by Wycliffe UK
Future generations of Lunyole speakers, like Rev Enoch Wandera’s grandchildren, will be able to read the New Testament in their language – so they will know God better, and avoid being ‘swept into the world’ as Enoch was.
‘I think that if I had been able to read the Bible in my language when I was younger,’ Rev Enoch Wandera says, ‘I wouldn’t have had all those problems in my life.’
Enoch knows that being able to understand what God says in the Bible transforms lives – he has experienced it in his own life, and he has seen it in the lives of people in his church. That is why he has poured his passion and skills into translating the New Testament into his language, Lunyole.
But before the light of Jesus transformed his life, Enoch’s story had some difficult and dark years.
‘Swept into the world’
‘I lived a very bad life before I became a Christian,’ Enoch explains. ‘I grew up in a Christian family, but when I finished school I started work in the prison service of Uganda. I thought: “I’ve got my independence,” so I got swept into the world – the world of drinking, the world of partying, the world of immorality. I drank myself out of my job.’
Enoch went back to his village, but still, he says, ‘I continued with that type of life.’ For over five years he hadn’t been to church – but one day a friend invited him to go back. That day was the first step to the transformation that God brought about in his life.
‘Later I sort of saw a vision,’ Enoch explains, ‘as if the whole of my life was shown to me as a video. And I fell on my knees and said: “Oh Lord, I’m not worthy, I need your grace.” And I gave my life to Jesus Christ.’
‘That opened my eyes to the great need’
Enoch became a pastor and that led him to see how vital Bible translation is. ‘I was overseeing eight churches, and once when I was away at one of those churches my assistant preached from 1 John 5:12: “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” But because my assistant wasn’t able to read it in his own language, he misunderstood the verse. He preached that if you don’t have children then you don’t have a place in the kingdom of God!
‘It is a dream come true to have the Lunyole New Testament’
‘There was an older Christian in the church, a really committed man, and he was so hurt. He came to me and said: “Reverend, is it really true that those of us who have no children have no hope at all?”
‘I said: “Who said that?” And when I realized what had happened I was able to explain the true meaning of the verse to him. That opened my eyes to the great need for people to have the word of God in their own language.’
‘It is a dream come true’
‘From that point on,’ Enoch says, ‘I have had a passion for Bible translation. It is a dream come true to have the Lunyole New Testament published and to see people reading it in church every week. That has given us even more motivation to finish the Old Testament.’
Enoch wants to thank you for your prayers and giving, which enable the Lunyole translation to happen: ‘I want to express my gratitude and thanks to all those people and churches in the UK and Ireland who have helped us.
‘For my grandchildren, when they grow up reading the New Testament, and the whole Bible when it is published, things will be a lot different. Their understanding of God will be better than mine when I was younger.’
Reproduced with permission from Wycliffe Bible Translators UK