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Life and ministry
Lundström and Ezra Gebremedhin, Kenisha, p. 314
[adapted from material given by his grandson, Herui Tedla Bairu]:
“[p. 314] Mr. Bairu Uqbit was born in Gheremi — an Adi commune just fifteen kilometres from the capital city, Asmara. He had a great yearning for modern education early in his life. Swedish missionaries had a school in Asmara with which the young Bairu wished to associate himself […].
Mr. Bairu built a family of nine children with Mrs. Haregeweini, the daughter of Qeshi Tekle [Tesfa-Kristos] — one of the founders of the Evangelical Church of Eritrea. In matters of church activities Mr. Bairu was a member of the Synod — where he advocated that Christmas and Easter should be celebrated in accordance to the Ethiopian traditions.
Mr. Bairu was also a driving force in the struggle to eradicate illiteracy; among the intellectual achievements of Mr. Bairu, the translation of John Bunyan’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ in 1926, and his translation of the early New Testament in collaboration with Emebet Elsie [Winqvist], in 1934, are worth noting.
Mr. Bairu also translated several songs in the Tigrinya Book of Hymns.”
Hymns in song books
Mäzmur sälam (1923)
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[adapted from photograph at SEM Archives]
Bunyan, John. Mägäddi Kristian [_ _ _, Pilgrim’s Progress], tr. Bairu Uqbit. Asmara: Swedish Mission Press, 1934.
Lundström, Karl Johann (ed. Ezra Gebremedhin). Kenisha: The Roots and Development of The Evangelical Church of Eritrea (ECE) 1866-1935. Trenton, NJ: Red Sea Press; Uppsala: SEM, 2011. [See esp. p. 314-15, 416, 484]