The Kalenjin are an ethnic group from the Nile Valley region of Kenya. According to the last Kenyan census in 2009, there are around 4.9 million Kalenjin people, the third highest ethnic group in the country. Now, because of the work of the Bible Society of Kenya, more than 3 million Kalenjin speakers have access to the Bible in their heart language. “My fellow translators and I worked tirelessly for seven years to put together this Bible,” said one of the Kalenjin translators. “It is such a privilege to see it being unveiled … May it bring positive transformation to everyone who will read it.”

A cause for celebration

The Bible launch took place in the town of Eldoret, which is known for producing many famous athletes. In keeping with this town’s proud sporting heritage, the launch saw 3 local athletes run with the Bible. This is a symbol that the Kalenjin speakers are ready to run to share the Bible with their community and the world.

Kalenjin speaker and grandmother Mary Choge Soi said at the event: “Today I go home a happy woman. Seeing that I now have the Bible … in my language makes my heart to rejoice. I can’t wait to go through it page by page as I grow deeper in my faith in God. I will be reading it to my grandchildren and, with time, buy them a copy.”

“Seeing that I now have the Bible … in my language makes my heart to rejoice.”

A breakthrough

This is a breakthrough for the Kalenjin people who, despite having a common Kalenjin language Bible since 1969, have found this revised version to be a more comprehensive translation, updated with modern words that are now easy to understand.

“This Bible couldn’t have come in a timelier manner. I am happy that today I received a Bible that I can identify with and understand well,” said Teresa Tunge, a Kalenjin speaker at the event. “I pray that with the knowledge in this Word, I will continue to be a role model to my children and their children and that I may inspire them to study the Word of God in my language.”

“This Bible couldn’t have come in a timelier manner.”

The next steps

While the launch of the Revised Kalenjin Bible is an opportunity for celebration and thanksgiving to God, it is also a reminder that there is still work to be done. There are 53 language groups in Kenya, of which 21 now have complete Bibles, 15 have New Testaments and 7 have Portions of Scripture, but there are still 11 that are without any Bible translation.

Pray for the Bible Society of Kenya – thank God for their hard work which has brought a modern version of the Bible to the Kalenjin people. Pray for wisdom for the staff as they attempt to reach out to the many who have not yet heard the Bible in their heart language.