The Bible translation project began in 2011 with five language groups: Fwe, Kwamashi, Kwangwa, Makoma and Shanjo. These five languages have an estimated combined total of 209 000 speakers in Western Zambia.
One of the secrets of the success of the project was a survey which was carried out by an interdenominational team in the early days of the project. Our findings revealed where the greatest needs were for translation work in the province.
The interdenominational team then met with local churches in the respective communities who examined the findings and described the possibility of written materials as the fulfilment of a dream which they never thought they would witness in their lifetime.
The Seed Company, an experienced Bible translation organization, offered to help this local church and local language group effort by providing experienced trainers to guide them through what is called an initial goal project. This initial project included:
- Transcribing an alphabet and writing system
- Translating the Gospel of Luke
- Producing the well-known “JESUS” Film in each participating language
The translators chosen by their communities have shown remarkable devotion since they started attending workshops in 2011 and are on track to finish these three goals by the end of 2014 (The “JESUS” Film needs to be finished by November 2014). At the end of 2013, a celebration was held which was attended by a member of the Barotseland Royal Establishment, the acting Prime Minister. He seldom makes public appearances, but said he wanted to witness this for himself and thank all partners involved as this is a project which benefits the indigenous people of the province. It was a day to remember.
Hear directly from speakers of the local languages what this project means to them:
This Bible translation project operates under a local and interdenominational organization known as Luke Partnership Western Zambia. We, as the Zambia Project, believe God has called us to be an active partner in this life-changing project!