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For those of us who are English speakers, we take it for granted that a massive amount of literature is available in our language.

Take the Bible. Not only do we have it in our language, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to different versions.

Recently I went on this trip to Mozambique, where, despite there being a large Christian population, they do not have so many Bibles to choose from.

The main indigenous language spoken in the country is Makhuwa. Although there is a Makhuwa Bible, it's not being as widely used as you might expect. Why? First, although Makhuwa is classified as one language, it has four variants which are not entirely mutually understandable. This means many cannot fully understand the Bible, either. Second, a lot of the population cannot read or write. The culture is predominantly oral.

Enter Wycliffe Bible Translators, who have long been among those seeking to cross these language divides through translation initiatives. Wycliffe and partners are looking to start oral translations into the Makhuwa variants to make it accessible to the many people who cannot benefit fully from the existing translations. I was part of the team that got to talk to local religious leaders and document the need for a new translation there.

Below, my journey in Mozambique:

Mozambique is a land of great jagged mountains made of sheer rock that rise up out of lush greenery.

It has infinite white beaches and turquoise oceans dotted with interesting buildings and vessels.

The lifestyle is simple, but there are a lot of smiles to be seen.

People work hard. These men get up at 2am and travel up to 60km per day to get their coal to market by daybreak. These shots were taken in aid of Wycliffe’s Cycle Team, who will be riding the 947 Cycle challenge for the Makhuwa translation. If you're interested in joining (this year or any year), go to

We went to this tiny little church in a village near Nampula town. Made of straw and mud, this is the happy congregation.

There is a Makhuwa and Portuguese Bible available, but most of the service is spent singing, sharing testimonies and preaching, as the rural Makhuwa people are still predominantly an oral culture.

“This new version of the translation, I think it will help much more, not only me but the whole community, because when we listen to the word of God in our own language we don't need somebody again to translate for us. We understand clearly, and this will help everybody to grow spiritually.” – Pastor Baptiste

Prayer sessions were also scattered throughout the service.

There was a lot of laughter, smiles, joy and a strong sense of community in the church.

Hopefully it won’t be long until small rural churches like this one are able to use the oral translations.

For more about the work of Wycliffe South Africa, visit

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