Lusaka, Thursday 12th October 2017

Today we tidied up the few remaining things to do. At this stage, most of the real work is Mufaya’s, as it has been all through this visit.  I raise the questions, he makes sure they are dealt with in his files of the full ShiNkoya Bible.  Our visit to Trees 4 Zambia yesterday sent us chasing through the terms ‘fig trees’ grown in orchard fields for their fruit, and ‘sycamore-fig trees’ which grew in the forest, in Old and New Testaments.  For example, Amos gathered the fruit of the sycamore-fig trees for the livestock he was herding [7.14].  We learned something new, and it was worth checking how Nkoya had translated the two.

Mufaya has been working on things this morning, including a few remaining parallel passages, while I paid my shot, finished packing, and got organised for flying out this evening.  This will be the final update during this trip, with a closure on Saturday perhaps.  Thanks to all who have be in touch to encourage us.

All we have left are [a] get the Committee input to the Preface, and [b] finish the places for potential hyphenation of ShiNkoya words.  Quite a few of the longer words will break across lines, so this is important, but it is really for Mufaya and Bible Society to finalise.

So, Mufaya and I are finished our work of preparing for the publisher. How did we celebrate?  We exchanged final speeches to each other, and then the two of us sat alone and prayed together, with tears, and with thanks to our God and Father, Lord Jesus, and Holy Spirit, for the long journey, the [sometimes slow] progress, the hindrances met and overcome, the grace to complete thus far, God’s goodness to the work, and for the next steps.  Our celebration lunch was chicken and chips as usual. In our winding down discussion Mufaya asked, “Does anyone give a paper of acknowledgement for work done?” I smiled. “Not as far as I know.”

By the end of next week, Mufaya should be able to hand over responsibility to Bible Society.  They will do some spot-checking until they are satisfied, and then it will be typeset page by page.  On tonight’s flight I hope to pick up the unfinished ending to the TV series I watched on the flight out. That will see two things finished.

The woman with a tray of chikanda on her head passed by on Monday [see the blog].  We chatted, bought a little, and invited her to return on Thursday.  She did, keeping her promise she said, and we bought some more, fresh from the cooking pot.

Victoria

Victoria

She also brought some of the wild corm it is made from, and gave me the recipe—the dried corm, ground nuts, salt, and soda pounded together and cooked. It keeps well, she says, so we’ll see. Her name is Victoria Muhango.  Now I’ve got to discover what kind of corm it is.

 

Last Friday morning, our colleague, Gift Nyirenda, from Bible Society of Zambia was passing by and came in to chat, drink tea [and eat some nuts].  We talked about “finishing” this stage, then handing everything over to Bible Society. “Hands” are not involved; the full text of all we have done is sitting somewhere in the internet Cloud.  All that happens is that Mufaya adds Gift access as administrator, and he reaches into the Cloud.  Gift told us he has been arranging that Bible Society in Malawi will do the type-setting.  They will access it from the Cloud also.  They will take one month … let’s play safe and say two months, then it comes back to Zambia for a final community read.  Gift will have Bible Society print out a few copies for the Nkoya to ensure that every page is set up to satisfaction, and then it will be ready to print.

Looking ahead, after any last typesetting corrections are made, then Bible Society of Korea authorises the printer there to access it from the Cloud.  Drafts, files, and ‘manuscripts’ do not move … but new people are authorised to enter the Cloud and take access.

When will a published Bible be shipped back to Zambia? Somewhere around April/May next year.  The community is hoping to hold a launch or dedication at the annual Nkoya cultural festival, during July 2018.   So your prayer is still needed, to see it through.

We now urgently need news on visas for Israel also.  The nine consultants need to finalise their flight bookings immediately.  So some urgent prayer for this, please.

Ronnie

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