Friday, 18 May 2018 13:36

The old men helped!

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Atonement! What is the right word for it in Pokomo? Sacrifice? No. Reconciliation? How? I racked my hairless head, and got nothing. I asked my colleague Vincent, he too saw blank. Now what? I called a few old men who always bailed me out whenever I was hemmed in by bonds of limited language and asked them to give me an equivalent word for atonement. They too did not know! I asked myself, “Why call themselves old men, if they did not know something as simple as atonement?”
Community Review
 I had to change my approach. I called the same old men and asked them what happened in our culture when someone did something so hideous like killing a kinsman or committing incest? They said a particular ritual was performed to cleanse the evil and make things right between the offender and the offended, animal blood had to be spilled. I asked them what that particular ritual was called. Everybody I phoned told me it was called “Yala”.
Next, I went to my fellow translators. We brought our heads together and decided to use that word as we waited for the reviewers to give us their views since this is a Key Biblical Term. When they came to review I Chronicles, they agreed that “yala” was the right word for atonement, only that the term was expressed in the verb form “kuyala”. What a mine of cultural wisdom!
by Shedrack Falama


Visit our new Run for the Bibleless website
Run for the Bibleless was started in the year 2008 with the aim of raising funds through registrations and creating awareness about BTL’s mission of facilitating Bible translation and sustainable literacy among small language groups in Kenya.
It is an annual event that brings together both the young and the old. The event which is a 10km Run or 4km walk attracts participants from churches, schools, universities, mission agencies and corporate organizations. For the last 9 years, we have seen Run for the Bibleless grow in leaps and bounds.
Through strategic partnerships with local media stations and via social media, the Run has over the past reached a wide audience within the country and beyond.
William Ruto
2018 Run was held on Saturday 10th March at Uhuru Gardens along Langata road. It was a special RUN to us.God reminding us of His faithfulness by placing great people our way. In attendance was the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya H.E William Samoei Ruto who flagged off The Run. Representatives from different churches, organizations, schools, universities and members of Parliament ran, walked and skated with us. We cannot thank you enough for the prayers and financial support you sent our way. May our good Lord who sees in secret reward you richly. A BIG THANK YOU FROM US!

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