Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Meet and Experience Tanzania

I want you to meet the Vidunda people.  Truly MEET them.  They live in Tanzania. 

You see, it is hard to motivate yourself to action when you are removed . . . in  your home (or at work). . . with your coffee (or chai, in my case). 

The Bible is in the family room, waiting to be opened.  And if you should linger at the computer before the kiddos wake up (not that this ever happens to me), your Bible might gather dust that day.  But no worries, there is another Bible beside your bed that you can read before you fall asleep tonight between your cozy flannel sheets.

I want you to imagine walking in the streets of Tanzania. 

Having lived in India, I can begin to understand the dynamics of this culture . . . yet, I am even struggling to grasp who these people are.  What their life is like . . . what brings them joy – and pain.

On Wikitravel this country of Tanzania is touted as a fabulous travel destination.  Climb Mount Kilimanjaro.  Enjoy snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, and viewing wildlife. 

Like India, you are warned to be street smart.  Suitcases and bags are a dead giveaway that you aren’t from these parts and the price just went up. 

Don’t expect to find a job.  Watch crossing the street.  And pray whenever you are a passenger in a local driver’s car.  It is advised that you NOT drive a car, unless you are used to driving conditions in Africa. 

If you subscribe to the belief that the earth is millions of years old (which I don’t), well Tanzania is the place for you.  It is considered the longest continuously inhabited place on earth, boasting of fossils that mankind evolved from that are millions of years old.

This is a people growing up in a culture that lacks purpose.  A people . . . a mom . . . a daughter . . . whose life lacks meaning.  If you evolve from a single celled organism instead of purposefully designed by a loving Creator, life has little value.

This was clearly demonstrated to this remote people back in WWII when “enemy soldiers massacred large numbers of Vidunda speakers who were hiding in a cave. In recent years, government officials have forbidden farming on top of the mountain. This history of exploitation and abuse has made the Vidunda people very wary of outsiders.”

More recent, sugar planters have gradually usurped the plains, forcing the Vidunda people into the mountains.

As I begin to piece together what the Vidunda people are like . . . their setting . . . the fact that  for so long they have been treated with disrespect. . . I feel great sadness.   To fight back, their weapon has been witchcraft.  They live in fear.  My heart aches for them. 

No one has valued them. 

Until now.

Join with me in helping the Vidunda people know that they are fearfully (terribly awesome) and wonderfully made (Psalm 139: 14). 

Each month, this blog gives $26 to be used towards sponsoring the translation of a Bible verse

The most recent verse that Granola Mom 4 God helped translate was Matthew 25: 33,

He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.

Hmmm . . . not a very exciting verse out of context.  For this reason is it important that we who know and have experienced the power of God to transform our life through His Word, give others what we easily toss on the couch. 

What does it take to translate the Bible?  There are six steps.

  1. First Draft: translators analyze what a passage says and produce a first draft.
  2. Team Check: translators check each verse for accuracy and clarity.
  3. Community Testing: translators share drafted Scripture with community members to test how well it communicates.
  4. Back Translation: translators translate the draft “back” into a major language for a non-native consultant.
  5. Consultant Check: a consultant checks the translation with the team to make sure expected standards are met.
  6. Proofread: translators rigorously proofread the final draft for errors before publication.

All this for one verse.  Why?  Because the Word of God is important.  Capable of life.  We are warned not to change the Word of God.  Care, attention, and a relationship with the Vidunda people are priorities.

Let me ask you this. 

What is your favorite verse? 

What if . . . what if . . . the Bible had never been translated into English and you never knew that verse?

Join me in sponsoring Bible translation, one verse at a time. 

OneVerse Blogger

To help your family learn more about the Bible translation occurring in Tanzania, visit MakaziVille.

But more importantly, considering sponsoring a Bible Verse.

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