Mbeya NT Cluster | Bena
This language group is participating in the Mbeya NT Cluster project.
At least 670,000 Bena people live in the highlands of southwest Tanzania. Their homeland is about 6,500 feet above sea level, providing enough cool weather to grow potatoes and grains like wheat, rye and corn. The region is blessed with good schools, and many of the people are well educated.
When they heard about translation training workshops that partner translation organization, SIL, was offering in the city of Mbeya, church leaders chose a team to attend. The team began work in 2003 and has laid a foundation for the translation with careful linguistic work. They developed a new way of writing their language, and they have been studying the ways their language functions. Some team members are teaching Bena people to read so that they will benefit from the new translation. Already, the team has drafted the books of Jonah, Ruth and Mark, providing a good foundation for the translation of the New Testament and Old Testament portions.
News from the Field
There are 10 languages in the Mbeya cluster, living in the mountains and plains of southeastern Africa: Bena, Bungu, Malila, Ndali, Nyakyusa-Ngonde, Nyiha, Safwa, Sangu, Wanji, and Kinga. Praise the Lord that the project is fully partnered. In 2003, several church leaders formed a council to initiate Bible translation projects for their people. Forty leaders representing 10 languages and nine Christian denominations have committed to the project.
The Mbeya cluster touches over 3 million speakers of 10 languages that live in the mountains and plains of southeastern Africa. In 2003, several church leaders formed a council to initiate Bible translation projects for their people. Forty leaders representing 10 languages and nine Christian denominations have committed to the project.