Have you ever wondered what if no one ever translated the Bible into your language? How would you know about God? Would you sense He loves you? Could you experience His saving grace with no Bible to read? Would you think: does God even speak my language?
While in Kenya last month on a partner tour with OneBook leaders Rachel Gammell and Dave Duncan, we heard a story:
A young pastor prayed in his native Sabaot language at a pastor’s gathering. A senior pastor followed with a prayer “apologizing” to God that this young man prayed in a language that was not the official language of the nation. Later the young man wondered if God spoke Sabaot?
The Kenyan leaders at BTL (Bible Translation and Literacy) East Africa (OneBook’s Kenyan partner) believe that all tribal languages in Kenya, indeed throughout Africa, need the Word in their mother tongue. They have strategic and ambitious plans to reach this target. What a great vision! May God bless all their efforts!
We were in Kenya to attend the Dedication service of the Full Sabaot Bible, the end product of 32 years of translation and literacy work. OneBook and The Gideons in Canada partnered to bring this project to completion. The work was engineered by BTL people on the ground, and they did an excellent job!
It was moving to see the excitement of the Sabaot worshippers as they welcomed the books that had so changed their lives. The Dedication service was planned for 1500 people. Over 4000 showed up, some walking for hours to be present in the hot African sun. One Bishop, with tears in his eyes, said: Now we know God speaks our language! It was a powerful day!
Some 4 years ago, tribal strife in the area of Eldoret and Mount Elgon was so great that over 100 people were killed in a terrible attack. Now, just 4 years later, the Sabaot are at peace with their enemies, and believe the Word of God in their language is the major reason for the difference. The Spirit of God uses His Word to change hearts.
That is why such work is so worthy of your support! I know that I will support OneBook and BTL in the future for this critical work in the Kingdom of God.
Dr. Gordon & Sue Balfour
Chief Business Officer
The Gideons International In Canada