In west Africa ten years ago, only 20% of the population of the Dagara language group could read; even less had access to the Bible. Thanks to donors through The Seed Company, translation of the Bible increased as did literacy training. It had such an impact on the people that one of their literacy coordinators reported that even government officials noticed the change and encouraged their work to continue.
The article in The Seed Company newsletter asks, “How important is literacy to the spiritual health of the community?” The answer: Very! A pastor they asked said, “During the church services, a number of members can read the portions already translated and it’s a great joy for me to see those who were illiterate in the past now meditating on the Scriptures with a smile on their lips.”
It’s hard for me to imagine not being able to read the Bible, let alone not being able to read at all! Literacy is natural and expected in the US and access to the Bible is easy. So easy, in fact, that I simply forgot to bring my Bible with me on a four-day weekend. And yet, people around the world are spending all their resources to translate one of Paul’s letters. Being part of Team OneVerse reminds me of the joy and hope in God’s word.
So what? Find ways to get involved with Team OneVerse or other translation projects. Look for opportunities to help others read. Remember that 500 years ago, you wouldn’t have had access to God’s word.
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