As Rev. Andrew Petro Gulle, bishop of the East of Lake Victoria Diocese (ELVD) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) explains, “Evangelism is priority number one. We have a motto from Luke 5:4, which says ‘Go to the deepest water, and let down the nets for a catch’. Always, we are thinking of going, going, going, to reach the unreached.” 

Decades of outreach by the ELVD to the Kerewe people of Ukerewe Island had little effect. Because worship was held in Swahili, which is not well understood among the Kerewe, church attendance was sparse. Recognizing the need for Scripture in Kerewe, the ELVD invited Lutheran Bible Translators to “come help us with Bible translation!” 

Interest in having a mother tongue translation was affirmed by the enthusiastic response to a draft copy of the book of Jonah. One elderly Kerewe man exclaimed, “This is wonderful. This is our open door to come back to the church because the Word of God has come in our language.”

The joint efforts of the ELVD and Lutheran Bible Translators has resulted in the formation of a translation team that began preliminary work in 2018. They were joined in 2019 by Rev. Andrew Olson of Lutheran Bible Translators, who serves as translation advisor.


Complete the translation of the books of Matthew, Mark and John.

Complete the recording of Audio Bible for books currently translated. 


The Kerewe people are committed to supporting the translation project.

People are excited to see and hear Scripture in their language.


Pray that Rev. Andrew Olson and the translation team will work well together as they begin this new partnership.

Pray that outreach to the Kerewe people will result in larger church attendance.

Pray that Andrew, Alexis and their two young daughters continue to make a good transition to life on Ukerewe Island.

The Kerewe people are proud of their heritage and eager to have Scripture in their own language. Your gifts in support of the Kerewe translation will help build a firm foundation for the new project.

Want to get involved?
Contact a recruiter and see
what options are available!