My name is Kelly Nicholls. I am an American, married to an Australian, and we have three children ages seven, six, and three.
We work in Bible translation. We have been serving in Tanzania in the town of Musoma on Lake Victoria since our oldest was six months old. A fun fact is that God first called me to Bible translation in Africa when I was six. This calling was repeated when I was 18 and a freshman in college as well as given to my now-husband. This was one of the big deciding factors in us getting together. We finally got the “it’s time” when I was 22 and so we did our training, got our assignment, and arrived on the field shortly before my 25th birthday. There is a fairly large group of global workers here along with Tanzanian colleagues translating the Bible into eight local languages. Our project also works in mother-tongue literacy, linguistics/dictionary making, vernacular media (recordings, Jesus film, etc.), and Scripture use (assisting churches to use the translated Scriptures, Bible study curriculum, etc.).
My husband coordinates the translation department as well as advises for the Kwaya language team. I work from home doing member care part-time, mostly hospitality, for the many visitors to the project who come as consultants or to run training workshops. I also do orientation to our area for the new global workers and help them get settled into life here. I am a stay-at-home mom and help out as needed at the learning center we have set up with two full-time teachers for all our MKs.
Please pray for many more Tanzanian Christians in our area to be excited about Scripture in their heart languages, especially pastors, who are so used to using Swahili Scriptures. In the villages, there are many people unable to understand services and Scriptures in Swahili and those who can, struggle to see God as a personal God because they can’t relate to Him in the language they speak.
Pray for noticeable transformation in the lives of Christians in our area. Many people here add Christianity onto animism and don’t ever seem to pursue a relationship with God or even know it’s possible. Many churches preach bondage to works-based salvation out of fear that if they reveal that God saved mankind by grace through faith, people would have no incentive to behave themselves. We know from Scripture that it is exactly the opposite since Titus 2:12 describes God’s grace as the thing that teaches us to deny ungodliness and Ephesians 2:10 says that we are now God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared ahead of time for us. Knowing what God has done for them and who there are in Christ is critical for personal transformation and for the spread of the gospel!
Pray for our family as we head off for furlough and all the transition that it entails. All three kids will be in school or preschool. Our last furlough was when our kids were four, two, and being born. Also, we enjoy the rare blessing of a strong spiritual support network here in Musoma, so we will miss that for nine months.