And God Gave Us A Friend In Africa
Just a few weeks after we returned from two years of leading a church planting team in Vietnam, I found myself in Africa. I was asked to travel to Banfora, Burkina Faso to help build a story set with a CRU team from StoryRunners. Twenty-four Jula speakers, two westerners, and four African translators spent 6 weeks crafting 42 stories that would be used for evangelism and church planting in the western half of the country.
It was there that I first met Dieudonné Somé. Dieudnné was a pastor in the town of Banfora and a denominational leader with his community. When he first read Simple Truths for the New Believer, he and a friend stayed up all night translating it into French. He later would organize projects to put the book into Jula, Bwaba, Ceerma, and Pougouli.
During the Covid isolation, Dieudonné encouraged pastors in those four languages to use the book to teach their people in their homes. He was so successful that the books began to wear out from use and we helped raise funds for new and ‘stronger’ books. He also felt that the Ceerma and Pougouli translations could be improved, so he found the translators to do the edits and print new books in those languages as well. “Because,” he said, “I want the work to be excellent for the books are too useful.”
In a recent email, Dieudonné passed on these updates. Pastor Malo Samson, who edited the new Pougouli translation, sent this message.
“I am the one who translated the Simple Truth in my language. The book is very useful. It has been a blessing to my tribe. It helps us to know more about God. We don’t have any books in our language. We only have the New Testament. This book is a blessing.”
And this word from Ouattara Vincent.
“I am an elder in our local church. I read Simple Truth in French and Jula. I saw it as very rich. I would like if possible (that) this book be translated in my tribal language Dogosé,. We are an unreached people. And also Birifor and Lobiri, which are the largest languages in our denomination.
All of the languages that Ouatarra mentions are spoken, not only in Burkina Faso, but Ghana and the Ivory Coast as well. According to Dieudonné, he has received requests for translations from Mali, Niger, and Nigeria in the past year. We will be following up again in the next few days to help gather the resources to try to honor these requests.
We are thankful for all of you who have been so faithful in supporting Clear and Simple Media. We marvel at what God is doing with what we have offered him. God has done, and is doing things that continue to humble and surprise us. And one of the most remarkable things is that he has led us into relationships with some truly remarkable people – people like our friend Dieudonné.