In eastern Congo, the only published New Testament our group has seen so far is in the Fuliiru language. But several other New Testaments either are in press right now, or will be published in the next few years. Naturally, we want to know what kinds of factors affect whether or not people read them, so we can prepare as well as possible.
|Ten thousand copies have been distributed; is their message being heard?|
Do people find the words 'sweet', or are the books only a curiosity?
To get to the Fuliiru translation office in Kiliba, Bagamba and I traveled by air, sea, and land. On 20 August we flew to the town of Goma, on the northern shore of Lake Kivu. The next morning, we crossed the lake in a "rapid boat" (« canot rapide »).
Bukavu is on the southern shore. The photo below was taken from the window of a restaurant where we ate on our return trip.
In Bukavu we met the research team, pictured with us in Kiliba: Rév. Mbirize Masumbuko (Fuliiru Language Program Director); Feston and Malega, two other translators who have worked with him on the Fuliiru Bible now in draft; and six other Fuliiru pastors and Christian leaders. Mbirize is in the top left of the photo, Malega is next to me, and Feston is the only one in the "middle row".
|The field researchers with Mbirize, Bagamba, Douglas and a guy in a football jersey.|
The best road from Bukavu to Kiliba passes through Rwanda. I hadn't ever thought that my first visit to Rwanda would last less than one hour -- much less my second visit, six days later! Bagamba and I rode in the front seat of the van in this photo. The white sign wishes us a good trip in English, French and Kinyarwanda.
After re-entering Congo, we dropped off pairs of researchers at various places on the way to Kiliba, arranging for them to meet us after five days of interviews in a total of about twenty villages. Madame Tulizo, whom you see here, is the widow of a pastor.
|Saying 'see you later' to Mama Tulizo|
When walking with a camera, I often trailed behind Bagamba and Mbirize. On the left, we're going to the translation office shortly after our arrival in Kiliba. There were two cozy guest rooms, complete with solar power. On the right, Bagamba goes with Mbirize to see Lake Tanganyika up close.
But what did we find? More after the break...