Translation #45 underway: Somali
November 5-9, 2019, Clear and Simple Media attended the Converge International Ministries Latin and North America Regional Conference in Puntarenas, Costa Rica. The gathering brought missionaries from many parts of the Western Hemisphere together for a time of vision casting and connecting as friends and colleagues.
We were asked to make a presentation of the work of Clear and Simple Media during three break-out sessions. After each presentation, we engaged in conversations with missionaries who were involved in some very innovative and bold projects. Our hope was that our resources might be able to help them accomplish their ministry goals. Following one of our presentations, we had one conversation that was particularly interesting.
Attending the conference were two couples who are based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They work with the Converge “From Scattered to Gathered Initiative.” This new ministry being launched in Minneapolis/St. Paul has as its goal to be catalysts to the churches there and help them begin effective ministries to the more than 500,000 immigrants in Minnesota. Their projects will target various ethnic and cultural groups who are settling in the Twin Cities as part of the global diaspora. While they will eventually be engaging with Buddhists, Hindus, and secularists as well, their initial target group with be the Muslims who are a part of the Somali community.
Government estimates put the number of Somalis in the Greater Minneapolis area at between 40,200 and 52,400. Some from the Somali community put the number as high as 80,000. At one point, the largest concentration of Somalis lived in Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, particularly newly arrived immigrants. Today, Somalis may be found residing throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan area.
As is the case in Somalia, the vast majority of Somalis in Minnesota are Muslim. Many are working hard to retain the use of the Somali language in their homes. There is also a concerted effort to retain the use of the language in many of the Somali small businesses that have developed in the Twin Cities. It is Somalis like these who form the initial focus group for the “From Scattered to Gathered Initiative.”
In the days that followed, we enjoyed multiple conversations with our new friends (whose names we have been asked not to use in this article). It soon became clear that the books and material available on our delivery websites would be a helpful tool for their ministry. “If only” we had the “little book” in Somali.
Simple Truths for the New Believer was first published in English in 2006. Since then it has been translated into 44 different languages. This week, we began work on translation number 45. Please pray pray for the work of the “From Scattered to Gathered Initiative.” And pray for the translators as they work to have the Somali translation of Simple Truths ready for field-testing by the end of January 2020.