“He wanted the Bible in his mother tongue so badly he tried to start the translation himself,” said Paul Federwitz, IT Coordinator for Lutheran Bible Translators. “He soon realized he did not have the necessary knowledge and training.”
Paul was referring to one of the students enrolled in the four-year Bachelor of Theology program at Mekane Yesus Seminary in Ethiopia. Introduced last year, the new program is a joint project between the seminary and Lutheran Bible Translators. It combines a concentration in Biblical languages with studies in Bible translation. “This man already has a teaching degree in chemistry but has now returned to school to earn a degree from the seminary so that one day his people will be able to read God’s Word in their language. He was one of forty who applied for the fifteen available openings!”
The visit to the seminary was a highlight for Paul and several colleagues from Lutheran Bible Translators, who traveled to Ethiopia to meet with partner organizations. The group also spent time in the southern region of the country, where most of Lutheran Bible Translators’ work is done in partnership with the Southwest Synod of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, the largest Lutheran church in the world. Over the course of two days, they visited seven translation projects.
“It was especially exciting to speak with the Konso translation team,” said Paul. “The Konso full Bible is nearing completion. People are anxious to receive it since several reprints of the New Testament have sold out.”