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Capro Translation project – Nigeria

CAPRO translation update – By Stuart McGill
I have some encouraging news after a difficult year for the CAPRO Cicipu project, in which progress was slow – partly because of personal differences with one of the translators, and partly because of Israel and Omonor were out of the country for much of the time.

Progress in translation
One of the translators has now left the team (probably best for all concerned). The remaining two native speakers (Amos Bako and Suleiman Busa) have been joined by Innocent, a new CAPRO missionary dedicated to translation. He has supervised the data entry of the gospel of Luke which is a big improvement to using pen and paper! The results of this are extremely encouraging. This is the longest piece of text ever written in the Cicipu language, and with a fledgling writing system and novice translators (neither of whom I’d worked with before). So I was more than a bit worried that the translation might be unreadable. Happily this is not the case at all, and reading it through I’ve really enjoyed seeing how the translators have wrestled with expressing the gospel in their own idiom.

To give just one example: Luke 24:12 Amma Bitrus ‘ungo wuf! udukwa ‘asu kasãu kana n-ilaɗi. The NIV is ‘Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb’ but this doesn’t really capture the dynamism of the Cicipu translation. The key word is ‘wuf’, which belongs to a part of speech (‘ideophones’) totally missing from European languages. These type of words (which are legion in Nigerian languages) pack an enormous amount of meaning into one short syllable (the dictionary definition of ‘wuf’ is ‘emphasises sudden action e.g. jumping up’). The closest we could get to this in English might be something like “Peter got up like a shot and ran to the tomb”, but this misses the poetic effect of the Cicipu.

Wuf is actually a word borrowed from Hausa (the language of wider communication in northern Nigeria) and it wouldn’t be out of place in a Hausa translation; however the Hausa version has the much duller Bitrus ya tashi ‘Peter got up’. It’s good to see that the translators avoid two pitfalls (1) literalism (slavish word-for-word translation from the Hausa) and (2) purism (being afraid to use words derived from Hausa when that is the most natural way to express something). I wouldn’t be surprised if this phrase has come from Amos’ pen – he is the best storyteller for miles around, and it is exactly this sort of flair that we were hoping he would be able to transfer to the written word.

The next step is for us to review the way the team are writing the language (spelling, punctuation, where to put spaces). It’s obviously key for us to get this right as early as possible to avoid bad habits and rework later. We are hoping to have a Nigeria-UK Skype workshop in February to review the team’s work so far. Achieving this will be a technical and organisational challenge!

Jesus film
One of Israel and Omonor’s other translation projects (Tal language) has recently recorded the “Jesus film” based on Luke’s gospel (http://www.jesusfilm.org/).

A mid-term goal of the project is to do the same for Cicipu – discussions are in progress – this is one reason they are concentrating on Luke.

Project office
The translation team has identified a plot of land to be used for building a permanent translation office. Purchasing this is a delicate operation with echoes of Abraham’s purchase of Sarah’s burial plot.

Israel and Innocent will be trying to finish negotiations and start the building in the next month or so.

Literacy
Israel and Omonor have had some interesting discussions with the government about the possibility of teaching of Cicipu in primary school. Watch this space! Also Omonor will be travelling to Cicipuland very shortly to give a two-day literacy workshop. This was well received in April last year.

Health
Omonor has been quite unwell with an infection lately and had to be hospitalised. She is on the mend now thankfully.

Funding needs
The project is looking to purchase two motorbikes for the translators. These will make a huge difference because of the distances the team has to travel. Omonor and Israel also have personal needs.

A big thank you to KC on behalf of Israel and Omonor for your faithful support for the project.

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Fish and chips, quiz games and duck grease!

Somebody’s stag party… or the Southern Region Community Churches men’s event at Steventon on Nov 7?  You could be forgiven for thinking the former, but it was in fact last week’s men’s event!  Let me explain…

Last Saturday 54 of the men from the Southern Region churches (Henley, Wantage, Abingdon, Swindon and Didcot) met up for food, worship, prayer, fun and much, much more at Steventon Village Hall.  At the heart of our time was the Holy Spirit, and God’s Word, expertly explained to us by a truly inspirational speaker – Martin Dunkley from Teeside.  The theme was “How to be the King’s Men…on a Monday morning”, reflecting on the reality that many of us face that being part of Christ’s army of followers on a Sunday is perhaps straightforward, but carrying that forward to Monday and the rest of the working week is often a huge challenge.  So what did we learn?

Martin started by exploring the King’s Supremacy… God is over everything, and in that sense, we should be excited about following Him, and we have a basis for being fearless.  His texts were taken from across the Bible, but in particular we focussed on Colossians chapter 1, verses 15 – 18, and also the story of Jesus calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee, and other stories of Christ’s power to heal and bring back the dead.    Because God is over everything, seen and unseen, in this world and beyond, yesterday, today and tomorrow, then he has the power to change things. God’s Plan will be brought about (Romans 8 and 12).  As Martin put it “Our circumstances can be changed, not by ourselves, but by Him because he is with us.”  His example was about his mate at school who was a teenage man-mountain, and so nobody picked a fight with Martin… because of who was with him!

Then we got the duck grease!  Martin told us how he had a dream where he and his wife were preparing to swim a half-marathon… in some serious cold water.  He woke up from the dream, and took a phone call from his son, who had also had a dream about his Dad, and the message was “You can’t do this without the duck grease!!”  Martin’s son was, of course, referring to the practice by cross-channel swimmers, and similar, to slap on the duck grease in order to survive the cold waters.  The duck grease is, of course, the King’s provision… which is abundant Grace.  The waters for Christians are not friendly, or even neutral.  The truth is we are swimming in very unfriendly waters (this hit a real chord with me).  So put on God’s Grace (indeed the whole armour of God – Ephesians) before heading out to live a Godly life on Monday morning.

Then Martin moved to his final theme which was Building for the King.  Here he inspired us with the words and actions of Nehemiah in his rebuilding of the temple and walls of Jerusalem.  Eight characteristics of Nehemiah’s building skills were identified.  He built with Passion, and took Risks; he had a clear Vision, and ensured he remained Relationally Connected throughout; he did battle by first Praying, and he had a passion for Holiness; he had the courage to Confront where necessary, and he kept up a regular diet of Reading God’s word and worship.

The opportunity to learn together as a bunch of God’s men was wonderful… indeed unparalleled, in my experience.  And we had good food and fun as well, despite the weather.  An hour or so doing an excellent quiz, organised by the Abingdon men, was great fun.  We wound up the day with a time of worship and prayer and reflection, and I think I would say that none of us left that day unchanged from the condition we were in at the start of the day… Great is the Power of God to change us, and I am sure that most of us will find that the working week has a better chance of being a continuation of Sunday as a result.

Ian Charles, The King’s Church Didcot,

Soul in Didcot

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Just after dawn, at 5am, on Sunday 27th July three of Didcot’s power station towers were demolished. It was the end of an iconic (sometimes unwelcome) feature of the landscape – but was done at the crack of dawn so as not to cause disruption and officially people were encouraged to stay in their houses and not to watch.

That weekend was also the culmination of Soul in Didcot (also known as SiD). In complete contrast to the hidden power station demolition, the churches together in Didcot had been working together in broad daylight out on the streets of Didcot. There had been swathes of people in rather fetching purple SiD T-shirts going out and about gardening, visiting people, litter picking, bag packing and serving the community. And several people from Kings Church were there joining with people from the other churches in Didcot.

Our family worked on a team with other people doing gardening. Despite being some of the hottest days of the year, all of us (children included) worked hard weeding, digging, pruning, sweeping and doing lots more weeding. Altogether we helped transform spaces across Didcot as an act of worship to God, an act of service to the community and an act of witness to others.

And there was more to come with the Community fun afternoon in Edmunds Park on Sunday afternoon. There were activities, music, performance, drinks and home-made food and it was a wonderful demonstration of the joy God’s church can bring. The power station towers might have been demolished in semi-darkness 12 hours earlier, but in the bright afternoon God’s church was out on the streets, in the community and in the sunshine!

Thanks to Laura for being our church rep for SiD and keeping on encouraging us to be involved. It was great!

Transform 2014

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Okay, so I admit to that sinking feeling the day before Transform: the packing, the driving, the unpacking, the putting up, setting up…but when we were all set up and sitting sipping a glass of wine in the evening sun with the children playing happily there was nothing better. And that’s even without taking into account the teaching, preaching and praying.

Every year is the same, I go with low expectations then have an amazing time and come away from Transform blessed and refilled. This year was no different and the weather was a huge extra bonus. There really is no better way to spend 5 days of your summer holidays than being amongst friends and with really excellent teaching and children’s work. Our children immensely enjoyed their time and it’s wonderful to see them just buzzing about God and on a camp this size with God being talked about all around you there is no way to avoid coming close to Him. Different people take different things from Transform and for me it’s different every year but this time I really felt God speak to me through one of the evening meeting speakers, it was just directly about what I had been mulling over for some time and to then come back and share hot chocolate and marshmallows in Didcot’s camp was such a lovely feeling.

This year 3 of us Kings Churchers had volunteered to help in the children’s work and I really commend it to you. It is great to be on Transform to receive but even better to give something too and even though I was shattered after Kids Camp followed by 4 days away seeing family overseas and then straight to Transform God really provided the extra energy required to keep going.

If you’re thinking about next year’s event then go for it. There are already 3 families from Didcot booked in so you’re guaranteed to be in good company.
Richard Case

Kids Camp 2014

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What a fantastic 2014 Kids Camp we had – even the dramatic rainstorms chose good moments for us although it was our own fault for choosing a theme with an ark in it. But we did meet Noah and one of our weathermen even managed a ‘selfie’ with that eminent gentleman.

Through our theme about Noah we learnt about obedience, hope and faith and about the promises God has for each of us. We also enjoyed learning new songs and you’ll have to ask two of our leaders to demonstrate the chicken dance. It was so good to see the children laughing, praising God and enjoying learning more about him. As well as three God Slots there were activities including painting a ceramic candle holder, cooking campfire twists and Stuart’s challenge to design a boat which would float holding pennies. Mamma Annetta fed us well and entertained us with the ice-cream challenge.

One of the most special moments for me is having our morning quiet time in small groups when the children share insightful and powerful things that God has said to them. I was also really touched when one little boy told us how he didn’t know anyone except his one friend and was scared coming to camp but his friend introduced him to others and now he has made many friends. That is what Kids Camp is all about – friendship with God, with others and about having an adventure.

From our connect groups….

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We meet up fortnightly on Thursdays at different venues and there are about 4-5 people who attend the meetings regularly. We start with sharing testimony in turn or the most thankful and stressful thing in our lives in past two weeks, then follow with a bible study by using the Discovery Bible Study method then end with Holy Communion and prayers. We plan to have some outdoor activities during summer such as walking, picnic-ing etc. We are working on the way to get all our members involved and connected better and bringing love, care and encouragement to each other.
Authors: Mo and Jun

 

Since the change in structure and format of the church’s midweek groups, we have settled into our new group well. We have been getting to know each other as a group and enjoying the new structure of meeting together. We have enjoyed moving to different houses and have had a variety of venues over the months that we have been meeting. We have also enjoyed meeting together on different days of the week and have had a real focus on praying for one another. We have set up a Facebook group for prayer requests, have started prayer groups and have met together as a whole group to pray. We have seen breakthrough and have been strengthened as a group. Now that the summer is approaching, we look forward to doing more social things together; going for walks and having family picnics and BBQs, as well as continuing our prayer times and Bible studies.
Author: Andy Walker

Translation update from Nigeria

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The Achipawa translation team have now completed two 2-week courses in Jos – the first an introduction to computers, and the second an introduction to translation. These have both gone well and they have nearly completed the gospel of Luke in draft (handwritten!). Thankfully they were unscathed by the huge bombs that went off in Jos while they were there.

The next stage is to type it up – with help from KC, they have now ordered a computer from America (the supplier generously offered to throw in his own computer, which he was replacing). This will make a big difference as the translators are working in two teams. Then the team has a further 1-month translation course in July (again in Jos).

The project supervisor Israel Wade is hoping to attend a Wycliffe course in the UK in September. Hopefully he’ll be able to make it to Didcot one Sunday. But it is not easy for a Nigerian to get a visa – he has asked for our prayers. He is also travelling a great deal to-and-from Jos (a 2 day journey) on bad roads in a worse car (ask me about it some day!).

Lastly an agricultural prayer request – after several consecutive ‘years of fat’ the rains have been late this year – all the translators are farmers, and still rely on their farms for a large portion of what they need to make ends meet.

Women’s Weekend

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Sunshine in Henley was enjoyed during the afternoon activities

Positioned in the centre of Henley, Henley Baptist Church’s “D:two” centre was a splendid venue for about 80 ladies from across the South Region of OCC to meet together and encounter God. Our speaker for the weekend, Nikki, challenged and provoked our thinking with insightful reflections on the lives of Martha and Mary from the gospel of Luke. She asked us to imagine what our lives could be like, and what God could do with us if we invested more completely in Him.  She showed us how we need to be ready sometimes to cut across people’s expectations of us in order to prioritize serving Jesus, even at the risk of causing a scandal! And in the final session she emphasized how, because Jesus was so fully God AND man, he is completely able to empathize with us in our need, but also has the authority to do immeasurably more than we could ever imagine. Nikki used knowledge from her experiences of life in North Africa to illustrate her messages and peppered them with her own brand of humour and personal anecdotes, which made it easy listening.

There was a lovely sense of unhurried worship and time for reflection, prayer, and other activities.  For me the over-riding theme was the challenge not to allow ourselves to become comfortable and contented in our Christian walk, but to dare to be different to the norm in the way we live for Jesus’ sake.

Author: Liz Beaumont

Where do you start?

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At The Kings Church we think the best place to start is at the beginning, The Alpha, God.  As a family we want to love God and share that love with others, reaching out to others and building our church community.

As part of our “Reaching Out” and sharing our love of God with others we ran the “Journeys” course along side our Sunday meetings and as that comes to a close we want to give people the opportunity to explore Christianity and what it means to have a faith in Christ Jesus. We would like to give people the opportunity to start their own journey at the beginning and to be able to ask questions about the Christian faith.

This month we will begin running the Alpha Course over an 11 weeks period starting on 13th March, on Thursday evenings from 7.45-9.45pm at Paul and Fran Gander’s house with a break around the Easter holidays.

The Alpha course is a key tool we can use to take our relationships with people who we know in our communities (be it work, the school gate, our neighbours or family members) and who have an interest in God and the Christian faith to another level. Why? ‘Alpha’ provides a great opportunity for people to explore Christianity further and gives people the space and time to work through their questions about the Christian faith. The format will be puddings on arrival with a hot beverage, followed by watching a DVD on a topic e.g. “Why did Jesus die?”, ending with a discussion on the topic.

As a church, we are asking you to reach out to your friends, family, work colleagues or whoever you feel would benefit from the course and invite them along (you’re welcome to attend the first one with them if it helps them feel relaxed and comfortable).

So PLEASE get praying about who you will invite to Alpha – leaflets are available at church – and then…’Just do it!’. If anyone would like to know any more information, please contact The King’s Church.

Author: Paul Gander

CAPRO translation work

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Over the last few years the King’s Church has supported CAPRO’s missionary work (http://www.capronig.org/) with the Achipawa tribe in Nigeria. They have recently expanded from one to three mission stations and just last month – with the help of CAPRO missionaries – five Achipawa men began the awesome task of translating the Good News of Jesus into their native language (you can see their first verse here)!

Up until now there has been no scripture in their language at all. They are starting with Luke’s gospel – an early goal is to translate and show the Jesus film (http://www.jesusfilm.org/translations).

Clearly they face a great challenge – they aren’t wise or influential in the eyes of the world, and they’re certainly not rich (nor of noble birth as far as I’m aware!). None of them speak English and only one has used a computer before. For the next two weeks they will be attending their first training course, in a city called Jos four hundred miles away. They (and CAPRO) have asked for our prayers as they embark on this journey which will last for years. Their names are Suleiman (Solomon), Amos, Markus, Ayuba (Job) and Ibrahim (Abraham).

There is a chance to hear more about what God is doing among the Achipawa at our midweek meeting on Wed 5th March – hope to see you there!

Author: Stuart