Last week the translation team made a trip to Mpakasa about an hour out of town. They wanted to check some of the newer translated passages with a new church that they hadn’t visited before. One of the pastors at the meeting showed them his Gospel of Mateu in Nyungwe. “Where did you get that?” asked the translator.
“My friend from Messaua gave it to me,” he responded. “Now I don’t use the Shona Bible to preach from any more. I use this to preach. Everyone can understand it and I don’t have to have a translator for the preaching.”
This is the third story like this that I have heard in the past week! We have waited years to have this kind of reports of pastors using Nyungwe Scripture to teach their congregations. We gave out thousands of copies of the Gospel of Matthew in Nyungwe… praying that the pastors who received it would not just hold on to the box of portions, but that they would pass it on and give it away to others who can use it. They are doing just that!
I just got an email from someone reading this blog. She’s an American and her son recently moved to Nyungwe-land half an hour North of town with the Peace Corps. He told his Mom that in church last Sunday the pastor was preaching from Mateu… a Nyungwe translated Scripture portion! I got tears in my eyes hearing that. God is faithful. His Word will bear fruit. His people are sharing the good news and it will take root in their lives.
Also last week, a missionary from several hours away came into town. She has been using 20 copies of the Mateu in her area as well. She says that everyone understands it. It is much better for her groups than the neighboring language of Chichewa. They are reading Nyungwe and preaching from it and doing Bible studies.
I didn’t promise weekly updates, but sometimes news is very good and we just want to share it! I expect we will have more and more stories like this to share with you in the next few months. In the mean time, remember that this is the beginning of the hot dry season in Tete. Last year there wasn’t enough rain. It is a hungry time and still a few months until the rain is expected. Please pray for Nyungwe families as they stretch what they have and trust God to send enough rain in the right time this year.