Bringing King of Glory to new audiences

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Nico Bontenbal and the team from Mthenga Wabwino are working to translate the book King of Glory into three key Malawian tribal languages

King of Glory is a book which is having a major impact. Published in 2012 by ROCK International, it tells the story and message of the Bible in 70 scenes. The book is also backed up by 70 short film clips which use the written scenes as the script. What makes the book special is that it is written with outreach to people from other faith in mind.

The author, Paul Dan Bramsen, was born in California but has lived with his wife and three children in Senegal, West Africa, a nation on the edge of the Sahara, and this has given him the context into which he has written the book. King of Glory is also beautifully illustrated by Argentinian artist Arminda San Martin.

Chronological telling

“The book tells the Bible story in a chronological way and, whilst it is available for everyone, it is written for people coming from another faith” said Nico Bontenbal.

“For example, it goes into detail about who God is, who man is and what sin is, and these are all important concepts which are easily misunderstood by people coming from another faith. Why is this important? We often use the same words, but the meaning of those words can be greatly different and this means there is a gap between the two religions. But often people do not realise this and it is difficult to bridge a gap if you are not aware that there is a gap in the first place!”

The cover of Kimg of Glory

To make better use of the book in Malawi, Mthenga Wabwino has obtained permission from the publishers to translate the book into the three key tribal languages of ChiChewa, ChiYao and ChiTumbuka, all of which already have the full Bible available.

The ChiChewa version is now translated and is being prepared for printing, while work is ongoing with the translation of the ChiYao and ChiTumbuka versions. It is hoped that all three Malawian versions of the book will be printed and ready for use by the end of 2017. In addition to being used as a book, the translations will also be used as the scripts for preparing new voice-overs for the movie clips so they, too, will be available in the three key tribal languages.

Mthenga Wabwino has been involved in training church leaders and church members in outreach to people from another faith for a number of years, and it is these trained people to whom they are aiming the translated book.

Targeting trained churches

“We will target churches we have trained to use the book with their neighbours, but the reality is that it goes beyond just outreach to Muslims,” said Nico.

King of Glory is good to use in general evangelism, in training church youth and also for use with children. Its appeal crosses all ages and religions. I can see it being an important tool for outreach to adherents of African Tribal Religion, cult groups such as Gule Wamkulu and even people with no religious background. Having the book in these three key tribal languages will be vital as we look to use it as an evangelism tool.”

But Nico and his team are not content just to provide the book and the movie clips in these languages. He is already looking at new ways in which this resource can be used to reach people, even in remote rural parts of Malawi.

Prayer points

1. Please pray people will use the book in their own language and that God will use it to enlarge His Kingdom

2. Please pray for good translations to be completed, especially for the ChiYao and ChiTumbuka versions

3. Please pray that people with good voices can be found to read the 70 stories for the movie-clip voice-overs

Mobile communications vital

“Mobile communications, especially phones, are a vital part of modern-day life in Malawi,” he said.

“Even in some of the remote rural towns and villages people have mobile phones, and this could be key to another use of the resource. Each of the movie clips is about three to four minutes long and so could be ideal for loading on to a smart phone or tablet to enable them to be taken into remote areas to be used.

“This is something we are considering but will not be able to do anything with until we have the books properly translated and the voice-overs for the clips completed.

“It has taken a while for us to get this part of the Mthenga Wabwino project off the ground, and we have had to be careful to make sure we had the financial resources available to make it succeed. My top prayer point now for this project is that people will use the book when it is available in their language and that, through this, God will use it to enlarge His Kingdom.”

 

The work of Mthenga Wabwino is supported by SIM Malawi Project

MW96653 Mthenga Wabwino

 


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