Zambia is an oral culture, meaning much of their tradition and teachings are spoken and not written. There are over 70 indigenous languages spoken in Zambia, with 5 major dialects.
English is officially the national language, and will be spoken in government offices, in the cities, in most stores and other service areas. .
Zambia's population is over 18 million people, with over 60% living in rural bush areas. Most people in the bush speak their local language, with a very small percentage speaking English. This makes for many challenges when it comes to conveying the immutable truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The average resident in a rural bush area has little or no access to any Biblical literature in English, and virtually nothing in their vernacular language.
The goal of our ministry is to train national Zambians in the doctrines and truth of scripture. Jesus said, "I am the way the truth and the life", and that we must worship him in spirit and truth. Even with the best of intentions, information conveyed orally will deviate from the original message. The need quickly became apparent for sound, non-Western Influenced, written and reproducible teachings in their language.
Dan and Pastor Henry have been systematically translating discipleship and Bible institute classes into Chewa. The lessons are formatted to be printed into booklet form. Reproducibility and effective distribution have been the goal of the translating projects.
Dan and Henry have been using these materials at each of the teaching/preaching points, essentially conducting a systematic "Mobile Bible Institute". The response has been incredible! People gather each week in a central location, and others come from well beyond this location. They bring the teaching materials home and others from even deeper in the bush come to visit them and see the lessons. Their response is "Where did you get this! We need to bring this truth to our village!"
The process of translating, proofreading, editing, formatting and printing is time consuming, and labor intensive. The reward for all of it is immeasurable and truly we cannot know this side of heaven the true reward for all of it! To God be the Glory!