What Language Does God Speak?

Morgan Jackson, director of Faith Comes By Hearing, remembers the day some years ago when he visited a Konkomba village in Ghana. His organization partners with Bible translators to produce audio recordings of Scripture, and he asked the Konkomba leaders if they’d like to listen to God’s message in their language.  

A translated Bible and two Nokia cell phones sit beside a Senegalese girl.

“If a translation of the Bible exists in a language, it is, or soon will be, as close as the nearest smartphone.”

They didn’t believe it was possible. “God doesn’t speak our language,” they said.  “He only speaks English.”

“But God does speak Konkomba,” Morgan said. He turned on an audio player, and the words of Matthew 1:1 in Konkomba filled the air. “This is a record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah….”  Continue reading

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The Digital Teacher

cell phone - French & Karang

“Four” in French and Karang

While many of us already access, engage with and think about reading Scriptures on a mobile device, most of us don’t stop to think about how people learn to read and write.

“My Language, Karang,” is a book designed to teach Karang middle school and high school students in northern Cameroon how to read their own language.  They already know how to read some French because their public school education is in French. Now at home they can transition to reading Karang so they can record folktales, stories and songs, and read their new Karang Scriptures.  Continue reading

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Unwritable No More

Checking the Lubwisi translation

Mulindi, a speaker of the Lubwisi language in Uganda, attended church for 50 years before he heard a Bible verse read in his own language. “People used to say that no one would manage to write the Bible in Lubwisi because it is an unwritable language,” he said.

But then someone did write the language. They chose symbols for an alphabet that fit the Lubwisi language, and they began writing stories and books, including HIV/AIDS materials that benefitted their people greatly. They even created an online dictionary.

Most importantly, they translated the Bible. At the end of July 2016, the Lubwisi people will celebrate the arrival of the New Testament in their language.

Mulinda says, “I am like the old man Simeon in the Bible whom the Holy Spirit promised would not die without seeing the Messiah. God has given me a time of grace in this world so that I can hear the Word of God in my own language, the language which I understand.”

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Stone of Remembrance

LubiwisTwoIn March 2015, Ugandan people speaking four different languages — Lubwisi, Lugungu, Lugwere, and Lunyole — gathered to celebrate the completion of New Testament drafts into each of these languages, the languages of their birth, their mother tongues. Continue reading

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Would JESUS go to a disco?

Today should have been a beautiful day in Orlando…but it wasn’t.  What promised to be a day of worship, picnics, and trips to the beach didn’t happen. The unimaginable and tragic happened at 2am and we woke to the horrific news that 50 people had been murdered at what is now described as the worst mass shooting in US history. Continue reading

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Missed Opportunities

Following his death this week, I stumbled on this old video clip of Mohamed Ali.

No matter what you think of his choices in life, he is undeniably one of the greatest athletes of his generation. If you decide to invest the six minutes watching the clip, don’t let the humor mask the unfortunate history he lived through, and how it influenced the choices he and others made during this time.

Only days after winning a gold metal at the Olympics, Ali was refused service in a restaurant in his home town! His comments, reaction and ultimate decision leading him to a major life-choice and worldview change reminded me of a book I’m currently reading, The Children, where a group of African American, mostly college students, led by John Lewis and Jim Lawson challenged the status quo in Nashville where they, too, had been denied the right of service in restaurants across the city.

For most of us it’s hard, if not impossible, to remember 1960 when these events occurred. Continue reading

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Honoring Evelyn Griset Pike

Evelyn Griset Pike (March 1, 1915 – June 3, 2016)

EvelynEvelyn, who loved her family and friends deeply, and gave herself completely to a cause she cared so much about, entered into the presence of Christ, the one who defied, defeated and destroyed death, on June 3. She was 101.

Evelyn stepped into the pages of Wycliffe Bible Translators history in 1935 – just a year after William Cameron Townsend conducted his very first training camp for Bible translators. The daughter of Townsend’s sister, she was a student at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) when she accepted his invitation to go to Mexico for a year. He was establishing his new Bible translation work and needed someone to help manage the Townsend household. Continue reading

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