2,200 languages yet to have the Bible in their heart language

By October 29, 2010

USA (MNN) — Although Kwame Nkrumah is fluent in ten languages, he started life among the Ntrubo people of Ghana, West Africa. They speak the Dilo language. His father served the village as a leader of ancestral spirit worship, Kwame was expected to follow in his father's footsteps.

But when he was young, a couple started working in his village to translate the Bible. As a nine -year-old boy, Kwame listened to them read portions of their work in his language. He was impressed with this God of love who was very different from the fearful spirits his father worshiped. He put his faith in Jesus, and asked the translators if he could work with them full-time. Later, they helped him attend The University of Ghana where he earned his B.A. in Linguistics. During holiday breaks from school, he came back to help the Dilo team with the translation.

When Kwame finished school, he went on to earn a Master's Degree in Bible Translation with the Ghana Institute of Linguistics, Literacy and Bible Translation (GILLBT). While there in school, he met Naana, who became his wife and is now an Old Testament consultant for Ghanaian projects. Since the Dilo project was progressing well, Kwame requested to join the translators working in the Pasaal language where he stayed for seven years. Later, GILLBT asked him to become Language Program Director for 30 projects throughout the country.

"Before we had the Bible in our language," Kwame explained, "I didn't know that God could speak my language. I thought we could only worship God in another person's language! We felt like we were not important. God didn't know us, because if He knew us, then He should be speaking our language, too."

Throughout that time, Kwame still helped with the Dilo project as he could. Hundreds of Ntrubo believers — fruit of God's Word in their language — gathered in November, 2006, for the Dilo New Testament dedication to celebrate with songs, dances and testimonies. Imagine Kwame's joy as he held the Scriptures he had been working so long to bring to his people.

Nkrumah says, "As a result of the New Testament, we have over 60 percent Christians. [It's] amazing. I'm excited about that."

Now Nkrumah is working on the Old Testament. "We are in touch with the Seed Company, hoping and trusting that God will raise partners for us so that we will be able to give the entire Bible to my people in our lifetime."

Kwame's vision as a translation consultant is to train others to translate God's Word so that other groups in Africa will have access to God's message of love in the language of their hearts.

You can help complete God's word for the Dilo speakers. Join the Seed Company's One Verse program. For $26 a month, you can underwrite the cost of one verse in the Bible for the Dilo, or other language groups. To adopt your language, click here to get involved.

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