'First Gospel' Prayer

The Gwoza Hills Cluster project

Project Name: Gwoza Hills Cluster* First Gospel Translation Project
Number of Languages: Seven
Number of Speakers: 213,800
Project Goals: Gospel of Luke (in print and audio) and The JESUS Film
Start date: 2012
Completion date: 2015
Prayer Challenge: To support this project in prayer through to completion

People in Nigeria’s Gwoza Hills have watched language groups around them translate Luke’s Gospel and produce The JESUS Film. They couldn't fail to notice the excitement created over these projects or recognise that Bible translation is a terrific way to preserve in writing their cultural and linguistic heritage.

Some of these seven groups have a Christians majority – the result of mission work in the last century. Christians are eager for Scripture in their mother tongue for use in their churches and for personal reading and growth. African traditional religion and its practices still strongly influence their daily lives despite the Christian context. Other groups have very few Christians.  But even the non-Christians are interested and excited precisely because these materials are in their own language. This project will produce the Gospel of Luke and The JESUS Film in all seven languages resulting in very significant social, moral and spiritual growth.

Most families plant and harvest on small farms to provide their daily food. They grow maize, guinea corn, beans, sugar cane, rice, ground nuts, bambara nuts and tiger nuts as their main crops. Some people also supplement their diets with millet, soy, peas, potatoes, coco yams, melons and cassava. Since all families here depend on what they can grow, their annual harvest determines their economic well-being for the year to come.

The Gwoza Hills have protected the people groups living there.  In years gone by when invaders attacked them, they fled to the hills for safety. This helped to retain their identity. The various villages in this region usually get along well together. Because they have seen how Bible translation is impacting neighbouring groups, they are eager to have Scripture in their own heart languages, too.

Both Christians and those of other faiths need the Scriptures. Even those of the other major religion in the area respect the Scripture and listen with interest. Whether they read the printed book or listen to the recorded reading of the Scripture, or watch The JESUS Film, God's word touches their hearts and brings change.

*Cluster: A cluster project is where several geographically or linguistically similar translation projects work closely together, sharing resources, help, training and speeding the translation process through synergy.

This project is a result of our partnership with The Seed Company, a member of the Wycliffe family of organisations. The Seed Company helps identify and manage strategic projects like these and works with other organisations and individuals to build the needed partnerships. For more information visit www.theseedcompany.org