Once people have the Scriptures in a language they fully understand, that will continue to be a blessing for them for years. Bible translation keeps on giving results for years, many of which we will know nothing about. But here are some stories of the impact happening in eastern Congo. (Most of these stories come from our time in Congo. We are sure that we will have more to tell about Ghana and other countries after we move to Ghana in 2011.)
Practicing for the Jesus Film in Logoti
In preparation for recording the Jesus Film in the Logoti language, one member of the Logo translation team (pictured on below) traveled to nine different localities in this Logoti region to train voice actors. After doing the training he wrote us how God moved. Even as the voice actors practice their lines, taken directly from the Gospel of Luke, groups of men, women and youths gathered and were touched by God’s Word. Many gave professions of faith or have renewed their faith as a direct result of these rehearsals. Even some of the voice actors were so touched that rededicated their lives to Christ.
Translation of Luke
“In addition, the funds help us produce booklets in our language which help in literacy of all levels of the population. The [people] people are happy to read these booklets in their language. It is often quite a surprise for them. This prepared the way for the Gospel of Luke in [the language]. That Gospel is now used in churches, in Sunday schools, in prayer groups and in family meditations. In the translation office, we receive letters from people who testify of their edification in reading the Gospel of Luke which they understand because of the naturalness of the language much more than Swahili or French. So, without the translation, these [people] would lose the ability to understand the Word of God…”
(Note: The names of the translators and their language are not given and the photo is blurred because these translators work in the most troubled area of Congo and could be targeted by some groups.)
Training changed my mind
I am Pastor Lilenga. I took part in the training you gave with Rev. Kibuka. We were embarrassed because we were going through the difficult time during the war. I cannot tell you how much the lessons touched me. That is why I decided to lead the effort to translate and get the Jesus Film in my language, Topoke. The results are great. The message goes through. It is understood and many have given their lives to the Lord.
After the dedication of the Jesus film in the Budu language, the Budu people watched it over and over in lots of places. Within a month, all kinds of people, including women and even little children (who would have no other way of knowing what Jesus said) will bring up quotes of Jesus, using the exact words when situations arise to which they are relevant! In fact, this is becoming a frequent thing. People cut off from the Bible have been empowered to apply Jesus’ teachings to their lives and they are doing just that.
You don’t have to believe us. You can read on Ed’s blog what Christians in Ghana are saying about the effects of Bible translation done by one of Wycliffe’s partners, GILLBT. In the photo you see church leaders in Ghana praying for GILLBT’s director.
Join with us in helping Africans harness the power of their own languages for the transformations of their families and their society. Pray, give, or advocate with your friends or in your church. Let us know what you plan to do.