Meet Paul, Isaac, Madhuri, and Eva, and discover how these local heroes in Africa and Asia are making a lasting impact in their communities with the help of Bible translation, mother-tongue literacy, and community development initiatives.
Paul is a youth pastor and evangelist who uses mother-tongue Scripture to share God’s message of salvation every chance he can get. He believes no one is too far from God’s grace.
Paul works as a “boda boda” driver, which means he spends his time driving passengers to their destinations on his motorbike. Most of the young men he works with are involved in crime and substance abuse and he witnesses a lot of brokenness. He is passionate about sharing the news of Jesus to those who are lost.
For many years he encountered countless opportunities to share the gospel, but Paul was frustrated. The people he worked and interacted with day-to-day were very busy, preoccupied with supporting their families and battling poverty. In his community, he knew a short conversation was effective when communicating any message. The problem was, he had no access to Bible verses in Kabras, and no time to translate Scripture to those he encountered throughout his day. Sharing the life-giving words of the gospel became an enormous task.
However, an encounter with a passenger changed his life—and, subsequently, the lives he went on to impact. As he was dropping a woman off at her destination, he noticed the building she was walking into read: “Kabarasi Bible Translation.” Eagerly, he asked her for more information. She brought him the translated Gospel of Luke and a literacy primer to help him learn how to read Kabras, his language. “I will be reading this book to my wife!” he said with a smile as he tucked the precious books into his jacket.
Every night he practiced reading and went over the Gospel of Luke in Kabras multiple times. With God’s Word in in his language, he never had to miss an opportunity to share the gospel again.
Equipped with the Gospel of Luke in his hands, with stories of healing and with the famous teachings of Jesus, he organized a small group of boda boda drivers. Paul read them a passage from the Gospel of Luke each day and together they discussed the words they had read. The meetings took less than ten minutes, and then they would go off to work.
Today, Paul has access to 16 books of the Bible in the Kabras Scripture App. He is free to evangelize the way he knows best to people who need encouragement. “There is a lot of work to do in God’s vineyard,” says Paul.
Isaac is a storyteller who spreads news of God’s power to other Njen speakers.
Isaac was always sick as a child, and his parents took him to many hospitals to find a cure. They also went to traditional healers in the community who would apply cold mud and herbs to his body to try to ward off the evil spirits, but nothing healed him. As a young man, he believed there was no remedy powerful enough to help him.
One Sunday morning, as he sat in church out of habit, he heard a story. It was the story of Jesus healing a woman who had suffered from hemorrhages for many years. No one had been able to help her, until she came to Jesus. The next Sunday, he found himself listening intently to the sermon. Over time, he heard many more stories of Jesus healing the sick—even raising a man from the dead! The Scripture was not in Njen, his language, but he could understand the basic message: Jesus had the power to heal, and he did heal.
After hearing the stories, Isaac decided to visit all the pastors in the village. He wanted them to pray for him and ask Jesus to heal his sickness. Hearing Isaac’s urgent request, one of the pastors taught him how to pray. He told Isaac that he could talk to God anytime and tell him everything on his heart. God would listen. Thanking the kind pastor, Isaac left the church feeling a strength that he had never felt before. Then, he poured out his heart to God, asking for healing. Miraculously, his strength grew, his symptoms stopped plaguing him, and his heart was full of joy.
As he built a relationship with God, his heart burned to share with others the same stories that had led him to Jesus. One day, he heard that church leaders in his community were looking for people to be trained as oral Bible storytellers. Isaac jumped at the opportunity. With the help of oral storytelling consultants from the Ring Road project, he learned a few techniques and crafted stories from Scripture in his heart language, Njen.
Equipped with training and mother-tongue Bible stories, Isaac is now joyfully bringing stories of hope to his neighbours in their own language, helping them experience the power and love of God.
Madhuri and Eva were the first Christians in their village. They stood strong in their faith against persecution and have led many people to Christ.
Madhuri and his wife, Eva, are Christians that live in a remote Warka village. For many years they did not know the Bible well or many of Jesus’ teachings because there was no Warka Bible and no church in their village, but they knew Jesus. Missionaries had introduced Him to their community many years ago.
As hostility towards Christianity began to rise in their region, the couple began to fear for their lives.
One evening, the persecution they dreaded came to their doorstep. Outside their house, a threatening mob of men and women were beckoning them outside. Fear pierced the hearts of Madhuri and Eva as they stepped out the door. When they faced the crowd, the gathered people demanded they renounce Jesus, but, with an inexplicable peace washing over them, Madhuri and Eva said they would not leave Christ their Saviour.
To their surprise, the crowd did not revolt against them in anger. The mob began to slowly dissipate instead, leaving villagers peeking from their windows in awe. That night, and in the days following the event, many villagers came to Madhuri and Eva saying they too believed in Jesus because of the couple’s faith and courage.
Madhuri and Eva continued to share their faith with the new believers in the Warka village, but they were hungry for more information about Jesus. So, when a few Warka Bible translators showed up to their village, discreetly sharing Warka Scripture with those that had come to faith, Madhuri and Eva were overjoyed. They heard their Saviour speak directly to them for the first time.
The couple continued to share their faith with the new believers in the Warka village, but they were hungry to know more about Jesus. So, when a few Warka Bible translators visited to their village, discreetly sharing Warka Scripture with those that had come to faith, Madhuri and Eva were overjoyed. They heard their Saviour speak directly to them for the first time.
As Warka project staff continue to visit the village and hold meetings to encourage believers, sometimes under the cover of night, the faith community in the village is being strengthened and is inspiring younger generations.
Pseudonyms have been used to protect identities in sensitive areas.