International (MNN) — "We expect to have the entire
Bible in print within five years." That's World
Center's David Stringham, Director for
Translations in Africa.
Today's is an exciting launch, considering in April, they
didn't have a fully-formed team. A
partner made inquiries and assembled a team of fluent English/Swahili speakers
The urgency? Several
governments in East Africa are looking at
adopting Swahili as the official country language. "One of the things that
we're looking at accomplishing with this is not only as an outreach tool to
people who may not have a strong background in Christianity, but we're looking
at this as linguists–the effect Swahili will have in coming years on the
development of Africa itself."
The team will be working on the Easy-to-Read Bible
in its entirety, which is translated at a third or fourth-grade reading
level. This means that those with the
most basic reading skills and those who are new Christians will be able to
understand God's Word.
Though WBTC is already distributing the Easy-to-Read English
Bible, the Swahili version is expected to reach more people.
Swahili is the one of the most widely-spoken languages in
eastern sub-Saharan Africa. This translation
will be able to reach people in their heart language.
Stringham says they need support. "Pray
for consistency in order to best communicate God's Word to the people we're
doing this for: primarily those who have not had a strong religious