Sena is spoken by roughly 2 million people in the lower Zambezi valley. In response to a request for help from the Mozambique Bible Society, the translation of the New Testament began in 1995 with John and Barb Heins of Wycliffe Bible Translators working with Luis Nyazeze, a retired school teacher and senior pastor in the Nova Aliança Church. The team grew over the years with Silva Francisco, Arcanjo Branquinho and Jorge Bongece joining the team. In 2001 the team organized a local association to support the translation, PRODELISE. Jim and Virginia Vinton of Wycliffe joined the team in 2005. The Seed Co. became involved in supporting the program in 2005. Final consultant check and publication was handled by the Bible Society.
On March 21st Sena NT was dedicated in Beira. The Bible Society of Mozambique, Wycliffe and PRODELISE jointly put the celebration together. SIL and the Bible Society shared the cost and PRODELISE did all the organization and preparation. Pastor Bongece did an amazing job of putting together and coordinating everything. It was as formal a dedication event as I have participated in so far. The Governor of Sofala was represented at the event, as was the Mayor of Beira and the Provincial Director of Education. The Provincial Director of Justice was present with us. In the Governor’s address she boldly spoke of the of the transforming power of the Word of God and of the urgency of evangelization of the entire nation, even to the remote rural areas, for it is the gospel that changes lives, transforms society and invites peace and prosperity. These were indeed amazing and refreshing words and very appropriate to the occasion of the dedication of the Sena New Testament.
Five thousand copies of the Sena New Testament were printed by the Bible Society of Mozambique. There are 13 populous districts in three provinces where Sena is spoken. Over the years the PRODELISE team has had an active information campaign with the churches in these districts that was coupled with a scripture community verification plan. Now they are working on a plan to revisit these same groups of church leaders in the districts and ensure that the NT reaches the farthest corners and is sold out in as short a time as possible.
Thank you for your participation over these years in the support of the Sena translation team. It has been a long road, but now the New Testament is published and available and we are confident that God will bless and prosper it, that it will not return void but will perform the work for which is was intended.