The Call Of Kenya is BTL's magazine which is produced quartely. This quarter's edition is quite unique due to the 40th Anniversary that BTL is celebrating. In it, you will interact with amazing testimonies of BTL's staff members who have served in the ministry as from the 90s. You will also get to read the BTL story. May the Lord bless you as you interact with this edition.
When Mong’are completed his secondary education, he left his village to Nairobi to secure a job. It was during this time of trusting God for an open door of employment that his neighbor who was a grounds man at BTL informed him of an opportunity. This led him to joining BTL in the year 1996 as a casual worker. He served in this role for three years and then his term came to an end. While walking out of BTL’s gate that last day of service, he asked God if He would give him another chance to serve at BTL. “I had loved working at BTL and also came to love the people that I served with. I experienced a great change from my previous engagements in different organizations; people were kind to me, they were caring, they shared in my troubles, we related equally and even supported me with transport, I loved the place so much.”
A month later after that plea to God to serve at BTL, God heard his request. He was recalled to serve at the staff lunch, known then as the ‘stomach club’ where he was to cook meals for staff members. He served in this role for another three years when he was promoted to serve as a cleaner. “I served in the stomach club until the year 1999, when God opened a door for me to serve as a cleaner. I enjoyed working, until, God again promoted me to serve in the Business services department; a role that I hold until today.”
Mong’are currently supports translation by ensuring that the project staff receives their parcels in good time, parcels are picked from the courier service, and office premises are secure and many other related assignments. He passionately executes his duties because in his heart, God called Him to the ministry of BTL. “Through the services that I have offered and continue to offer at BTL, translation has progressed. If the project staff requested to have their computers delivered and I did not organize for that, translation work would have slowed down. If the office was not cleaned, dust and insects would begin to inhabit making the place unsuitable to work. If the staff members never had food to eat, their energy levels would have gone low rendering them unable to work. I am happy that God called me to serve in the most humbling Ministry.”
His over twenty years’ of service at BTL have not gone without notice from the people who have heard about his story and the duration of service in the organization. “I have had people ask me what keeps me in BTL? The life of Paul becomes my reference point to them. Serving at BTL is a calling, it has its own challenges but when you know who called you, you stand with God’s work; Paul did and God worked greatly through him for His glory. As BTL marks a wonderful season in ministry, my desire is to see BTL continue to perform its mandate to the unreached groups.”
BTL@40 | #40yearsofexistence | #bygracealone |
The year 2021 marks a special season for BTL. It is during this year that we celebrate 40 years of existence. BTL was registered on March 4, 1981 to reach out to the small language groups in Kenya. We thank God for the Kenyan Church, our other partners in schools, institutions of higher learning, mission agencies, corporate organizations, individual well wishers and other stakeholders including government and international partners; you have supported this work overwhelmingly.
You can read the glimpses of BTL here, featuring great men and women who have diligently served the unreached groups.
BTL@40 | #40yearsofexistence | #bygracealone |
by Irine Kosgei - Sengwer translator
Before the inception of Bible translation in the Sengwer/Cherang'any language, I was very concerned about how my age mates and their children lived. In the past when missionaries visited our community, many of them did not embrace the word of God. They were scared that the new religion would make their language extinct and therefore decided to hold on to their traditional and cultural practices.
The thought of my community perishing without the knowledge of Jesus disturbed me for quite some time until God one day showed up after numerous conversations with Him in prayer. He led me to BTL to translate His Word for my community. Before God called me into this Ministry, I used to wonder how my future would look like. My desire was to spend most of my retirement time evangelizing to my age mates but I did not how to.
I am grateful to BTL because I am not only translating God's Word for my community but God is also refining me to be what I had dreamt of in my old age; no more generations will be lost because the word of God is here; in our own language.
Caption: Irine Kosgei, top right, during the Consultant checking of the Gospel of Matthew in the Sengwer/Cherang'any language
The work of the Digo Bible translation began in the year 1987. Twenty years later, the Digo New Testament was published and launched. Thirteen more years, the Old Testament was completed. Finally, the full Bible has been published and it's now here with us awaiting dedication tentatively in the month of May.
The Digo Church has been most expectant of their complete Bible. During the first dedication committee meeting held on the 30th of November, the enthusiasm of the church leaders was unmatched. Rev. Njora of Healing Homes Ministry could not hide his joy. “I am not a Digo native speaker but my church will be able to use the Digo Bible to evangelize to the Digo community during the crusades. We shall have a Digo speaker to read the Scriptures. We would have failed as a church if we do not focus on evangelizing to the Digos who are dominant in the area.” Bishop Peter Mwero of PEFA Church present at the event said, “God has never missed a person to carry on His work and therefore He will not miss people to stand with the remaining work until the dedication and even spreading the word of God in Digo land.”
The dedication committee members are zealous in the preparation plans towards the launch of the Digo Bible. As in Proverbs 3:5-6, we are trusting and acknowledging the Lord in our dedication plans. We are praying that the Lord establishes the activities we have for that big day.
Pray for receptive hearts of God's word in the Digo Church. The Lord has done well for the Digo community; let His Name be praised forever and ever, amen.
Photos: During the offloading of the Digo Complete Bibles in November 2020
Church leaders pray over the newly dedicated Digo New Testament during its launch in 2007
It is our joy when a community receives the word of God in their language. Even as we launch these Bibles, pray for God's transforming power; that lives will be transformed by the grace of God when they interact with His Word in the language they understand best.
These are the Bibles and Scripture portions we have dedicated and look forward to dedicating this year:
1. The Gospel of Luke in the Ogiek language - Was launched in a colourful celebration on February 20,2021.
2. The Digo Complete Bible - May 2021
3. The Ilchamus New Testament - Date not yet settled upon
4. The Duruma Complete Bible - Date not yet settled upon
Praise the Lord for the great things He has done during this uncertain and unpredictable year in Bible translation. We are grateful to God that translation work could still continue despite the challenging period of Covid-19 pandemic. This newsletter highlights some of the accomplishments in Bible translation achieved during the year. Digo complete Bible dedication happening soon, Duruma complete Bible on its way for printing, Ilchamus New Testament at its typesetting stage, and the Chonyi New Testament at the Final checks stage. Please Read the full updates here.
Thank you for your support and partnership in the year 2020. BTL wishes you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2021 full of God's blessings.
After the dedication of the Samburu New Testament a year ago, a day has never gone by without a Samburu guest visiting the Samburu BTL office to either get the Samburu New Testament or an SD card with the recorded Samburu NT, 31 Bible stories, Jesus film and Samburu hymns.
A recent guest to our office is Mr. Leaburia. His elder brother had earlier been to the office to get an SD card so that he could listen to the Samburu audio Bible. When he reached home, he thought of inviting his younger brother, Leaburia so that they could listen to the audio Bible together.
The following day, after listening to the audio Bible, Leaburia walked into the office asking if he could purchase the SD card for himself. “Would you kindly sell one SD card to me? I listened to the Samburu audio Bible and I loved listening to Jesus speak. I also want to get saved; I want to be a follower of Jesus.” We sold him an SD card and led him to Jesus. The joy in our hearts was unmatched. The word of God never came back void.
“So shall my Word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11 ESV
Photo: Rev. David Lebarleyia, Samburu Project Officer holds up the SD cards during the dedication last year.
Caption: The flagging off of the relief consignment at Kiwanja Ndege IDP camp, Marigat Ward led by the BTL National Director, Rev. Peter Munguti (right)
On Wednesday 25th November 2020, Bible Translation and Literacy (BTL), in partnership with friends of BTL flagged off food and medical supplies to 910 households among the Ilchamus community in Marigat, Baringo County. This community has been affected by cases of insecurity and floods due to rising levels of Lake Baringo waters which has displaced hundreds of families rendering them helpless.
The most affected parts in the larger Baringo South include Ilchamus and Mukutani wards. This dual crisis has seen most families face hard times of lack of food supplies and other essential services such as medical services.
During the flagging off of the event for the relief consignment at Kiwanja Ndege IDP camp in Marigat ward, the BTL National Director Rev. Peter Munguti, noted that the community had been severely affected in the recent past by incidences of insecurity and also displacement by the rising waters of Lake Baringo. “Today we are here to bring support to the affected community due to the rising levels of the Lakes Baringo waters. Through partnership with the friends of BTL, we have decided to work together to support the affected persons today. These packages will be able to reach over 910 households for about two weeks.”
While emphasizing on the need to work together in reaching out to the displaced families, Rev. Munguti urged the National and County governments to offer the displaced people a space to rebuild their homes and to support them in construction of their houses. This he noted would enable them to go back to their normal lives, and perform their day to day duties. Rev. Munguti also mentioned the effects of COVID 19; he called upon the medical fraternity to provide the displaced with essential items like face masks and sanitizers to prevent them from contracting the virus.
Apart from the medical support provided to the community, the food relief package will see every household receive maize flour, rice, beans, sugar, tea leaves, cooking oil, soap and sanitary packages. The areas targeted for assistance included in Ng'ambo, Kiserian and Salabani locations.
As an organization serving among the Ilchamus community through Scripture translation, community development and language development programmes, we are glad together with our partners to have aided this community with food and medical supplies during their time of need.