Posts Tagged ‘Mali’

My previous blog covered part one of the recent Wycliffe:Live in N. Ireland. This blog continues the story… and early on in the second half we had these statistics…

Current language statistics

The surprise! The shock! The encouragement! The challenge!

Janet McNeill from Macosquin in N. Ireland took up the challenge after studying at St Andrew’s University in Scotland, joined Wycliffe and has just returned from her initial assignment in Mali working on the linguistic analysis of the unwritten Shenara language in preparation for a Bible translation to start in the near future.

Janet recording Shenara stories

And so the Shenara language begins to be written down phonetically and be analysed…

Shenara text, back translated and analysed

… and the phrase is a Shenara equivalent of “Bon appetit!”

In February 1997, a few months before I returned home from Ivory Coast, I visited Philip and Heather Saunders at their house in Daloa? The final chapters of Luke in the Kouya language were being consultant checked.

Philip and Heather Saunders with translator Emile in Daloa

One morning in August this year I visited Philip again in Waringstown and found him sitting in front of his laptop surrounded by Bibles and books and notes and wearing headphones. Now a translation consultant himself, Philip was using the benefits of technology to consultant check the translation of the Gospel of John in Bété with the team in Abidjan, Ivory Coast via Skype!

Remote translation consultant check

Today’s Bible translation consultants travel to work with the translation teams, but they can also combine their experience with modern technology to advise national translators without leaving home!

Wycliffe:Live ended where we had begun – with the MAF plane flying into Korupun, West Papua in Indonesia – bringing the Kimyal New Testament to the Kimyal people.

Why not watch the video of the Kimyal people again?

Find out more about how to be involved with Wycliffe UK on our website

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Barthe, Eugenie and friends reading their Kouya New testament

My friends Barthe and Eugenie lived about 500 metres up the road from Vavoua International School in Ivory Coast where we taught for eight years in a school for missionary kids. Barthe leads the church in their Kouya village of Bouhitafla and Eugenie is a trained literacy teacher. They were delighted when the Kouya New Testament was completed and arrived in the Kouya area.

But in the Kouya village communities, as in many parts of the world, information is often more usually shared orally – and in the Kouya villages it always was until their language was first written down in the 1980s. In Wycliffe Bible Translators we are concerned that people have access to the Word of God in different formats and recently the Radio Drama Team from Mali took on the task of making some of the Kouya Scriptures available for an oral audience.

The drama team’s current priority is to record the Kouya translation of Luke-Acts for distribution on MegaVoice players in Ivory Coast. Philip and Heather Saunders write: “The Kouya NT was published at the start of civil war in Ivory Coast. Kouya territory straddled the front line, hampering Scripture distribution and literacy teaching. Please pray that hearing God’s word in their own language will have a huge impact.”

Thanks to gifts from believers in N. Ireland, each Kouya village will receive three players, under church supervision. Pray for the formation of listening groups and the training of group leaders. Groups will meet weekly to listen to Scripture, discuss, ask questions, and apply the teaching to their lives. Pray that the fire, hammer and sword of God’s word will work as never before.

Meanwhile back in Mali, the Drama Team Director Siriki Sekongo reports…

“We have recorded a new set of 30 minute dramatised stories from Genesis to Acts.  ‘Joseph’, one of the actors we hired, was deeply touched by the love and forgiveness the real Joseph showed his brothers, so he accepted the Lord Jesus Christ! He took copies of the ‘Joseph’ recordings and we pray that his family and friends listened to them.  May the Holy Spirit illuminate and direct him on the Way to the Truth and Life.”

“Listeners love stories about Old testament characters like Noah, Abraham, Moses and King Solomon, since they have heard about them from their own religious leaders.  Pray that they will read the much fuller account in the Bible and understand the meaning behind it.”

These stories are from the Wycliffe Bible Translators UK website Seven Days of Prayer page where you can see prayer topics about Bible translation and literacy and a host of other things that Wycliffe is involved in around the world. There are lots of ways that you can sign up for prayer resources – or you can look at other ways to get involved with us in the Bible translation task here.

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Having blogged about Rob Baker and ethnomusiclogy some time ago, I thought I would pass on one of Rob’s latest blogs About the Balafon

Jo Balafon players in southern Mali

I was recently in Southern Mali, working with the Jo people and had the privilege of recording the instrument you see above. Underneath the wooden bars hang several gourds; these serve as resonators to amplify the sound of the instrument. Ingenious!

Read more here as Rob talks about the use of traditional instruments in church worship in West Africa.

You can read my previous blog The Bogo from Togo Praise God in Igo here

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The “scenery people” are for example those that we photograph during our vacations. We see them as decoration or objects on display, not as real people. We do not care whether the photo we are taking respects their dignity or not.

The “machinery people” are those that we expect to function in a certain way, but again we do not see them as real people. For example, the gas station attendant or the cashier. On a good day, we might see them as people and connect in some personal way, but most of the time we treat them as “machinery” not as people.

The “real people” are the small group we have a relationship with and care about. We see them as people with individual personalities, emotions, opinions, gifts and needs. On bad days we might expect even people in this group to just function and not require any “maintenance”: such as the burlesque husband coming home from work in the evening who expects his wife to have a meal ready, as well as the newspaper and the slippers, and be left in peace to watch TV by his children because he is tired. In this case he does not see his wife and children as people and does not treat them as such. They are not allowed to have needs.

Some thought provoking stuff here from Jutta – and not just for cross-cultural overseas living!

In all these examples, there are people who want to be seen as people and treated as people which is in contradiction to many of our Western habits and laws of efficiency. The Western habit of just saying “Hi!” and walking by clashes with the African understanding of politeness. Africans would probably never consider a time spend with other people a “waste of time.”

Should people ever be a waste of time in any situation?

Read the whole post here

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Banter Mali Style

Ask any Malian whether they eat beans and they’re likely to burst out laughing and/or deny ever eating them…

As John from Nornirn, I have a taste for banter: it’s an integral part of my culture. Some of my fellow countrymen think that we are unique in this respect, but my good friend and colleague Rob (who can banter with the best of them) adds to the argument that banter is worldwide but based in the local culture.

Read Rob’s tale of Malian bean-eaters here

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