Uganda is a landlocked country East Africa, surrounded by South Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. Much of Uganda’s southern border wraps around Lake Victoria — the world’s second largest inland freshwater lake and the source of the Nile River. Though it’s located on the equator, Uganda’s higher elevations provide a uniquely mild tropical climate.
On a bright morning in 2017, a caravan of trucks filled with tents, chairs, sound equipment and cardboard boxes arrived in the Nyole community. One man carefully cut open a box to reveal a stack of books — the New Testament written for the first time in their language, Lunyole.
“Nyole people have a proverb,” said Enoch Wandera, the team’s translation consultant. “‘Negenda epola yoosi yoola hu munyo’ literally means, 'Even a cow which walks slowly will also reach the water drinking place.’ Today, after all these years, we have achieved a very important milestone in our long, slow journey to have God’s Word in our [language].”
Boxes of the New Testament were auctioned, and empty book boxes were passed through the crowd for anyone who wanted to donate. All the money raised helped fund the Nyole translators, who are already at work on the Old Testament. Throughout the day, many others purchased a copy of the New Testament. “I saw that the Nyole are not only interested to have the whole Bible,” said Lydia Teera, with SIL Uganda*, “but also determined to take a step of faith to own that vision.”
“I see the Nyole people coming nearer to God,” said Gershom Hirome, chairman of the Lunyole Language Association. “They are proud to have God’s Word in their mother tongue. I see people getting more into a culture of reading these books for themselves. To me, that is a wonderful thing. I have also heard them asking, ‘Now, can we have the whole Bible? When will we get the Old Testament?’”
“We have another Nyole proverb,” said Wandera. “‘Onadunda omuleme omudundira erala’ means, ‘When you decide to help carry a lame person (to some place), you carry him all the way through the journey.’ I trust God will give the Nyole people courage to carry this translation team to the very end of our work together.”
As of 2018, the books of Genesis and Exodus were published and launched in the Lunyole language! Praise God for the ways he is working in the Nyole people through his Word.
*A partner organization
Make a Prayer Connection: Pray for full funding of this project to bring joy to people who speak one of the six different languages which have translated Scripture ready to print.