Mbeya NT Cluster | Nyiha
This language group is participating in the Mbeya NT Cluster project.
More than 100 years ago, German missionaries brought Christianity to the Nyiha people. They helped them translate the Bible into Nyiha, but over the years the Nyiha language has undergone significant change. Today most people can’t understand that first Bible, or the old alphabet in which it is written. Nevertheless, a survey team discovered people in northern Malawi who are copying by hand from the few copies of the Bible they still have. Though they can’t understand it well, they’re eager to have God’s Word. But in other regions, the Nyiha people remain unreached by the gospel and continue to practice their traditional animistic rituals, including ancestor worship.
Nyiha church leaders organized a translation and literacy team to attend workshops offered by SIL in Mbeya, Tanzania. The team started 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 have been compiling a dictionary and studying how their language functions. Some team members are teaching Nyiha people to read so they will benefit from the new translation. The team began by drafting Jonah, Ruth and Mark, and their progress continues from there.
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.