SIL inaugurates Board to spearhead Bible translation in Uganda

The Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) International unveiled a board that is the first of its kind to steer the development of Languages through Bible translation in Uganda.

The board that was inaugurated is headed by Rev. Canon Dr. John Ssenyonyi as the chairperson and other members include; Dr. Patricia Achan Okiria the deputy IGG, Dr Robinah Kyeyune, Pastor John Chemonges the head of administration at the Bank of Uganda, Dr. Rogers Atwebembeire, Bishop Vincent Wotalya and pastor William Beshiisha.

During the inauguration ceremony, Rev Barnabas Tibaijuka the Bishop of West Rwenzori bested in Bundibugyo praised the role of SIL in the country especially through Bible translation to local languages.

“In Uganda so far we have 19 languages in partnership with SIL including the Lubwisi language in Bundibugyo which happens to be my language, we are really grateful for the work this organization is doing in our nation,” he said.

Bishop Tibaijuka pledged to continue supporting the organization and also asked other believers to do the same to lift the work of the Bible translation that is mainly done by SIL.

“Since we have got our own board, we shall need to support SIL so that the word of God can reach everywhere the way Jesus Christ commanded during the great commission in Matthew 28: 18 whereby he commanded the disciples to go all over the world to preach the good news of the Lord, baptizing and changing the world which is the peace that we have now,” he noted.

The SIL International Executive Director Michel Kenmogne revealed that just 100 years ago 80% of the Christian population was found in Europe and North America but today the Christianity population of those continents represents only 40% of the overall population in the world and the largest majority of the Christianity population is found in Africa meaning that God is doing something unique in the African continent.

He also noted that the board can not succeed alone and therefore called upon support from all Ugandans in terms of resources and guidance.

“As we stand here today, it’s my hope and my prayer that we won’t be renting an office for SIL Uganda in the coming years and I believe it is possible if the people of Uganda desire for that to happen,” Kenmogne said.

Rev. Dr. John Ssenyonyi the SIL Uganda Board chairperson remarked that the main role of the board is essentially to tap into the community and look for support to words the main concern of the organization which is Bible translation.

“However much there are limited resources, for us as a board, we have been called to serve and may God help us as we do that,” he said.

Patricia Achan Okiria the Deputy Inspector General of Government after being appointed as a member of the SIL board, promised to serve with all her heart because when the Bible is translated into local languages helps people appreciate the word of God from their local perspectives and stick to the Christian values and principles which basically can be inculcated even within their culture and way of life.

“Christianity is not different from the Moslem faith because they both have similar values for example values of integrity, being truthful, being honest, and having the fear of God i think that is the way of life and for me being part of the board of SIL allows me even to do evangelism at the administrative level,” she said.

The deputy IGG also noted that her area of focus will be more on evangelism mainly on young people while advancing integrity campaigns and inspiring them to uphold the Christian values and people that contribute to the national development of the country because when they uphold those values they grow up to be responsible leaders who have the fears of God, who are honest with integrity and who can promote accountability and anti-corruption in different spaces they are in.

About SIL

Originally known as the Summer Institute of Linguistics, SIL International has grown from a small training program (with two students) to a staff of over 4,800 from 84 countries.

Currently, SIL works alongside speakers of more than 1,700 languages in over 100 countries. The organization makes its services available to all without regard to religious belief, political ideology, gender, race, or ethnolinguistic background.

SIL has played a role in Uganda’s language development efforts since the early 1990s. The Ethnologue lists 41 living languages in Uganda including various languages of displaced people groups.

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