Exciting Changes in the Church…

My friend John Macaulay shared this brilliant story on Facebook and gave me permission to share it here…

The following comes from Sally Dechert and the Malila translators, Lukas Mwahalende, and Juma Mwampamba. I tell you, it made this translation consultant dance inside.

A few weeks ago, the Malila translators returned from a village where they had done some review on Luke 13-24 with the community. I asked them about the results of the review, and as we were talking, they began telling me about a couple of pastors who said that there have lately been some changes happening in their churches. When I asked the translators to explain, one of them said, “The pastors have started to use the translated Bible portions in their services, and people are very excited about it. It turns out that a lot of people who thought they understood the Bible in Swahili are now realizing they don’t. They’re hearing it in Malila and getting it for the first time. Many of the older people who only speak Malila have starting praying in Malila in the services. In the Bible studies and church groups, people who never used to say anything are participating now, because they feel free to use Malila to discuss things. More and more people want to learn to read, so they can read the Malila for themselves, and the pastors say that the Malila scriptures have stirred a lot of interest in studying the Bible. And we can see it too—it’s like the people in the churches are waking up. Some people who aren’t even Christians come sit with us just so they can hear something in Malila, and then we get the chance to read the gospel to them.”