By Konlan Kpeebi with Melissa Paredes
Konlan Kpeebi works as a translator in his home country of Ghana. This is a testimony of his experience in one particular people group who came face to face with how important it is to have God’s Word in their heart language.
Most times when I go to the Koma area, it reinforces my view that we need to include rural evangelism as an integral part of our task of Bible translation and literacy among the Koma people. These are amazing people who are interested in listening to Bible stories, and their testimonies are also very inspirational.
One of our translation offices is located in a village in the Koma area. The village is divided into two sections. Each section has its own chief.
The two chiefs were Christians before becoming chiefs. However, since becoming chiefs, their relationship with the local pastor has not been good. As a result, one chief has now started following another major religion in the region, while the other chief has backslidden in his Christian faith.
On one visit to the village, I decided to visit the two chiefs and give them each a MegaVoice that plays translated stories from the Bible in Konni (the local language). After presenting them with the devices, I encouraged them to listen to the stories with their families. I also encouraged them that being a chief doesn’t mean they should abandon their Christian faith, because leadership is ordained by God. And since God has allowed them to be leaders, they should be living according to the Bible.
After I told them this, one chief said he was very happy to hear that, because he thought that once he became a traditional chief, he could not be a good Christian. That belief had made him reluctant to go to church.
I also took the opportunity to tell them about King Solomon and the wisdom he had, which we especially see in the story of the two women who were fighting over whose child was alive after one of them had lost her child. Without first telling them how King Solomon handled the case, I asked the two chiefs and their elders how they would have handled it. Before I told them how King Solomon solved the problem, all of them admitted that it was a difficult case. But King Solomon was able to solve the problem because God gave him wisdom to make the right decision.
I learned that the chiefs and all their subjects had never heard this story of King Solomon, even after many years of attending church. But after I shared the story with them, it became the talk of the village and caused many people to yearn to hear more. This underscores the importance of translating the whole Bible into their heart language—Konni. Pray that the Holy Spirit will touch these chiefs and their families as they listen to God’s story.
Pray that as the Koma chiefs and elders continue to listen to Bible stories in their own language, they would give their lives to Christ.
You can also join us in praying for different language communities around the world—just like the Konni—asking God to hasten the work of translation so that they can clearly understand what His Word says. Visit www.wycliffe.org/pray to learn about ways to partner with us in prayer.