Equip the team to translate portions of the Old and New Testaments. Increase their capacity through workshops and training. Deepen relationships with church partners and the community.

Bible Translation


  • Tanzania


  • East Africa

Language Population


God’s Word is reaching the Unreached

“Always, we are thinking of going to reach the unreached,” says Rev. Andrew Petro Gulle, bishop of the East of Lake Victoria Diocese (ELVD) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT). But decades of outreach to the Kerewe people of Ukerewe Island had little effect. Church attendance was sparse because worship was held in Swahili, which was not well understood.

The ELVD, in partnership with Lutheran Bible Translators, began translation work in 2018. Preliminary drafts of Scripture portions have been well-received by the community. Scripture apps allow people to read and listen to God’s Word on their phones. Church attendance is increasing as people anticipate the day when worship will be conducted entirely in Kerewe.

Empower Local Leaders

We believe that every community should have the chance to read the Bible in the language they know best, led by people they trust and respect. Your financial gifts and prayers enable us to equip leaders in Tanzania to translate the Bible into the Kerewe language spoken in northern Tanzania.

Program Goals

  1. Build capacity of local leaders via workshops with the consultant, translation workshops, advanced English training, and computer training.
  2. Deepen engagement within the community, including meetings with the other bishops and church leaders from other denominations.

Kerewe Bible Translation Program Plan

Step 1

Develop and distribute preliminary drafts of Scripture portions for Old and New Testaments.

Step 2

Draft the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

Step 3

Promote Scripture use in worship entirely in Kerewe.

Meet the Local Team

Partner Organizations

Honoring the Language

The Kerewe people make a living through farming and fishing on Ukerewe Island.

Kerewe, belonging to the Niger-Congo language family, is an endangered indigenous language.

Three dialects include: Bwiro, Irugwa, Mumbuga

Program Progress

  • Paratext training was completed with the translation team.
  • Work has begun on translating the Gospels, Acts, and Jonah.
  • Significant progress has been made on the first three books of the Bible. 

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