Something new was happening in Betty Agotre’s village in Uganda. The book of Galatians had been translated into her Aringa language, and the translators had come to check its accuracy and readability. Betty came just to observe. But when they read verse six of the first chapter, she just had to speak up. “Would you please read that again?”
They read the Apostle Paul’s words again: “I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all…” (Galatians 1:6-7a, NLT).
Betty, seated with children, listens to the translators reviewing Galatians
She spoke up again when they reached the first verses of the third chapter.“Would you read those verses again?”
“Oh, foolish Galatians! Who has cast an evil spell on you? For the meaning of Jesus Christ’s death was made as clear to you as if you had seen a picture of his death on the cross….How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?” (Galatians 3:1, 3, NLT).
The message in her Aringa language was very clear. Betty knew she’d been under attack from evil spirits for four years, and she had been hearing voices that were not from God. Now she heard God speak through these translated words.
She later testified, “I am the person this book of Galatians is talking about.” She said, “After reading this book, I have started to gain stability to reunite with people, and the book has encouraged me. I am delivered from the power of these demons. I used to be alone, all by myself, but now I will be among the people in fellowship with Christ.”
Since that morning, Galatians has been completed and published as part of a complete New Testament. Old Testament translation is now underway under the auspices of Here is Life, a Ugandan organization, with the technical support of Wycliffe’s partner, SIL.
Betty’s life was changed when God spoke to her in her own heart language. He freed her from the evil forces and reunited her with his people, where she would find strength to keep trusting in him. There is power in the translated Word of God.