South Sudan:

Zande catechism and hymnal now available

November 2014 - Nearly 1.2 million Zande speakers in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic now have new materials they can use to learn more about God and to worship Him: Luther's Small Catechism with Explanation and the Zande Hymnal.

"It is another great joy for the ELCS/SS," writes Rev. Peter Anibati, a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sudan/South Sudan and lead Zande translator for LHF. "We thank the Lord for LHF which has made this possible. Please inform all those who have contributed towards this project and also extend our sincere appreciation to them."
Rev. Anibati is a South Sudanese man who was born into a Christian family, and he remembers the power of first reading the Small Catechism. 

"It was only in 1999 (the same year in which the Lutheran Church was started in our area) that I became a Lutheran through a friend who invited me to a Bible study at the Lutheran congregation in Yambio (a town in South Sudan)," Rev. Anibati said. "During the bible study, the evangelist taught the Ten Commandments from Luther’s Small Catechism.

"I got interested in the catechism because it changed my whole world and made me to understand the deeper meaning of being a Christian," he continued. "This little book is so powerful and has such a profound theology expressed in very simple understandable language. Thanks be to God that we have a full catechism now in Zande and thanks to all who support the church in Sudan and South Sudan!"

Although the catechism and a hymnal are now both available in the Zande and Nuer languages, additional translations are still needed in the languages of Sudan and South Sudan, including Acholi, Moru, Avukaya, Dinka, Bari, Balanda, and more. Eventually, Rev. Anibati's goal is to translate the complete Book of Concord. 

Rev. Anibati also stressed the importance of having books like the catechism and the hymnal available in the mother language of the people.

"LHF books are important to the church in Sudan and South Sudan because they are Biblical," he said. "They bring the Word of God, which gives life and salvation in the languages our people understand better. When our people read God’s Word in their own language, Christianity and Lutheranism no longer is perceived as being foreign but rather our religion, because people hear God speak to them in the language they were born speaking."

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