We (as an organization) are increasingly finding opportunities to help projects in neighboring francophone countries like C.A.R., which I find very encouraging. Last year I had the opportunity to meet with a pastor from DRC to discuss possibilities for work there. With that in mind, I am sharing a great story about a recent Bible dedication there:
Three New Testaments celebrated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
— Jon Hampshire, SIL-Eastern Congo Group Acting Director
March 2016 was an exciting month for all of those who have been a part of the Bible translation task in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). We celebrated as three language groups—Ndruna, Mayogo, and Logo, received their New Testaments. All three of these New Testaments were completed as a result of God’s grace, through times of deep challenge and difficulty.
The Ndruna ceremony took place in the town of Gety. Thousands of people came and stood for hours in the sun to see the presentation of the New Testament in their heart language. That area is still insecure due to banditry and militia groups, and those traveling to the dedication from the town of Bunia required a UN escort. But the celebration took place! And now the books are being distributed in the entire Ndruna-speaking area.
The Mayogo project director gave a speech on the importance, and the huge challenge, of Bible translation. Despite the great turmoil of war and insecurity during the translation process and the death of one of the beloved translators, his talk was upbeat and full of joy. The Mayogo people can now understand God’s Words in their heart language.
And the Logo project faced significant obstacles as well. Like the other two projects, the Logo translators worked through war and insecurity. At one point a violent storm blew through and lightning struck the project office destroying equipment. Two translators and a literacy worker died during the span of the project (which took more than 25 years). And there was great sadness when the daughter of the SIL member working in the project passed away just a few months before the dedication service. Still, God was praised during the celebration! That same SIL member was able to proclaim, “This book is a living testimony of God’s faithfulness and love toward the Logo people.” Then he went on to challenge them asking, “Now what will be your response?”
We praise God for these New Testaments and we look to Him for His provision and protection in the work that is currently taking place in several languages. We seek His wisdom and direction, together with many partners, as we look at more than 120 language groups in the DRC that are still waiting.
-Originally written by Jon Hampshire; Shared with permission from SIL, Africa, 2016.