God Must Love Them

By Rachel Greco

Earlier this year, a Bible translation team with CITBA* used a JAARS-funded vehicle to travel to the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa, and share the vision for Bible translation with local church leaders.

One of the men who accompanied the computers and translators back to the villages.

The settlers in this area had forbidden the local people to speak their language. This instilled the belief in the people that their language was useless—only for low villagers like them.

But when the translation team came to talk to the people about how important their language was—that it was important enough to have the Word of God translated into it—they were encouraged and willing to consider the process.

For one young man, the team’s visit was his first time to see a car in his area. It showed him that God must love the local people because he came all this way to them.

CITBA also recently used this vehicle to drive nearly 350 miles from its headquarters in Isiro to a village in the Kango language group’s area. There, CITBA staff members picked up translators and took them back to Isiro to train them in Oral Bible Translation principles.

After the training, the translators needed to return to their various villages. CITBA experienced difficulties getting the translators and their computers safely back.

“The distance between the places where the oral Bible translators live and the CITBA headquarters is significant,” Freddy, the director of CITBA, explained. “The average distance is between 400 and 600 km [250 and 370 miles].”

The roads are dirt and in poor condition; the last maintenance was in 1985 because, in the midst of civil unrest, the road infrastructure has been forgotten.

The JAARS-funded motorcycle takes a ride down a river!

“These are roads that can only be used by adapted motorcycles,” Freddy said. “If one dares to engage the vehicle on this road; it would be just to sacrifice it. In other words, the vehicle will be damaged.”

To circumvent these challenges, CITBA decided to use the motorcycles funded by people like you who gave to JAARS Land Transportation Solutions. To protect the translators’ computers from the bumpy ride and the rain, they put them in bags and wrapped them with pieces of clothing and raincoats.

After five days of travel, the devices arrived without damage! “We say thank you to JAARS, because thanks to this organization, the computers were able to reach the destination using the motorcycles financed by JAARS,” Freddy said.

His dream is for CITBA to become a benchmark organization with the capacity and structures to serve the communities with a sustained transformational approach. In order to find out the best way to do this, Freddy and a language program officer were supposed to fly from Isiro to the west African nation of Benin via the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, to observe and learn from a similar organization, Wycliffe Benin.

Due to a shortage of airplane fuel, their first flight was canceled at the last minute. The Land Cruiser given by JAARS made the task easy by taking them on a land route from Isiro to Kampala, the capital of Uganda, in order for them to then fly on to Benin.

“May the Lord bless again the hands that have endowed CITBA with this high-quality vehicle,” our CITBA partner said.

There are many translation groups in Africa and in the Pacific who are still waiting for vehicles to aid not only in Bible translation but also in distributing the newly translated Scriptures!

Consider giving to Land Transportation Solutions to accelerate Bible translation and life transformation around the world!

* Centre Interconfessionnel de Traduction de la Bible D’alphabetisation Region d’Isiro