What events make a day one to remember? Good weather, good moods, good health? A productive use of time at the office or progress made on a project? Ben Gerth has been documenting on his blog the stages of translation for the Jita team translating the first Scripture, and in this extract he describes what made one day a very good day:
It was a fun day. It was fun to receive the first copies of Jonah hot off the press (literally). It was fun to hand a copy to Neema and Magesa and Magoma, the Jita translators. It was fun to say “thank you” to them for all their hard work. It was fun to deliver a copy to our next door neighbor, who is a Jita man, and watch him immediately gather his fellow Jita people and start reading the book of Jonah. It was fun to take copies of Jonah out to the village and sell them for [around 18p] each. (The money goes to our office to cover a portion of the printing costs). It was fun to watch people smile when they read the book of Jonah in the Jita language for the first time EVER!
It’s fun to think that Jita people can now learn that Yahweh is the God of heaven, who made the sea and dry land (Jonah 1:9). They will discover that Yahweh sees all the evil that people do (Jonah 1:2). They can read how Yahweh exercises sovereign control over all of his creation (Jonah 1:4, 1:17, 2:10, 4:6, 4:7, 4:8). They can rejoice to see that Yahweh rescues his people when they repent of their sins (Jonah 2:9). They will be excited to see that Yahweh shows mercy to pagan nations who repent (Jonah 3:5, 4:11). They will savor the glorious truth that Yahweh is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster (Jonah 4:2).
There’s more from Ben about the Jita translation work and the previous stages of the work on his blog.
Jonah’s a fantastic book, but it’s very short. Even with this small part of Scripture in their language, the Jita language has joined the minority of languages that has access to some of the Bible. More than 4,000 languages still don’t have the Bible and of those, 1,919 are still waiting for a translation project to begin. Join the team and support Bible translation.