“Nikolas Niambunziri passed on early the morning of April 11, 2017. Nikolas wasn’t known as the most talented translator nor the most computer savvy. But his work on the team could not be overstated. Nikolas was a peacemaker, a person who could see underlying conflict and help rectify it. From the moment he joined the translation team in 1990 he has worked tirelessly to see the Word of God in Mum. My predecessor said that the entire translation project is owed to Nikolas, his persistence and tenacity in getting the translators together and working toward this goal. So strong did this passion burn that even after their advisor before me left, this project has continued to work on their own for 10 years. Even on his deathbed his last words pertained to the importance of this work continuing on even if he did not.
We thank God for the opportunity to serve beside this servant and for the legacy that we get to carry on.
We pray for his family, friends, and translation team during this time of loss.
We pray that his memory is honored and that his dedication throughout his life brings more to Christ.”
Elizabeth Smith, Bible translator among the Mum people
We recently posted a video on Facebook of two Mbore leaders, Steven and Denny, opening a postal box that contained the published New Testament in their language, Mborena Kam. It’s a huge moment. This group has faced trial after trial, death after death, sorrow after sorrow, but there they stand with God’s Word in their hands, and in their language. God sustained them through it all.
Now we turn our eyes further inland to the Mum language area. Though the translation program started in 1990, they are opening a new chapter. A chapter full of momentum and hope for a program that has long been stalled. Even as the page turns this team is immediately finding trial, death, and sorrow. Pioneer Bible allocated Jacob and Elizabeth Smith to the Mum area this month to work in translation and literacy. A lead translator, the “bone of the team,” died the very day the work was going to be officially opened with the Smiths. Above is Elizabeth’s eulogy to this towering man of God, and their family’s prayer requests.
Please pray for the Mum people as you prayed for the Mbore people. You have seen the Mbore triumphantly cross the line despite Satan’s efforts to cut out their legs. Now let us lift up the Mum translation team, literacy team, and the Smith family, even as they start their journey with what appears to us on Earth to be a sorrowful blow. God will prevail.