On behalf of my family, I wish to say thank you very much to LBT and all her faithful partners for the support granted me and my family while in school at the Theological College of Northern Nigeria (TCNN).
As I write this, I remember that our stay in Bukuru, Jos has been full of challenges, joys, and fulfillments. Please, permit me to use this time to share some of the things that God did for us while here in TCNN.
In August, 2009 my family and I arrived the city of Jos, so that I might receive training in Bible translation/Linguistics in the department of Bible Translation, TCNN. I am happy to say here that I have successfully completed all the required courses for the award of a Bachelors Degree in Translation and Linguistics. I am happy that God gave me the opportunity to study at this prestigious institution and also that faithful stewards of God’s resources stood by me and my family while in school.
Owing to the training I received at TCNN I had the opportunity to present my first ever linguistic paper on the Orthography of Utugwang (My fieldwork language) at the Jos Linguistics Circle on the 28th of February, 2013. My final thesis was also on the grammar of Utugwang. It is my hope that the research done on this language would have positive effects when the Utugwang people finally join the Luke Partnership project in the Ogoja area.
While I was receiving training, my children also had the opportunity to continue schooling at the TCNN Primary/Secondary School. My sister-in-law, Blessing is getting close to finishing her final examination in the Secondary school. Peace will soon be writing her final examination in the primary school. Loveth and Joyce both have two years to complete secondary school, while Erica has two years to finish Primary school. We praise God for this!
Also, while in school the Lord added to my family another daughter, Wilma. Her coming was a bit challenging because it was the first time we had a baby delivered through Caesarean Section. We thank God; however, that everything went well.
In addition to all the above, my family had the opportunity to learn sewing, beads making and baking while here in TCNN. Just last weekend, we had the privilege of recording our first musical album entitled: ‘Onet o*fi mu mu wa wo*. (There is no one like you!).
As a matter of fact, if it were not for the Lord who touched the hearts of faithful men and women and even children to be charitable to us, we would not have come this far. Our hearts glow with joy each time we think about the many people that pray for us on a daily basis and send gifts to us as well. Our hearts glow all the more because those who pray for us daily and send gifts to us are people we do not know and may never meet except in eternity where we shall all sing hallelujah in our various languages before the throne of the Lamb. We thank God who has brought us together as we continue to celebrate this durable wisdom of Christian unity and love in God’s kingdom of grace.
Even though there were several incidences that sought to dampen our spirits while we were in TCNN, two of these stand out.
The first was the incessant crises in Jos that nearly stole our peace and courage to continue. The crises were so very strange to us because we had never experienced anything of that sort in the Southern part of Nigeria where we come from. In fact, my wife became asthmatic as a result of the trauma from the crises. At a point she and the children thought of going home, but God’s grace kept us together until the final day. We praise God for this, because if my family had left me at any point in my training that would have had devastating consequences on my studies. Please, pray for my wife’s complete recovery as we go down south.
The second was the meningitis attack that I suffered in February 28, 2012 during my period of fieldwork with the Utugwang people. If someone had told me I would survive this attack without any major deformities I would not have accepted. Today I can still think clearly, see clearly and hear clearly, because God answered the prayers of faithful saints. Today we are happy that God kept us and that together we are thinking about how to take our next steps together in His vineyard. Thank you for your prayers and may we continue to thank God for his power to heal!
THE NEXT STEPS
It is possible that God has in stock for us steps we do not even know about, that he might want us to take in the future as we seek to help people hear the Gospel message in their heart language. Listed below are some of the next steps that we do know, God-willing:
- Attend a discourse workshop – May 27 to June 8, 2013
- Attend the Luke Partnership workshop in Ogoja – July 10 to 28, 2013
- Present a paper at the West African Languages Congress in University of Ibadan – July 29 to 2nd August, 2013.
- My family and I move to Obudu to work in Bible Translation and Scripture Engagement with the Utugwang/Bette languages – August, 2013.
- Begin an Online MA programme in Bible Translation Management or Bible Translation Studies at University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa in January, 2014.
We know that we have come this far because LBT stood by us! We know that LBT stood by us because of the support she receives from faithful men, women, youths and children across the States especially! We know that these faithful men, women, youths and children are able to do what they are doing because God has made them faithful and grateful stewards of his resources! To God for his faithfulness, and to you for your continued assistance, we say, we are eternally grateful!
I am Martin Weber with LBT in Cameroon, “right next door” to you in Nigeria. We might not meet any time soon (unless God has some plans I don’t yet know about!) but I thank you and Praise God for your testimony of His Faithfulness in all your studies so far. Truly he is the Lord of every one of our lives, of every Bible translation project, of every people group coming to know Him better through our work – He is Lord of ALL!