This week in Kinshasa the ECC is hosting along with Wytliffe Bible Translators a training on …
Yep, there are trainers and ECC translators from every province in the DRC to learn about translating the bible. There are over 200 languages in the Congo. French, Lingala, Swahili, are the big ones but I also have heard of Kongo but there are many more.
I first think wow! How amazing to have the bible in your own language. But it is more than that. When the scriptures are in your (mother’s) language, the one that you first heard as an infant. They are no longer just scriptures brought by a stranger from another land. They become your scriptures. They become the word of God spoken TO YOU. Now that’s a WOW!
BUT THERE’S MORE…
These translations also preserve a language that might disappear. A people’s history vanishes. Some of these “mother tongues” have never been written and an alphabet has to be created first.
Then there is the fact that many people learn to read by using the bible. Reading can change a person’s life here faster than anything.
Now, all of these delegates will return to their villages and provinces to teach others, how to translate into their own language, hear the word of God, reduce illiteracy, increase self-esteem help provide hope and even understand how to vote.
Now that is a wow!
That was yesterday,today we went to see a vocational program that produces fabric. These Malian artists takes bolts of fabric and dye them (in some special way) to produce a color and design not found in the Congo. They use an old closed school and provide training to the local Congolese and then sell it to fabric dealers and export it to other African countries to sell.
I didn’t understand it all but I know that people are learning skills that can have a positive effect on their lives.
AND… stay tuned … I will have a couple of new African shirts coming. I promise photos.
And last of all. On the way home we stopped by the Hearts and Hands orphanage. Just to say HI and talk to the staff. Always a great time.
The kids came running up to hug Mary, even before she got out of the car.
Special today was Little Ira. He was brought here just 2 weeks ago. He was left at a table in a bar. No one knows his name or where he came from. They named him after a teacher. So he is here. Little Ira has not spoken since he arrived
I reached out to touch his little hand and he held on. No fear. No hesitation! So we became buddies. He sat on my lap during our meeting, a held me very tight. Comfortable and safe. What joy filled my heart to be held by this beautiful child.
This facility and school is in a very poor part of town. These children have no parents but they laugh and play and are cared for by a devoted staff.
We left knowing that there is help needed but also knowing that everyone is doing their best for each of the 60 children including my new friend “Little Ira”.
It was hard to leave Ira crying because we were leaving but I know that we’ll be back for him and the others.