Revelation 7:9 gives us the amazing picture of a host of people before the throne of the Lamb, people from every nation and tribe and tongue. Now, after almost two decades of painstaking work, another people group in Malawi has a full version of the Bible in their own language, and will be able to join that throng.
The Yawo people are one of the main peoplegroups in Malawi. On 25 October 2014 the first Bible in their language, Ciyawo, was published. Printed over in China, a small number of Bibles were air-freighted to Malawi for the launch.
SIM workers Winfried and Hildegard Steiner had spent 15 years working on the translation from their home in Mangochi. Three pastors from different evangelical churches in Malawi worked as translators and there were 12 other reviewers from different backgrounds. The team also included one consultant from the United Bible Society, one manuscript checker and a technical assistant from the Bible Society of Malawi.
Groups and choirs from the area marched, sang and danced at the special launch event in Mangochi. SIM worker JoAnn Burdette comments, “Martin Saidi, one of our long-time Yawo workers and a dear friend, prayed over one of the Bibles before he opened it up. The look of absolute joy when he read Psalm 46 in his own language makes my eyes fill with tears, even thinking about it now.”
Ian Farrimond from Newscastle manages communications for SIM Malawi.