TRAGEDY for Christians of Africa . . . But also HOPE!
The countries of East Africa are frequently in the news. Fierce fighting and extreme violence—military takeovers, tribal skirmishes, and full-scale wars. Suffocating poverty fueled by famine and drought is also taking lives. And the persecution of Christians is rampant in many regions.
But reading about such horrors in news articles is very different than reading them in emails from the Bible translation partners with whom we work and pray with each day.
A small pool of Christians surrounded by an ocean of Muslims
One of our translation teams in East Africa is a minority people group in Kenya—they are actively translating the Bible into the Burji language.
The dangers these Christians are facing are enormous and include “persecution, opposition, and torture from the Muslim members of our community. They vandalize our property and churches and even kill the transformed Christians who are spreading the Good News,” said one of the translators.
But astoundingly, translation work continues! The sharing of faith continues! And people are coming to faith in Christ! He says, “Besides all the challenges we’re facing, we are so confident and have great courage in continuing to spread the good news of Christ amongst the Burji community and to other communities.”
“God speaks our language!”
The translated Word is also sparking a wave of evangelism amongst the Waata, Sanye, and Goshi people—and many other places where Bible translation projects are under way.
As Bible translation teams launch their projects, locals are curious to see and hear the newly translated Scriptures. So they gather and listen, observing the joy of the translators who are finally seeing and holding God’s Word in a language where it never existed before!
And as communities hear the life-giving word of God, the seeds of faith are planted in their hearts. People come to know Jesus as their Savior and then join translation teams because they can see their lives are being transformed by His Word!
Even among men and women who were born and raised in Muslim communities, who have always practiced traditional worship, the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is being wholeheartedly embraced. They are starving for His love, and the word of God is giving them sustenance in a language that they never believed God spoke! Here are just a few examples of how God is moving through His Word.
Dhaboo Pepureki comes to faith in Christ
For 90 years, Dhaboo had known only the worship of idols and bondage to demonic forces. But all that changed when the tools and training to launch a Bible translation project were given to a small but dedicated team of Christians in his remote part of Kenya. Word spread among the Sanye people as God’s Word began coming to life for the first time in history. And when Dhaboo encountered the truth of the Scriptures in his own heart language, he too was transformed!
“We shall translate the whole Bible!” Dhaboo cried. “We want our people to be set free! Now we know: Only knowing God through His Word—only God—can save us!”
Words of thanks from the R* Community
“We are thanking the Lord for His grace and mercies that have seen us chosen and engaged in translation of the Bible to our mother language. It’s been a great blessing to us as the translators and entire R* society at large. The Bible translation exercise has given us an opportunity to engage more in the Holy Scriptures, and this has given us a deeper understanding and revelation of the Word of God.
“Our community has a huge Muslim population, but this program has strengthened the church in our community and brought talk between the two groups… we are seeing great interest in Christ from Muslims.”
The Ribe Community rejoices as God’s Word comes to life!
“We are so humbled and honored to be part of Bible translation… God has held us through the process, and we are so happy to share the goodness of Bible translation to the rest of the world.
“Because of the new understanding of Scriptures, Muslims can’t challenge our faith. We understand our faith better and who we have believed in; we know by the time we finish the whole Bible, revival shall have broken out in the community.”
More Language Groups Are Waiting For God’s Word!
In regions of East Africa where no one has ever seen a Bible in their own heart language, our brothers and sisters in dozens of language groups are asking only for tools and training so they can translate the Scriptures and share God’s Word with their people. To provide those resources for two of the most immediately needed translation projects will cost $39,000.
Please make a gift today to equip national Bible translators with the technology and training they need to translate and share God’s Word with their people… in some of the most difficult and dangerous places on Earth.