“…but then face to face.”
AFRICA Part Four
Everyone who goes overseas for missions knows what I am about to say. No matter how advanced communication technology is today, there are some things that you cannot say or know unless you are in a room, present with someone. I think Paul may have had that in mind when he penned that phrase in 1 Corinthians 13, “Now we see through a mirror dimly, but then face to face.”
Last week, I was sitting in a café in Ouagadougou with my friend Nebié. He, among other responsibilities, has helped CRU manage multiple Jesus Film projects in Burkina Faso. He tells me that CRU has completed the film in two new languages: Nuni and Sissala. Nuni is a Gur language mainly spoken in Burkina Faso, while Sissala(Sisaala) is spoken in Burkina and Northern Ghana. The film has gone through quality control (CRU has a well-developed process) and will be shown in multiple locations for the first time in late December.
As Nebié and I talked about the challenges of using a tool like the Jesus Film and the obstacles to effective follow-up, an idea ‘struck’ him. He immediately went to his phone and sent a WhatsApp message to someone. When he returned his attention to our conversation, he said, “We can get the little book translated into Nuni and Sissala and use it when we show the film next month.”
While that is possible, I wondered aloud if it were plausible. Simple Truths for the New Believer and its more brief version, God’s Story, Our Story are short. Still, it takes a while for a competent translator to produce a first draft. To field test the work also takes time. But as we spoke and WhatsApp responses came, Nebie was quite certain that such a project was not only possible, it could happen in time for the premier showings in December.
There are still obstacles. Things can and do happen quickly sometimes, except when they do not. So, we will all stay tuned to see how the process goes. But even if the translation does not make the short deadline, Simple Truths for the New Believer will eventually be available in two more languages: Nuni and Sissala. And, hopefully, the little book will become a discipleship tool to help the new church among those people deepen its roots and grow strong.