Short History 9 June 2011

Short history: In 2003 Mark Gaddis was praying for Bible translation in Nigeria in his mud block office in Gure, Kaduna State.  He asked the Lord to show him somebody he could help with Bible translation.  He felt like the Lord was telling him to stand up and open his office door.  He did, and Markus Wenji was standing there.  He asked Markus if his people had a Bible or any other books in their language.  They did not.  He asked him if they would like one.  He said yes.  Over the next years Mark traveled to Nyenkpa (Yeskwa) land and began investigating the situation.  He found that there was a cluster of four languages: Nyenkpa (Yeskwa), Duya (Idun), Koro Ashe, and Koro Waci (Begbere Ejar and Myamya), and began investigating the needs of each language.  He asked other translation agencies in Nigeria if they were working with these languages or had plans to.  They all said no and gave their blessings for Mark to begin language development work there, which he did.

Members of each of the four languages formed committees, raised funds and sent people in 2006 to be trained at the Introductory Course in Applied Linguistics program held at Nigeria Bible Translation Trust, Jos.  Ten people from the four languages attended the training and produced an initial orthography and word-list as a result.  The ten then received one month training in either Bible translation or literacy.  Translation began immediately in the Nyenkpa and Duya projects.  Jonathan Barnhoorn joined the work in the cluster, lived in Panda, and worked with the four committees.  He got the Ashe project up and running, worked daily with the Nyenkpa project, and gave some guidance to the Duya and Waci projects.  At Mark’s request, Roger Blench did linguistic work with the four languages and helped them further develop their initial orthographies.  In 2009 Mark requested the survey team to determine the dialect differences between MyaMya and Waci dialects, which they did.  Victor Makama felt God’s call and began working diligently and at his own expense to develop his language. In April 2011 the Waci Bible translation office was opened and six translation candidates came forward.  Four candidates are currently studying Bible translation principles, and are producing the first Scriptures in the history of the Waci people.

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