Luke 2:25-32 says, “Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die till he sees the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went in the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him into his arms and praised God, saying: ‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory to your people Israel’” (NIV).
I have quoted this verse from the book of Luke because most of the men and women of God who started the Giryama Bible translation work as project advisory committee members have already gone to be with the Lord. Though they did not get to see the dedication of the whole Giryama Bible, these dedicated men and women — though weak and frail — were able to see the Giryama New Testament dedicated back in December 2004. Those who remain always ask this question: “Will I be able to hold that Giryama Bible before God calls me home?”
As the remaining translator, I do not have an answer to this question because our lives are in the hands of the Lord. Our coming into the world and our departure is in his hands. But this question gives me the strength to work harder to see the translation come to completion. My prayer and hope, which is the same as all Giryamas, is that this work will be completed successfully.
I salute those men and women of God who worked tirelessly to see this work come to completion. Though some are in their graves now, waiting for the trumpet to sound on that great day, I believe their souls will rejoice seeing that what they prayed and labored for has been completed. I also pray that the Lord, the creator of the heavens and earth will grant those who are still alive grace to see and hold the completed Bible in their hands. I imagine them in the Spirit, shedding tears of joy. To me, this will be the second greatest thing that the Lord will have done for the Giryama people apart from saving them.
As we come to the end of the translation of the whole Bible, time seems to drag and my patience at times seems to run out. I look back at the time I began as a freelance translator until the time I was contracted by Bible Translation and Literacy (BTL) as a full-time translator. Indeed, God’s way is hidden to man. Never did I think that I would be the last remnant of the translators to complete this great and noble work. I know that God will speak to the Giryama in their language — from Genesis to Revelation — sooner rather than later. Glory to God!
In his vineyard,
Joseph S Ngowa