What a Privilege

By Rachel Greco

I, Laila the Land Cruiser, am overjoyed! I have finally arrived in the Central African Republic and am serving with the national Bible translation, literacy, and community development organization known as ACATBA*.

“Laila the Land Cruiser,” ACATBA’s new vehicle

It revs my engine that this country—slightly smaller than Texas—has 60+ languages. I’ll be able to help at least eight of these languages, because ACATBA has current active Bible translation projects among them. And ACATBA is preparing to launch 16 new Bible translation projects in other regions of the country soon.

Since most of these active projects are based in the capital of Bangui due to insecurity in their language regions, I will carry translators and supervisors to project regions far and wide for necessary community participation phases of the translation projects.

Before wonderful people like you helped JAARS purchase me for ACATBA’s use, it was very difficult for translators to find buses or cars to travel to their language areas. Civil unrest has degraded the roads so they resemble ruts and rivers more than anything drivable. Before I arrived, the translators had to hop on trucks filled with oxen traveling to markets. The translators had to stay on top of the roof and try not to fall on top of the oxen below. Sitting inside me should be much more comfortable (not to mention less smelly!).

Occasionally, when the trucks had accidents, the translators would have to continue the journey on foot to the next village to look for another option to reach their destination.

Even more thrilling than helping these translators reach their language regions for testing Scripture is the thought of aiding three New Testament dedications in March 2021, for the Gbeya, Kaba, and Ngbugu languages. Pastor Thomas Elvis Guenekean, the director of ACATBA, said, “This Land-Cruiser will be of great help in transporting the Bibles and visiting donors from Bangui to the different provinces.” I’m so excited and humbled to assist in eternal work in this way! Kaba is 311 miles to the north of Bangui, and the others are nearly as far, so I’m working on getting in shape.

I’ve already had the privilege of serving ACATBA in several ways. Soon after arriving, I took ACATBA’s administrative team—the executive director and the director of Partnership and Prayer— to the conference of the Evangelical Baptist Church in Bania, about 447 miles away from Bangui. This church, one of ACATBA’s major partners, is partnering in three translation projects with ACATBA: the Mpyemo, Bhogoto and Gbaya South-West project.

I’ve also enabled the Sango literacy project to supervise 94 literacy classes for 2,415 women in three different areas.

But there’s still much work to be done—more than I alone can handle. Forty-two language communities are still waiting to begin their Bible translation projects, and a second vehicle is needed to help organize the three New Testament dedications in March.

Go here and choose ‘Land Transportation’ and you can help provide the support these language groups in Africa need to complete their Bible translation projects. Thank you!

*Association Centrafricaine pour la Traduction de la Bible et l’Alphabétisation