Bearing FruitDAK Ministry Update March 1, 2013
Before I share about our activities, I would like to remember James Bertsche, who passed away on February 27, 2013 at the age of 91. Jim was the director of Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission when I first went to Zaïre (Congo) many years and lived next door the Gipende Bible translator (Ghymalu Kianza), whom Jim, himself had worked with and trained before he took on administrative duties. The Gipende people claimed that he knew more Gipende than they did. And then it was Jim who had the vision of Bible translation work for AIMM in Upper Volta (Burkina Faso), and saw in me a potential candidate for the work before I even realized that this would be my life calling. I still remember clearly his letter that changed the direction of my life. In his later years, Jim (and Jenny) were always one of my favorite cheerleaders in the Lord's service. Everyone knows Jim as a great historian of AIMM work. Now is the time to write the story of James Bertsche's life. May all your efforts Jim, continue to bear much fruit as you rest from your earthly labors.
Learning all about the grapevine
Let me start with a question: Name one passage in the Bible that refers to the grapevine or its products.
|Grapes in the Koop vineyard, Vineland, ON||
Vineyard in the mountains of Israel
I am a pretty sure that the first passage that will come to most people's minds is John 15 where Jesus says - I am vine, you are the branches. But did you know that the grapevine and its products are mentioned more than 800 times - the most cited plant - in the entire Bible? And that many translators all over the world have never seen it? Many people know they can buy wine in a bottle, but have no idea how it came to be. The ancient Hebrew farmer was so familiar with vineyard culture that the ancient biblical writers mentioned it constantly, with the assumption that all readers knew what they were talking about. I got started on developing a resource a few years ago when I discovered that one language was using several different terms for 'grapevine' in different Bible versions.
Out of those first efforts, I developed a series of powerpoints on the grapevine, first in French, and then on Feb 22, I released the English version for the first time (via download links by Email). The goal is to help translators understand and decide on appropriate terms and expressions in their language. In the week following, I have received most encouraging (and unsolicited!) responses. Here are a few: "quite magnificent - this is a most wonderful and helpful study for Bible translators...indeed a first-rate production! What more can I say? "(from a consultant and published author); "I like these powerpoints. Would you give us permission to post them on... website? We would also need the French version, then." (from a representative of a Bible translation organization); "I thank God for the progress on the Grapevine project, it will of great help to translators. Truly, I encourage and pray for you... I would like to ask for a copy of the French version " (from an African translator and consultant).
I am so thankful to God that all my hard work may well bear fruit and help other translators and consultants in their translation work. This encourages me to continue working on the other resources that I am currently developing. If you are curious what I am up to, I would be happy to share the details and links.
The Ngas language and people
The Ngas people, living on the southern edge of the Jos Plateau region in central Nigeria, say their ancestors come from Yemen. Indeed, their language belongs to the Afro-Asiatic family of languages and is a distant relative of Hebrew and Aramaic. Reverend Jotham Kangdim, the head of the OT Ngas translation project, is proud to identify words like 'mouth' (pe) and 'death' (mut) as being almost identical to the Biblical Hebrew words. The Ngas people, numbering several hundred thousand, are majority Christian, boasting many highly educated people including the former president of Nigeria, General Gowon. In addition to his translation responsibilities, Reverend Dr Kangdim is also professor of Old Testament at the University of Jos. The president of the Ngas language committee is a retired judge (who comes by regularly to observe our work in progress), and the head of the funding committee is the national president of the COGIN church. Yes, the Ngas people have committed to locally raising half the needed funds for the project!
|Ngas translation checking session||Reporting to the Ngas Project funding committee|
Last year, 2012, Nigerian Bible Translation Trust and its partner Seed Company (affiliate of Wycliffe Bible Translators) invited me to commit to following the Ngas translation of the Old Testament through to completion. (Seed Company pays for my travel and lodging and while I look for my own my personal support). On my third visit in January 2013, we checked the book of 2 Samuel and the first part of Joshua.
Apostolic Mission Church
Daniel's church at Teedpaosgo is now electrified, and last Sunday, I (Anne) was able to preach with a microphone, and listen to 'electrified' music! Work remains to be done on the the dirt floor and walls. In the month of February, there have been a couple of evangelism campaigns at the church where twelve persons committed their lives to Christ. Pray for these new believers and for the spiritual building up of the church.
|Dancing at Teedpaosgo Church||Last corrections on the Moore hymnal|
Daniel is working on updating his Moore language hymnal that he last edited and printed in 1988 (with the help of SIL friends), from 197 hymns to almost 400! A smaller version of this hymnal is used in the Apostolic Mission churches. Right now it is at the proofreading stage. Naomi Sawadogo, a professional typesetter is volunteering to help her 'papa' in her spare time.
I was happy to find a more peaceful Jos when I went there in January. However, visits with a couple of persecuted believers reminded me that all is not well in other corners of northern Nigeria. Meanwhile in northern Mali, the French hoped to quickly push back the Islamic extremists and recover Mali's territory. In January, the extremists had begun taking over towns further south, and the French decided to step in, with the approval of the Malian government. As wars go, violence does not always quickly solve problems. Now for the first time in their history, Malians have to deal with suicide bombers, not to speak of other guerilla warfare tactics. Burkina remains peaceful though, I am sure, quite watchful.
Thank-you for your continued support and prayers! There was a recent matter where I very much needed God's wisdom in order to deal with a delicate issue, and I thank God that I was able to deal with it satisfactorily. A few of you were aware of the matter through my closed Facebook group and were praying. Thank you! If others would like to commit to regular prayer for our ministry, and would like to receive small news and prayer blips of a more private and personal nature, I can either sign you up to the Facebook group or to a small Email prayer list. Just drop me a line, and tell me which you prefer.
A number of people provided special year end gifts that raised my support level for 2012 to about 1/2 of the goal. We are thankful that Lord has provided for our needs. A financial summary report for 2012 and details of needs for 2013 is available upon request. Attached, please find an endorsement from Dr Katy Barnwell, my immediate superior and mentor for my work in Nigeria.
God's special blessings to each one of you,
Anne and Daniel Kompaoré
Sharing God's Word through teaching, pastoring, and Bible translation
Commission to Every Nation and Mennonite Mission Network
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For Financial information and status please see CurrentFinancialStatus.pdf or contact Anne.