Bible translation makes headway despite ongoing violence

By September 26, 2011

Ivory Coast (MNN) — Over the last year, the people of Ivory Coast have suffered violence, displacement, and disruption. The Seed Company's workers have faced direct threats, and one was even captured last April.

The chaos stems from an election dispute in November, 2010. Although it's been nearly a year, violence continues. The Seed Company reports that at least 3,000 civilians have died.

Bible translation work was disrupted to a large degree during the heaviest parts of the fighting, and ongoing tension has affected the translation team's progress.

People are eager for God's message of peace and hope in the midst of turbulence and uncertainty. They know, however, that this is no time to stop their efforts in Bible translation and literacy. The Seed Company reports that the recent inauguration of the new president may signal renewed peace.

The team translating the Scriptures into the Djimini language have remained relatively safe during the upheaval, and they seem to be sticking with their goals. The Djimini have a high regard for their language and speak it at home, in the marketplace, and in the churches. Most Djimini practice animism or adhere to African traditional religions; less than 4% are Christians.

There's an obvious need for Scriptures in this highly-spoken language amidst a people who doesn't know the Truth. Although the New Testament is already used extensively, the stories of Abraham and the prophets are needed to show the truth of the Gospel and to counteract other stories and misunderstandings, notes The Seed Company.

Good things are happening within the Djimini people. Djimini literacy classes, led by 34 workers, continue steadily despite tensions in the country. Almost 200 men and women are enrolled in 33 classes held in 15 villages. The Seed Company praises God for the steady increase in the number of Djimini speakers who are prepared to read the Scriptures in their own language.

As their efforts continue, The Seed Company asks for prayer that the Lord will bring renewed and lasting peace to all of the Ivory Coast. Pray for more hearts to cling to the Lord during this turmoil.

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