En bibel på hjertesproget kan give heling i DRC efter krigen

Når folk forstår Guds Ord, kan de opleve heling, siger Jon Hampshire.
Når folk forstår Guds Ord, kan de opleve heling, siger Jon Hampshire.

Der er voksende efterspørgsel efter bibler, så SIL er helt afhængig af partneres hjælp.

Flere sprog i Congo har adgang til Bibelen på fransk eller swahili, men det er fremmedsprog, som ikke rører hjertet på samme måde som folks modersmål ville gøre det.

Det fortæller Jon Hampshire fra SIL i Congo.
– Når folk har Guds Ord på deres eget sprog, får de en meget bedre forståelse af det – og det fører til en forvandling af folks hjerter. Det er vigtigt for stammesprogene som Ndruna, Logo og Mayogo at forstå, at Gud taler deres sprog – ikke bare de større sprog, som udlændinge taler.

– Folk, især i det østlige DRC, er blevet dybt traumatiserede af krig og usikkerhed. Men når de forstår, hvad Guds Ord siger om traumer, heling, nåde og tilgivelse, så kan deres samfund blive forvandlet, forklarer Jon Hampshire.
Der er voksende lokal interesse for bibeloversættelser, så SIL må prioritere med de ressourcer, man har, fortæller Maryanne Augustin, der også arbejder i Congo.

– Vi må identificere de specialopgaver, som kun vi kan udføre og iøvrigt opbygge kapacitet for de lokale kirker og andre partnere, så de kan hjælpe med andre opgaver. Ellers ville vi slide os op. Men det, der holder os i gang, når arbejdspresset er hårdt og virker uendeligt, er vores relationer. Først og fremmest med Gud. Dernæst med venner og kolleger, siger Maryanne Augustin.

MAF hjalp med transport og kommunikation

– Jeg har fløjet med MAF dusinvis af gange, og min kone og børnene har også tit fået god hjælp af piloterne. MAF har også hjulpet med at sikre kommunikations-linjerne under folkemordet i Rwanda og andre konflikter i DRC. De har klaret indkøb og forsendelse og skaffet mig husly, når jeg var strandet i Bukawa. Vi er dybt taknemlige for deres tjeneste, understreger Jon Hampshire.

– Det ville være utrolig svært at gennemføre bibeloversættelser i DRC uden MAFs hjælp. Den stadig ringere infrastruktur i årenes løb har gjort det meget svært at færdes på vejnettet. Så MAF har fløjet oversætterne og andre til workshops og andre typer træning, og det har sparet flere måneders rejse over vejene, slutter Jon Hampshire.

Hi Jenn,
Here is another testimonial regarding MAF in the DRC. This one is from Bagamba Araali, a Congolese colleague. He has included a couple of photos as well. Bagamba is Congolese, so English is not his first language. He actually has his PhD in sociolinguistic survey. He is a language surveyor, and not a translator. He does language survey work to determine if languages are dialects of other languages or “full” languages, to measure various things like literacy rate, use of the mother tongue, etc. He helps make decisions about these kinds of things, and about where the center of the language community is. So he is not working on any NT – but rather survey work, which is also a very important part of the process.
Sent: Tuesday, April 19, 2016 11:08 AM To: ‘Jennings Boone’
The Pazande Scripture extensibility research trip
In February 2011 my colleague Douglas Boone and I set off to study whether the Zande people of the Democratic Republic of Congo could be served by the NT published in the Sudanese dialect of the Pazande. Our team had to conduct comprehension Scripture comprehension test in the Ango and Dungu territories. Without those are places we would have not even dreamt of visiting due terrible states of the roads connecting Isiro to those remote towns. We made our first landing in Dungu and dropped Douglas there. A few minutes later the MAF 206 took off and flew for another hour and we reached Ango. The airstrip was lonely, no house in the sight and no one to welcome me but I had an idea of where the town played due to the bird view I had from the air. As the pilot took off, I felt an apprehension and fear of unknown besiege me. Wherever I was at rest, my spirit hovered above the forest imagining the way we flew from Bunia to Dungu, and then to Ango. If MAF does not come back? I wondered all the time. Finally the work was done, I had the precious data with me. Eventually MAF 2006 showed over the tree tops on the agreed day. That research is key in deciding in what dialect of the Pazande language the Azande of the Democratic Republic of Congo get the Scripture and it could have never happened (at least for the time being) without MAF.
BBA ………………………………………………………………..

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Hi Jenn,

Here is another response from an Eastern Congo Group member. Sarah is from the UK. She is in the UK on a study program at this time. She is a translation consultant. Jon

From: Sarah Casson [mailto:sarah_casson@sil.org] Sent: Tuesday, April 19, 2016 6:30 PM
I’m attaching something I wrote in response to MAF’s Q.6. In the end I got a bit carried away (!) as I was on the train, so if it’s too long please feel free to edit it. I’m also sending a copy of my prayer letter* which I wrote at the time about the same plane journey and MAF flight – they might find it interesting to compare the two (I did anyway). –Sarah
* this is stored in the Dropbox folder along with her photos

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MAF flights are an indispensable part of our work in DRC! I have been working as a (part time) translation consultant with Eastern Congo Group since 2008, helping Bible translators in Congolese languages check and refine translation drafts. MAF has made it possible for me and others to complete our training as translation consultants in Congo and work with translation teams in remote locations. I have worked especially with the Omi team in the very north east, near the border with Uganda. Sometimes the road journey from Bunia, where I live, to Mado, where the team are based, has been simply too long and exhausting to attempt (mud and gaping potholes), or too dangerous (the LRA and other militia have sometimes been operational in the region). Without MAF our checking sessions would not have gone ahead.
There are so many colourful flights vivid in my memory. They blur into one another. What is always the same is the thrill of the (sometimes bumpy) landing on the narrow grass airstrip, the invigorating freshness of the rain washed savannah air as I stoop to descend the plane steps, the welcome of broad smiles, waves and curious stares of onlookers. What stands out for me, too, is the kindness, patience and flexibility of the pilots as they deal with the most unexpected of requests: transporting seriously sick patients, accepting with equanimity unexpected unaccompanied baggage (a suitcase full of medicinal leaves, plastic containers full of palm oil, sacks of rice…), acting as a free DHL service for precious documents…
One of the flights that meant the most to me was in October 2007. MAF flew me from Entebbe in Uganda to Ibambi in the heart of the Congolese rain forest. At the time I was a trainee consultant living in Uganda. I was due to take part in a translation checking session of the book of Genesis with three translation teams plus our consultant mentor, Jim Fultz. This was one of the final hoops I needed to jump through to complete my consultant training. Jim had made an arduous journey from neighbouring Central African Republic to work with us. Two days before the start of the session, I came down with a sharp bout of malaria. While colleagues made their way to Ibambi, I found myself confined to bed in Entebbe, listening to the cackling of black and white casqued hornbills! Thankfully the malaria medicine started to do its work but as I began to feel better and it sank in that I would miss this golden opportunity to finish my training, I was pretty down.
Halfway through the workshop week I was feeling stronger. I had given up hope of joining my colleagues and contented myself with the beauties of the Entebbe birdlife. But my colleagues were in regular contact with MAF and I received a call to say that MAF had unexpectedly scheduled an extra flight that could take me into Ibambi the next day. The exhilaration of that flight is still with me: the shining blue of Lake Victoria, the dramatic climb of les Monts Bleus rising out of Lake Albert, a stop in Bunia, and then onwards towards Ibambi, the edge of the rainforest engulfing the savannah, till the deep green canopy of the forest lay like a broccoli blanket over the landscape. I still remember the hymn running through my head and lifting my heart throughout the flight: “I must have Jesus, I must have Jesus, I cannot carry these burdens alone.”
MAF was able to take me all the way to the tiny airstrip at Nebobongo, which appeared like a light green gash in the blanket of the forest. As I stepped down from the plane and the intense sunlight hit me, I was struck too by the miracle that God had made a way for me to be there, via MAF.
I thank God for the very practical way in which MAF is tangible evidence that we do not carry our burdens or the burden of our ministry alone, in ECG, and in DRC. Jesus is with us: he shows us this through his people in MAF, and those who support MAF’s ministry. We were able to finish our checking of a large chunk of Genesis in three languages at that workshop. And we completed our training with Jim.

Hi Jenn,

Here’s one more submission for you, from a translation consultant based in Isiro. He’s also a father of young children, which is rare in our group. 


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From: Paul Morgan [mailto:paul_morgan@sil.org] Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2016 2:15 PM

[Note: edited per Jennings’ and Paul’s request – Jenn]
Questions 1-3: (Why is it important for the Ndruna (or Logo or Mayogo) people to have the Word of God in their own language? What difference will having these New Testaments make … for the church there, for individuals? What is your hope for the Ndruna (or Logo or Mayogo) people?) Today, there are thousands of ways to be a part of what God is doing around the world. God in his wisdom has chosen the Church as his instrument to make himself known, and so he sends out his own people from one church somewhere in the world in order to establish, strengthen, and expand the Church somewhere else. It can be a confusing task to measure how well the Church is doing at this work, but it seems clear that we want to see churches established that can support themselves (spiritually and financially), that can make sound decisions for themselves that meet their local needs and concerns, and that can in turn establish new churches in areas where there are none. For this to happen, access to Scripture is a non-negotiable. The Logo, Mayogo, and Ndruna communities have been relying on translations in the official language (French), and the trade languages (Swahili and Lingala) since their beginning. Our hope is that these New Testaments will grant them even more intimate access to God’s message for their people. 5. How does MAF help your efforts? So many ways, let’s name a few. I have two small children under the age of five, and I live three days’ drive into the DR Congo. In the event of political or medical evacuation, it would take me three to four days of abysmal travel to reach help. Let that sink in. Obviously MAF means a lot to our little family, our family back home, and the churches that have sent us. On a more mundane level, MAF brings our care packages. Some MAF families even send us vegetables that we can’t get in our region. MAF also supplies internet to our office here in Isiro. This internet connection was crucial to finalizing the Mayogo and Logo translations. We used it for backup and also for exchanging critical messages between the teams and the consultants and typesetters outside the country. Recently, we have also checked some passages of Scripture using a tool like Skype. It opens up new worlds of possibilities.
6. Can you tell me about a particular MAF flight over the years that really stands out to you? One that was crucial in moving along the translation, or maybe one that meant a lot to you, personally? I don’t have one in particular, but I’m always thankful to be in a MAF plane. We fly over an hour of seemingly uninhabited forest, stretching out like an enormous broccoli field
for as far as you can see. Since it is over the forest, there are often large black rain clouds all around, and the pilots weave a path around these weather systems. 7. What would you like to say to the people (supporters) who’ve made MAF flights possible all these years? Flights that helped move these translations forward. Thank you for the sacrifices that you have made to keep MAF EDRC running through all these turbulent years in DR Congo. They are a key partner in our work. The pilots and their families have made our task logistically possible; they have hosted us in their homes; they have made every effort to encourage us in our ministry; and we are so thankful for this tangible expression of the Body of Christ. Praise God! Paul and Laurel


The letter below tells about how important the Logo New Testament dedication was not just for the Logo people, but also for our family as we’ve been walking a road of both grieving and healing since the loss of our daughter, Sarah. At the dedication ceremony on March 6, as speakers were recounting the sacrifices involved in bringing God’s Word to the Logo people in their own language, I was glad when they also recognized the sacrifices of our MAF partners. Several MAF pilots and family members were there, including my good friend, Dave Jacobsen, and his wife, Donna, who were sitting just behind us. At one point, Dave’s and my eyes met and they were full of tears. My mind was immediately drawn to a flight with Dave about two years ago with me sitting in the co-pilot seat. While flying Bunia to Isiro over the Congo rain forest, both ignition systems showed signs of failing and we actually began looking for potential emergency landing sites in the rain forest. By God’s grace and many prayers, we made it back to Bunia, but then had to immediately board another plane to make the trip to Isiro. Dave and I talked about some deep things that day, including the spiritual battle of helping to bring God’s Word to the Logo people. I asked Dave what a life-threatening incident like that made him think, and he responded, “All I know is that I count it a great privilege to serve the Lord this way, and to serve the Congolese people.” I will never forget those words. I’ve even learned to make them my own as my family and the Logo team have had to offer our own lives and sacrifice much to see God’s Word in the hands of the Logo people today.

Doug Wright

Misc. quotes from MAF personnel:

Please request permission from Ashley before using, apetersen@maf.org

The dedication was a very special event that clearly showed why we are here and the work we as MAF, and individuals, are supporting. God’s timing of that wonderful event was miraculous as it counteracted some recent events in our local community that led to fear and questions about the ‘why?’ of being here as missionaries. The overflowing joy of the people dancing with their new Bibles healed hearts and strengthened commitments to staying and serving the Congolese. It was the Body of Christ celebrating the fruits of working well together.
–Ashley Petersen, MAF

Pulled from Jon Cadd’s blog. Please request permission before using, jcadd@maf.org

It was great to remember that MAF had been a part of this 20-plus year project [Ndruna translation] from its very beginning and right through the hard times of the fighting. MAF men before us had started and we got to be part of the finishing. In many ways it did not seem fair for us to get to be at the very satisfying and enjoyable end instead of them. But it was a good reminder that we don’t always get to see the end result of the role we play in God’s plans. There is a bigger picture and we might get to write a few lines in the story, doing our job as best we can with maybe the end not even in sight, knowing that we may hand the baton on to another who gets to cross the finish line. That is enough. None of this is for our glory anyway.
–Jon Cadd, MAF