True Tales Under the Mango Tree

Sambu was bone-tired. Dropping his heavy basket of rice shoots to the ground, he sat down under the mango tree, glad for a few minutes’ rest before dark.

“Do you have time to listen to a story?” called a visitor from the village path. “It’s in our own language, Jola-Felupe. It’s translated from the Christians’ book, called the Bible.”

“Sure! Come and join me,” answered Sambu, never too tired to hear a good story. Little did he realize this new story was to change his life!

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Sambu life was changed after hearing stories from the Bible in his mother tongue for the first time.

The storyteller was a local Bible translator working with a OneBook project. The story was about a tribe of people, called the Israelites, who followed a special God. This God gave them a command and a promise: leave their homeland and he would bless them with a new and better place to live. So the whole tribe travelled through a hot, dry land, not even knowing where they were going. One day, they made an image of a bull and worshipped it. This made sense to Sambu—he often did the same so local gods would protect his family. But in this story the God became very angry. He wanted the people to worship him differently.

After the visitor left, Sambu mulled the story over and over in his mind. He had to learn more! A few days later he found an excuse to visit the Bible translator’s office.

“Please, tell me more!” he said.

Sambu’s heart was changed that day when he met the strong, loving God who was not just the God of the Israelites, but of all people—including the Jola-Felupe of Guinea-Bissau!