It’s rare to get a piece of real new news, but I got several two weeks ago, and I’ve been fighting for time to write ever since.
First was an email from Nigeria, hoping I would do some checking with the Mbula project. About three or so years ago I agreed to their invitation to be their consultant, then nothing. They were starting Old Testament, and struggled to get funds together. Time passed with no developments. When Covid19 came along, I put the Mbula Old Testament out of my mind…until Wednesday 7th. The team had funds for about a year, and meanwhile had translated Genesis and Exodus. Would I be able to do some consulting in November? Not by going there, but by zoom or skype!
It took over the weekend to get my head round it, and then I said yes. I would need to replan the rest of the year, and knew I was taking on six or seven hours per day skyping or zooming for two weeks. So, that’s what I will be doing for the first half of November [2nd–13th]. Consulting is a pleasure face-to-face, but ten full days on the internet, looking at faces, will be tiring.
At the same time, I learned about two translation teams in Madagascar, the Analamanga and Tsimihety who have not been able to have contact by zoom with their consultant—a former student, living in South Africa with her husband, and these days also limited to consulting by zoom.
Olivia is an enthusiastic, committed woman, and so we began emailing about the need. The translators are students, neither team has the funds to give them all internet access. We sent some funds to get them started, and hopefully, they will get some consultant time in the next month or two. Olivia is from Madagascar, but also can’t travel because of Covid19.
There are two things to pray for … Olivia and me, the translators we’ll be in contact with, and the portions we’ll be looking at. Doing it by skype or zoom for hours each day will be tiring for us all, translators included.
Meanwhile, Mufaya is a wee bit frustrated. Nkoya Bible sales are slow, because people are still recovering from last year’s shortages, and cautious about laying out the cost to buy a Bible. And the rains are about to begin another farming year. People will be busy preparing, their attention on the fields rather than reading. I’m really hoping the Translation Committee will see their way to giving a worthwhile discount. It would encourage Mufaya and me, and get Bibles in the hands of the people who need them.
Finally, some WhatsApp texts from Ethiopia tell me the two full Bibles, Gamo and Gofa, finally go off to the printer next week, after long delays caused by the way Covid19 disrupted office work.
Sincere thanks to all of you for prayers and support,