The Khwe people of Botswana – speakers of Khwedam, a ‘click’ language – live in the remote northern part of the country. They have been marginalized because of their small numbers and minority status. The Khwedam Bible translation project is bringing people into a Christian relationship with God and expanding social empowerment as they learn their worth in the eyes of our Creator.
It takes commitment, purpose and dedication to evaluate the needs of a language community and provide it with the right tools to study and share Scripture. Since the project’s inception in 2005, portions of both the Old and New Testament have been translated. There is a growing interest in literacy, partially fueled by the availability of a specially developed Khwedam Scripture app. Team members Splash, Moses and Moronga travel to remote villages to share audio Scripture with those who have never heard God’s Word in their own language.
One elderly man refused to attend church services because he could not understand what was being said. Hearing Scripture in his own Khwedam changed his opinion. “For us, we cannot read, but now we are walking around carrying the Bible in our minds.”
Continuing translation while answering the growing need for literacy programs is challenging. But the team is encouraged by the interest and support shown in Khwedam communities.
Keep the translation process on schedule while continuing to assess the needs of the language community.
Encourage the interest in literacy and provide needed resources and materials.
The Khwedam people have gained a sense of self-worth through knowing that God speaks their language.
Audio Scripture has reached people in remote areas and generated interest in literacy.
Pray the local communities will fully support the translation work.
Pray that interest in literacy continues to grow and that the team will be able to answer the need for classes and materials.
Pray that the translation team will stay focused and committed in the face of external challenges.
Khwedam is one of approximately 30 click languages, spoken by people who live in on the of most remote areas of Africa. Hearing Scripture portions in their mother tongue has fueled interest in learning to read and write this unique language as people discover that their culture and language have value.
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