What Are The Right Words – Katterhenrich Family Update

“… and you will have a father’s farm in heaven” – Mark 10:21

At our recent reviewers meeting, while testing Mark 1-12, we were discussing how we would translate the word for “treasure”, meaning great wealth that you keep safe.

To translate this, the translators have used the word Ɨchipa. Literally it means “the father’s farm”. In each Bungu family, the father will have a plot of land that he and the family farm on. When the harvest comes, the father will keep the crops or money that come from this plot. Only the father decides how to use this portion, but if great needs arise, he will always have this saved so that he can help his family or neighbors. This will become like a savings account for the family. Over time, the word has come to be used for any sort of savings that is stored up.

When we give to those in need, we trade in what we have already been given for a greater treasure that only our Father can provide.

One of the greatest challenges in our translation work is finding suitable words. Every language has different vocabulary, and things don’t match up 1:1. Since we’re working on our first book of the New Testament, there are so many keyterms to check. For example:


  • The name of Satan: Can we use the name of one of the Bungu evil spirits? They share similar qualities, but whether we use the Bungu word or borrow from Swahili, there will be some confusion.
  • In Bungu, to believe = to agree. This is understood in most verses, but we have to be careful that we don’t confuse the readers and create difficult ambiguities.
  • Worker, servant, slave. Bungu only has words for worker and slave, so we have to carefully check every use of servant to see which word fits the context.

…and much more…

Reading, writing, and typing

That’s Dafrosa. For some time she has been our unofficial spell checker, but now she is officially the new Bungu literacy and scripture engagement coordinator. She will help teach people to read and write Bungu and to engage the community in using the Scriptures in their churches and daily lives. Pray for her as she gets used to her new role and to using a computer, and that she would have the confidence she needs to jump into her new role.

Fixer upper


I recently met a shoe maker (cobbler). He explained to me all about how they skin, cure and treat the leather, from cow (or goat) to shoe. Here he is carving some rubber feet for a bedframe.


We have been spending a lot of time with handymen recently, fixing up things around our house which is very old.  Niko the handyman is fixing the boards which hold the water tank for our house. They had been completely destroyed by termites and water damage. 


Big little kids

Scott is now 18 months old. He’s running, climbing, and if you come to visit, be careful, because he will definitely try on your shoes and wear them around the house. If you ask him a question, he’ll always reply with “Yeah!” Hope is 4 1/2 and starting to read. She made Letter People to practice the letter sounds, and she practices sight words on the computer with her Mama each day. She’s starting to sound out words and is becoming a sweet teacher for her little brother.

“And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”

Every Thursday night, we have dinner and Bible study with some of our friends and colleagues. We’ve been reading through the book of Acts. One of the most interesting parts has been to see what those first Christians did with this Good News they had been entrusted with. What would they do differently? How would people respond to the message?

Some reacted with hostility. Others responded with open hearts, like Lydia in Philippi (Ch. 16) and the believers in Berea (Ch. 17).

One particular story that stood out to me was in Acts 11. The Good News was initially preached to the Jews, but many Greeks / Gentiles began accepting the message too, and each time God was confirming to the disciples that these were true followers of Christ. When word arrived that there would be a famine, the believers in Antioch, many of whom where non-Jews, took up a collection to help their fellow believers in Jerusalem. Their generosity, fueled by their newfound faith, crossed over ethnic and geographic boundaries to help those who were in need.

In our work here in Tanzania, we have not experienced famine; we have been well provided for. But we witness daily the struggles of Tanzanians and the local Church. It is difficult for us to express the joy we have in knowing that so many people are supporting this work to help Tanzanians to understand the Good News in their mother-tongue. We thank God for you.

For more information on Stephen and Rachel Katterhenrich’s work as NALC Global Workers with Wycliffe Bible Translators, or for anyone who would like to help us serve the people of Tanzania through Bible translation, please visit: The Great Commission Society.  Thank you again to everyone who is has given so that we can serve your brothers and sisters.

2 Replies to “What Are The Right Words – Katterhenrich Family Update”

  1. I am 78 years old and was married by Rev. E. J. Katterhenrich in Bucyrus, Ohio in 1960. Is he a relative of Stephen and Rachel?

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