In February, I went together with Michael Nicholls on a trip to the Zinza area. Our main goal was to search for a person who could possibly serve as another Zinza translator in the Mara Cluster Project. Besides that, we also wanted to sell audio recordings of Scripture portions (both on CDs and memory cards) as well as printed books. I had just finished making CDs with the book of Genesis, recorded by a Zinza translator.
While we were out in the Zinza area, I was praying that God would lead me to people who would be interested in what we had. There were so many of those meetings! For example...
I met a traveling bookseller who now also sells the CDs of Genesis in Zinza. And there was a 90-year-old Zinza man, walking with two canes, who leapt from his chair and came over as fast as he could when he heard me playing Genesis. Each time we stopped, as soon as I started playing some verses from Zinza Genesis aloud, many people would come to listen and ask about what they were hearing.
The last town we stayed in wasn’t in Zinza land, but close. Around sunset I walked towards the bus stand, praying that I could still find someone interested in Zinza Scripture.
As I was walking around, I heard a group of motorcycle taxi men call out to me, “Mzungu (white man), why are you so dirty?” I had worn the same pair of pants for the entire 800 kilometres, much of which was on dirt roads. I didn’t realize how bad I looked!
"I'm looking for a Zinza person," I said. One of them ran off for a couple of minutes, then came back and took me to a store owner. When I played the first chapter of Genesis for him, he bought two sets of CDs and a memory card.
Then I walked down the main road of town as it got dark. On my way back to the guest house, I met a man who asked me what I was doing there. It turned out he was a pastor at a local church. I took out my speaker and played our recordings. Another crowd gathered.
Many people were excited about the translated materials. They bought CDs and memory cards, and they asked when we would come back -- because I had sold out!
written by Mitchell Wimbush, VMS specialist