Bibles are available in Swahili, but a full Bible is expensive and thus, not available to the masses. When you only make about 300 shillings a day ($3) and most of that goes to household expenses, you’re not going to go out and buy a 900 shilling Bible. It’s almost an impossibility for the average villager to save up enough money to buy a full Bible if they have pressing family responsibilities.
Though Kingdom Driven Ministries would love to see everyone have their own Bible, we also know that without some “skin in the game,” if you will, a Bible freely given is likely going to sit on a shelf as a showpiece, collecting dust. Thus, it has generally been our policy to give Bibles only to those who have surrendered to Christ, repented of their sins, and been baptized into new life. We encourage all new disciples to take the study of the Scriptures seriously for their own spiritual growth.
We have partners who help us buy Bibles, but the cost has even given us pause. For a while, we were able to buy New Testaments, as opposed to full Bibles, and this seemed a good solution. New Testaments were more economical and, as a friend of ours has said, a New Testament lets people “meet Jesus on the first page.” However, this changed recently when the Kenya Bible Society stopped publishing its New Testament.
After some conversations with ministry partners, we decided to embark on a New Testament publication project. We found an open-source Swahili translation online, but it needed work–it had some errors, and was in fact missing the book of Philippians! With a micro-loan secured to pursue the project, we hired a well-recommended translator, who polished up the open source text and translated Philippians, primarily from the NASB. With review, and a faux-leather cover design completed, the Swahili New Testaments were near-complete.
We organized with a Nairobi-based printer for a print run of 3,000 Bibles–that gave us the best price for a quantity that would fit in a limited storage space. Must admit, picking them up in a mini-van had us worried about the weight after we realized just what a quantity of 3,000 New Testaments looks like!
Bible distribution is an ongoing work of KDM, and with your partnership we are able to do more! If you would like to contribute to this aspect of the ministry, visit www.kingdomdriven.org/donate. A donation earmarked toward “The Great Commission” can be used for Bible distribution, or note “Bibles” during the checkout process. Many thanks to all of our partners who help us get the Word out!