By Danjuma Auta
Christians from different denominations gathered at the premises of the Nigeria Bible Translation Trust(NBTT) in Jos to celebrate its 45 years of existence in Nigeria with glowing tributes to one of its key pioneers, Dr. Francis Akanu Ibiam, one-time Chairman, Council for the Translation of the Bible in Nigeria.
General Oversea and Chief Shepherd, Throne Room Kafanchan, Apostle Nuhu Kure, charged the Church to do God’s work as the night comes when no one will be able to do kingdom work.
He said that believers were living in difficult times where the work of translating the Bible was becoming more hectic and hazardous.
He disclosed that most major world languages like Hebrew, Greek and English were still alive today because they were printed and called on all tribes in Nigeria to be involved in Bible and language teaching and translation so as to keep their tribes alive.
Guest speaker at the occasion and Primate of the Presbyterian Church, His Eminence, Nzie Nsi Eke, represented by Very Rev. Patrick Okechukwu, called on Christians to always remember history because it is the basis for understanding the secret of success in life.
Taking his reading from Mathew.1:1-17, he thanked NBTT for remembering the giant contributions of Ibiam whom he described as a great transformer and evangelist who moved the gospel forward in his home community and Nigeria at large.
The Chairman, Board of Directors and Trustees of NBTT, Rev. Dauda Jimra, thanked God for the achievements so far made and disclosed that NBTT was still working in partnership with churches and well-meaning individuals in translating and printing the scriptures in different languages.
He applauded the efforts of NBTT founding members and assured that the present Board would continue to build on the foundation already laid to make the body more effective and efficient.
In her address, the Executive Director, NBTT, Mrs. Patience Marcus Toma, expresses gratitude to God and all well-wishers for making the event a success one and disclosed that the 2021 event was unique because it was celebrating Dr. Ibiam for the efforts he made towards the growth of the organization.
She added that the organization was trying to see that every community had the scripture translated in their own language hence their resolve to intensify efforts of field surveyors and reopened its language training session for translators, pastors and members of the public interested in Hebrew, Greek and other languages.
She revealed that the proceeds of the endowment fund would be channeled towards literacy training to encourage reading translated Bibles and other materials.
Highlight of the event included Bible recitation by Hyam language project, display of translated Bibles facilitated by NBTT, song renditions by COCIN Choir Abattoir and the endowment fund launch.