“We Need More Books!”

By Tom Castor | January 22, 2024 |

When we first visited Burkina Faso in 2015, we had no idea how important that 6-week “Story-Development” trip would become. On that trip, we were introduced to the Dyula people (Dioula and Juula). On that trip, God seemed to put a spark of interest in the heart of two of our translators for the “little book,” Simple Truths for the New Believer. I could not have imagined at the time that this journey would lead to translating the book into twelve languages in West Africa and printing and distributing over 60,000 books in eight countries.

Those who have experience in missions will know that while those numbers do tell a story, they do not tell the whole story. It is possible (as we discovered while living in Vietnam) that a well-meaning person can invest significant time and money in translating and printing a book destined to sit on a shelf or desk and never actually be used. We have been so grateful for the number of books in translation and print and the news that the books are in constant use.

Earlier this morning, we received a call from the leader of a network in Togo and Benin. He said, “I want you to know that our workers love your books. They are going like hotcakes, and people are using them to teach in their churches.” The last news from Fada N’Gourma told us that the church network has been using the Simple Truths book in Gourmantché to prepare new believers for baptism since June 2018.

The latest news from Burkina Faso included that all of the Dyula (Dioula/Juula) books have been distributed, and the church leaders are asking for another print run. As mentioned, we have permitted individuals to print on an as-needed basis. While we know this has been happening, the network leaders there believe it is time for another large print run. As soon as we received that request, we made the arrangements. 

If you are interested (and a Wikipedia user) do a search using the words “Dyula People” and see what you find. You will likely discover why we are so encouraged. Historically, to be Dyula is to be Muslim. The influence of the language and the culture has heavily impacted Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Burkina Faso. Dyula has become a major trade language in Central West Africa, spoken by an estimated 12 million people as a first or second language. The fact that these books are in such demand is so encouraging, especially given their potential reach.

Please pray that the gospel will bear much fruit among the Dyula people. Pray for Dieudonné Somé and Nebié Badiou as they coordinate the project. And ask God to help us find an increasing number of “champions” in other countries whose passion for Christ will put wind in the sails of our efforts to reach the lost and strengthen the church where opportunities present themselves.  

Tom Castor

Thomas Castor, founder of Clear and Simple Media Group, is a seasoned writer and communicator who has been delivering content with clarity and simplicity for 30 years.