Sisala Simple Truths for Ghana, Burkina Faso
Dieudonné Somé has been one of our champions in West Africa. We first met in his hometown of Banfora in 2015 when I was in Burkina Faso as part of a story-development team with StoryRunners. Dieudonné is a pastor and passionate evangelist who travels and speaks frequently in neighboring Ghana, Mali, Niger, and Cote d’Ivoire. He is a Dioula (Jula) speaker but is passable in multiple languages in both the Gur and Mande language families.
Because of his heart for unreached people groups, he is always looking for opportunities to share Simple Truths for New Believers in new places. He has become convinced that using the “little book” is one of the best ways to explain the gospel to people who have never heard it. At his initiative, we have launched a new translation and distribution project to the Sisala speaking people. Sisala is spoken in Ghana and along its border with Burkina Faso. Although there are at least three dialects of spoken Sasala, literate speakers can access the print form across dialects. The most reliable statistics estimate 180,000+ speakers in Ghana and just over 33,000 in Burkina Faso. The Sisala have been familiar with the gospel for some time and the Jesus Film is now in the language, but many of the believers have had little or no exposure to discipleship opportunities. Some of this is related to the instability of the Sehal Region in West Africa (eight coups since 2020). Since Ghana is one of the most stable governments in the region, the Sisala region has seen an influx of refugees from Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire. Dieudonné shared the French version of Simple Truths with church leaders there some time ago. They have requested the book for Sasala speakers. That is why we are launching this new project.
A project like this one requires five things: a competent translator, a trustworthy printer, an effective distribution network, the funds to support the project, and someone who can help train the end-users on the most effective way to use the books to disciple new believers. As of this week, we are confident that most of those pieces are in place.
Please pray for the translator and for the Sisala people who will be receiving the books. And pray for stamina for Dieudonné who has been faithful despite the many challenges he has faced.