Marenje

Language: Marenje
People Group: Marenje
People Group Size: 588,000
Location: Mozambique
Lifestyle: Agriculturalists

Translation Time-frame: January 2022 - December 2025
Translation Phase: 1
Translation Goals: Oral Bible translation of the New Testament, and a booklet with the transcriptions of the translated Books
Source Languages: Portuguese and Chichewa
Managing Partners: Wycliffe SA and the Pastors’ Forum of Milange

The Marenje live in the Milange district, a tropical and mountainous district of Mozambique, near the border with Malawi. Most of the Marenje survive through farming and selling their produce in neighbouring areas. It’s likely that their first exposure to Christianity was as refugees in Malawi during the Mozambique war in the 1980s.

The Marenje church makes use of two Bible translations: Chichewa and Portuguese. The majority of churches use the Chichewa translation and a few of them use the Portuguese translation. However, every time they use either one of these two translations, there is someone to translate orally into Marenje for the Marenje speakers to understand the message well. Because of this, the Christian Council of Mozambique in that part of the country, together with native church leaders who serve as pastors for some of the biggest churches in the area, have been asking for the Bible to be translated into Marenje. This will make Scripture far more accessible to the people, and they are much more likely to be open to and interested in the gospel when it is presented to them in their own language. Christian discipleship will also be more effective using Scripture in Marenje.

A first meeting was held with members of the Marenje community in August 2021, and they extended an official invitation for Wycliffe SA to partner in translation shortly afterwards. In March 2022 the team underwent an orientation workshop which marked the official start of translation work. This is the first translation project where the local team will be working full-time instead of part-time, with the goal of completing an oral translation and transcriptions of the entire New Testament within a 5-year time frame.

Prayer:

  • Praise that all the necessary processes have taken place to launch this new translation.
  • For resources to be available to sustain and complete the project.
  • For God's leading in the new way this project is being done; for effective use of time and resources.
  • For productive relationships to be consolidated and maintained between all stakeholders.

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