05 October 2010

Dedication of the Bible in Cebaara of Korhogo

As I sit here after 2 hours of speeches, songs, sermons and prayer I can't help but think of how faithful God has been to us and to the Senoufo people in allowing us to see this day. Just yesterday I was able to buy a case of Bibles fresh off the press for re-distribution to those we know who read this language. As we listened to Pastor Dossongomon read the list of all of those who have collaborated in the translation of the Bible I could not help but think of the faithfulness of God towards us through the faithful efforts of his people. As he read through the list of those individuals who had contributed to this accomplishment he had to stop several times to let us know that many of them where no longer among the living. Among those who are still living, very few could even be at the Dedication. None of our WorldVenture colleagues, who had had a hand in guiding the translation team during the past 40 years, could be here today.

We were informed that the Cebaara Bible is only the 3rd Bible to have been entirely translated since translations have been happening in Côte d'Ivoire. This is not only a religious event but a social and cultural event which elevates the Cebaara language to the ranks of languages which have a Bible!

As the Pastor Soungalo shared, language is the soul of a people and for some reason God in His grace has permitted and made it possible that the Gospel be heard and told in multiple languages of the world. From the day of Pentecost to today, telling the Story in the mother tongue has been an important aspect of what it is to be a follower of Jesus. On that day in Jerusalem people from around the world gathered for other reasons, heard about why Christ had suffered and how He had risen from the dead. Soungalo pointed out the Pentecost was a divine reversal of the confusion created at the Tower of Babel so many thousands of years earlier.

The best part of the ceremony was when the organizers called on a young girl 14 years of age and had her read from Deuteronomy 6.1-10. As I sat there and listened I could not help but think that this is the main reason for all of this noise, to hear God's Word ring out at this gathering of well over 5000 people. As the fete came to a close and the last prayer was prayed we streamed down from our seats out onto the parade grounds and began to dance in praise to the God who allowed this day to be. I think there will rarely be a day like this, this side of Glory where we will find so much joy and unity at hearing God speak.

As the celebration came to a close and we spoke with so many friends and acquaintances it was with tears in our eyes realizing that the years of faithful service has come to this. To see the eyes of those who read Cebaara light-up as they read passages they have always read in Bambara or French is a rewarding experience and one we hope to see repeated often in our fellowships.

God has done an amazing thing to allow us to see this day. Our prayer is that we will be able to practice what the whole Word of God teaches in our context of Côte d'Ivoire. God is faithful and this day we have witnessed that He is all of that and more!
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