From The Messenger (the official quarterly periodical of Lutheran Bible Translators)
Article by: Dr. Mike Rodewald
“Loaded with almost a thousand newly printed Nsenga New Testaments, the decorated oxcart wound its way through the streets to the staging area. A selected choir followed, dancing and singing songs composed specifically for the dedication. Local women dressed in green skirts and white blouses unloaded the boxes. They knelt and presented the boxes to a group of Nsenga chiefs, who carried them to a table where pastors, priests, committee members and representatives of the Christian community prayed and gave their blessings. The guest of honor snipped the ribbon on the first New Testament.
After a number of speeches, those in the audience were able to hold, read, and hear God’s Word in their own language.
“This was the scene on July 14 when the Nsenga people of Zambia dedicated the newly published Nsenga New Testament. One speaker petitioned that July 14 be declared a holiday to mark the day that the Word had come to the Nsenga people in their own language. In Nsenga tradition, the oxcart was reserved for those of authority and prestige. All others had to walk. The women who unloaded the boxes also had much significance. Traditionally, they are the first to be up and about for morning tasks. They tend to be the ones who discover new and wonderful things, and then present those things to the chief who makes sure they are good for the people. At the dedication, the women presented the wonderful Nsenga New Testament to the chiefs in attendance, who accepted them on behalf of the Nsenga people and certified them on behalf of the community.
“Thank you to all those who cannot go to the field themselves, but fund ministries and programs so that others can serve overseas.”