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Lutheran Bible Translators of Canada137 Queen St S, Kitchener, ON 519-742-3361 info@lbtc.ca lbtc.ca-What is the mission of LBTC? To help bring the Word of God to all people in the language of their hearts.Of the 7,000 known languages, one-third of them have no translated Bible, and many other translation projects are far from complete.Bible translation is a meticulous process requiring strong faith, academic rigour, and teamwork. It also needs a dedicated space, a home where translators have permanent and easy access to resources and technology. Bible translation needs a Bible House.Our Latest Project: Bible House NgaoundéréJesus said, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Jesus is building His Church, and all that the enemy tries to do to resist is not prevailing. Why? Because the Church is built on the Word. Jesus the Living Word, and the Bible, the written and spoken Word. Without the Word, a “church” is not God’s Church. Some church bodies have stopped seeing the Word as central to the life of the Church. At LBTC we see the Word as the foundation of the Church, and that our passion for the Word involves some serious work—among other things, the work of translating that Word so it is understood by the hearers. Lutheran Bible Translators of Canada works in Cameroon directly with the EELC, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cameroon, in support of several Bible translation projects, focusing especially on Kwanja, Nizaa, and Dowayo. The EELC, right from her beginnings nearly a century ago, has always sought to bring The Word to each people group in the language they understand best. In Cameroon, this is quite a challenge! because Cameroon is very “rich in languages”. More than 270 distinct langu-ages are actually spoken here!—and that doesn’t count the various dialects (mutually intelligible variations) within those languages! The EELC, counting over 400,000 members, is one of many protestant denominations in Cameroon. But she has a unique distinction—she has a whole department dedicated to the translation and distribution of the Scriptures in the heart languages of her people. The EELC has been working for decades to translate the Word, teach literacy, record these translations – and get people engaged in taking in the Word – in Worship, in Bible studies, and in other ways. By the Grace of God, there have been results. A complete Bible is now being devoured by the Gbaya people group (the “biggest” language in the EELC). New Testaments are now published in Dii, Pere, Dowayo, Samba, Kwanja, and Vute. LBT has had a big role in the last three of these. Now, three partial Old Testament projects (Lectionaries) and one New Testament project (Nizaa) are underway. The EELC believes in Bible Translation! The national leader of the EELC is Rev Dr. Reuben Ngozo. Just about every time I meet with Bishop Ngozo, he says “Your work is important. Very important. Don’t get discouraged! We need the Word and we need it in all our languages.Bishop Ngozo was chosen to lead the EELC in 2013, and continues today. Early in his tenure, he asked LBT to build a center for Bible Translation work. At first, we were somewhat reticent, since we do not usually put the building of buildings as high priority. But as the Bishop and the Director of the Translation Department continued to share their vision and their reasons for needing such a building, I [Martin Weber] became convinced. WHAT IS THE BIBLE HOUSE? WHY DO WE NEED IT?A quiet, well-equipped place for Bible Translators to do serious, focused, quality translation work.Applying modern technology. Training and mentoring. Teamwork and vision-sharing.37147508572500Visibility, Prominence. The Word for you—right there!Making a Statement to the whole Community: This Church is about the Word!left60325000WORKPLACE: Much Bible translation has been done in the past few decades by teams led by expatriates who make significant sacrifices living in small villages where modern conveniences like electricity and running water do not exist, unless you do it yourself. Some projects are still doing it this way. Other projects are trying to do it differently – the highly trained expatriates are still there in-country, (and they still have to make significant sacrifices since “city water” and “24-hour power” can be off for days!). But these expats serve more than one language at a time. They can do this if the translation team that works in the village where the language “owners” live are highly trained themselves and are set up with the necessary equipment right there in the village. And, if the village workers (be they expatriates or nationals) have a good, quiet, furnished, dedicated place to work outside of the village setting, as well as the trans-lation center in the village. THE NATIVE BIBLE TRANSLATORS TASK of studying the source languages, internalizing the message in a biblical book or text, reaching a good understanding of how that very message can be rendered into one’s native tongue, drafting the translation, then discussing in depth your proposed translation with other native team members is not “normal village life”. Normal village life is going to the field and working hard to produce food—then coming home to the village to rest, socialize, have family life, prepare food, etc. Farmers who show up at a translation office to socialize can be a serious distraction! And in a face-to-face society where non-participation in village life is highly suspect, many other elements of village life must be dealt with when one is in the village, whether you are an expat or a national. How can you get some concentrated time to work on the translation? The solution which many expatriates have employed is to have not only a village home and translation office, but also a dedicated place in a larger center where some speakers of the language being worked on are there, but it is not village life as usual! INTERNET AND COMMUNICATIONS In this somewhat more modern setting, on a good day, there is adequate power and internet to do serious office work. And the distractions of village life are back in the village. The translations which have been drafted in the villages and checked with villagers to ensure clarity and “natural-ness” now need to be tweaked to get to the level where a qualified Translation Consultant can check them and approve or make suggestions to improve them. NOTE: Translation Consultants take their work very seriously indeed. They know that at the dedication ceremony they will be called on to proclaim to a people “People of XXX language, we the Bible Societies bring you this book with the assurance that it is indeed the Word of God in your language. We have checked it very carefully.” With a decent internet connection and phone communications, advice can be sought from the consultant and other colleagues to get that book done and done right! left172085000MASTERS DEGREE HOLDERS haven’t mastered everything! The beginning translator may not have, despite many years of training and some years of experience, mastered all the skills (and tricks of the trade) needed to make their translation the best it can be. In the larger center setting, there are often ample opportunities for further training and mentoring. And there are those formal or informal discussions with other translators of other languages who might have actually struggled with the very same problem in rendering a word or concept that has you “up against the wall”!ANY MINISTRY can be very lonely, but isolation takes a special toll. Many seminars and workshops have been held in Cameroon over the years where national translators come together to tweak their training, and one of the biggest benefits to participants is the fellowship and solidarity which they experience when together with others who face similar challenges. The Bible House in Ngaoundéré will be their place for all EELC translators—a place where they can be not only helped in all the technical and professional aspects of their work—but also be encouraged in their personal lives.WHAT IS THAT NEW BUILDING OVER THERE? A Bible House? Do they sell Bibles? Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it can also draw in the doubter. As well as a calm well-equipped workplace for translators, the Bible House will have publications and recordings of all Scripture in the languages used in the EELC. Visiting Pastors, lay-workers, and anyone who is interested can come in and discover to their delight that God speaks their language, and has some-thing important to say to them! SOME BUILDINGS by their very existence make a statement. The EELC wants to make a statement—to themselves first of all, and also to the community around at all levels—Muslims as well as Christians, non-believers as well as believers—that this Church is a Church built on God’s Truth contained in God’s Word, the Holy Bible. We at LBTC gives all thanks and praise to God for gifted translators like Martin, and for the kind gifts of time, talents, and treasures of LCC Churches and members across Canada. By God’s grace, and with your support, we are helping to reduce the number of persons—currently around 300 million—who have no access to the saving Word in any form. It’s a challenge, but God approves, and He blesses us. Please check out our website, lbtc.ca , for updates on the Bible House and other LBTC projects.Lutheran Bible Translators of Canada137 Queen St S, Kitchener, ON N2G 1W2519-742-3361 Info@lbtc.ca ................
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