Pray With Us

Mark and Laura Woodward, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Tanzania

Dear <<First Name>>,

Thank you for your ongoing support for the work of Bible translation in Tanzania and Uganda. We are pleased to be able to update you on the progress of our work permits that we asked you to pray for in April, and other developments in the translation projects.

Work Permits

Last time we shared that we were waiting for our work permits to be renewed, as the government department responsible was planning to inspect our office before issuing more permits. The good news is that this inspection happened soon after we asked you to pray, and the permits, including both of ours, began to be issued again in mid-April.

However, the majority of the permits that have been issued have been stamped as "final grant", meaning that as things stand, they will not be renewed again two years from now. Laura's permit was one of those issued as final grant, while Mark's was the only one that was not, out of a batch of around 12 permits. This means that, in theory, Mark should be able to apply for another 2-year permit from 2020, although Laura would not be allowed to continue working from that time.

As you can imagine, the uncertainty surrounding work permits is somewhat unsettling for our international staff, and also for our Tanzanian staff, as it leads to uncertainty as to the future of the various projects.

We are hoping that a group of bishops from around the country will be able to meet with the Minister of Labour to advocate for Bible translation, and for work permits for our organisation, possibly even this coming week. Please pray with us that this meeting would be able to happen, and that the Minister would be open to working with us to allow international staff to continue serving in Tanzania.
Planning Meetings
The planning meetings in both Mara (in April) and Katavi (May) seemed to go very well, and we were excited to meet with representatives from 12 language communities. They shared their goals and vision for Scripture translation and language development, and we are hopeful that the projects that we are proposing will be agreed by the funder, so that work can continue from October this year.

These communities included two groups - the Ruwila and Konongo in Katavi Region - with whom we have not previously worked. We are excited to be able to start serving them, potentially through some oral translation strategies initially, until a writing system can be developed.
In May in the Mara project, we said goodbye to the Team Leader and his wife, who have been serving there for nine years. They are hoping to continue serving elsewhere in Tanzania, if work permits can be granted. During this trip we also had the chance to attend a colleague's wedding, which was a fun time!
Meetings in the UK for Laura
Laura's new role on the global team for Staff Care and Wellbeing will involve her taking a quick trip to the UK in July. She will have a week of meetings in High Wycombe with a few other staff from around the world who are on the team.

Unfortunately it seems unlikely that she will be able to visit any friends or family during this short trip, but we are hoping to spend some time in the UK and the US early next year, when we look forward to catching up with many of you.
Looking ahead
At the end of this month we have a retreat for the international staff across Tanzania and Uganda. This is an opportunity for Laura to catch up with many of our colleagues, and talk with them about any issues they may be facing.

Then, over the next couple of months, Mark will be hoping to finalise the project funding agreements for 21 languages, so they can continue to receive funding from October onwards. There are also several languages in Uganda where new proposals are in the process of being submitted. This funding helps to pay salaries for local employees, as well as other costs, such as rent, utilities and travel.
Tanzania, with the 25 language projects highlighted.

Thank you!

Thank you for all that you are doing to support us, and to support Bible translation in Uganda and Tanzania. As Mark has met with representatives of language committees over the last couple of months, it has been encouraging to see their vision for continued translation, and for using these Scriptures in their churches and in the life of the community.

Thank you for making it possible for us to continue to serve in this way, by praying for us and for the work, and by helping to meet our funding needs each month!

Yeesu ^naabhabhwira ekirengekanyo, ^naaika ati, “Kyaike ati owumwi wemwe ari na ngʼondi egana. Aakamenya ati eyimwi ibhurire-ko, kaakora kutiki? Toga kaaja okusiga gingʼondi girya makumi kenda na kenda mw-ireebhero, ^naagenda okwagara ingondi iyo, na anu arayinyoorere? Akayinyoora, kaayitwika ku-mabhega enu ajomeeywe, na akayika ewaaye, kaabhirikira abhasaani na abheekashaanya bhaaye. Bhakaaja ^naabhabhwira ati, ‘Kijomerwe kiri amwi, kwa okubha ingʼondi yaani inu yayibhurire, naayinyoora!’

So Jesus told them this story: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ (Luke 15:3-6, in Kwaya and English)

Mark and Laura

Our mailing address is:
SIL International, PO Box 60368, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

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SIL International · Box 60368 · Dar Es Salaam · Tanzania

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