Kenya (MNN) — In Kenya, the traditional way of sharing the Gospel isn’t always the best way.
“When the Bible is translated and given to communities who have not heard the Bible at all in their own language, or they have not been exposed to the Word of God in the language they understand best, sometimes they are faced with the challenges of applying the Word in their lives,” says John Ommani with Wycliffe Bible Translators.
People may interpret the Word differently, or get confused.
That’s why there are Scripture Use Consultants, or in Ommani’s words, “People who are continuously processing and thinking of which ways [we can] enable the people to engage with the Word of God in a manner that makes sense to them.”
Though it’s helpful for others, Ommani says there are a lot of challenges to being a consultant.
In some cases, Kenyan Christians feel pressured to perform rituals to make rites of passage so they can go to Heaven. Other instances may be as simple as not wanting or not being able to read the Word of God.
“We are working with local communities, encouraging them to write Christian materials based within their language and based on their culture experience,” Ommani says.
Even with Wycliffe’s encouragement of translating more clearly, problems arise.
“The people that we are ministering to are [accustomed to] very fast modern technology, and the people don’t want to read a lot…. The reading culture seems to be dying away, even for those who know how to read.”
Wycliffe is coming up with a solution which is resulting in the Gospel spreading like wildfire: targeting oral communities.
“You will find that where the church had come in earlier days, even the songbooks they sing are songs that are translated from English or German, depending on which mission came to that area,” Ommani explains.
“We encourage musicians or artists in the community to come together. We train them on how to compose songs based on the Word of God so that when the people are listening to those songs, it is the Word of God that they are hearing.”
They’re also partnering with Faith Comes By Hearing to provide audio Bibles in heart languages. As a result, many people are coming to Christ, and demand for audio Scriptures is growing. Public transportation systems, such as buses, are requesting Christian audio supplies.
“[They] are asking, ‘Can you supply the Word of God to us in an audio form so that…instead of playing regular music, we can be playing the Word of God?’”
As hunger for God’s Word increases, the Church is rapidly growing in the country.
“[Previously] when I walked among these people, the Church was at about 150 congregations. Right now, we are over 400 congregations, and growing,” Ommani says.
“These are communities that [were] predominately Muslim and traditional.”
Wycliffe is asking for help to provide audio Bibles. Would you also pray that hunger for God’s Word will continue to increase and that many will come to faith in Christ?