiple copies are printed to take back to their home churches and communities. The translation is also uploaded to online storage for safe keeping and future revision.

Back at home it will take several months of work reading the translation, to small groups of church and community members, for accuracy, naturalness, and clear understanding.

Dear friends, every translation takes incredible dedication and hard work. So please pray for these 10 language groups as they continue their work reading the newly translated Scripture to their friends, families, and neighbors. And may God be glorified!

Bruce Smith's blog Language of the Heart
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