Let There Be Light

Light has finally dawned on the Bamasaaba.

The full translation of the complete Bible in Lumasaaba was completed in December 2016.  After surmounting many obstacles, we finally began the audio recording of the Lumasaaba Old Testament.  It is absolutely amazing to feel the powerful anointing of God in the studio as Rev. Milton Eridad Shissa reads.  The tongue twisting words and phrases float lightly off his tongue.  Of course Rev. Shissa has spent the last 13 years of his life working on the translation.  So when it came time to read for audio recording, he was the natural choice.

Lumasaaba is the mother tongue of over three million people in Easter Uganda. The people group is called Bamasaaba, but sometimes they are erroneously referred to as Bagisu (therefore speaking Lugisu). Lumasaaba is a one of the Bantu languages of Uganda.


Rev. Shissa has such a passion for the Word, that he agreed to do the readings for free.  With just a bit of pocket money from Open Chapel International which allows him to put fuel in his car, Rev. Shissa comes to the studio three days a week.

While Rev. Shissa reads, Catherine Mabongor sits at the computer.  They are using Audio Audition software and equipment donated by Audio Scripture Ministries.  Catherine is not a native Lumasaaba speaker, but God in his infinite mercy allows her to edit the recordings.  The edited version is then proofed by Rev. Shissa before it goes to the Audio Production team for final verification of accuracy.  They are looking for a reading that is true to the text and brings out the meaning and intonation of the language.  The team also checks for hidden background noise or technical errors in editing.

Catherine and Rev. Shissa often talk during breaks and he shares his experiences in translating the Bible into Lumasaaba with the Bible Society of Uganda.  He has traveled extensively and met many interesting people along the way.  He also has a Masters Degree in Psychology and teaches at the university level.   Because of this, he loves to discuss the Bamasaaba culture.  Rev. Shissa able to explain and clarify many things for Catherine who is married to Pastor Shem Mabongor (the leader of Open Chapel International and a native Bamasaaba).

Below, you can hear Genesis 1:1-5, The First Day of Creation read in the language of Lumasaaba.

Interesting tid-bits:

Longest word so far: baakikhaabisanilakho they argued among themselves.  It is found in Genesis 26:21 where Jacobs men argued with the neighbors over a well.

Main reason for recording errors: Roosters crowing in the background!

Most difficult chapter to read so far: Exodus 28, which goes into extreme detail describing the priestly garments.

If you have a question for either Catherine Mabongor or Rev. Shissa please use the comments section to ask and we’ll do our best to answer.  And also be sure to share this page with a friend.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Let us know what you think: