Hope Baptist Church
Hope Baptist Church. An ambitious name for a church that was generally lacking that very characteristic hope! But this week-Christmas week-there was a glimmer, an enthusiastic glance at hope, a glimpse of what the church could be.
Having recently attended a seminar on Chronological Bible Storying, Mr. Mosongo was convinced that the people in his church would prefer to hear the Bible stories told in their native language and the traditional manner rather than having them read in English.
So as the service began, the Scriptures were read first in English and then in their native language, Oroko. The passage was recently translated thanks to a World Team initiative. Next, Mr. Mosongo put down his Bible, moved away from the lectern, and stepped down closer to the people. He said he was going to tell a story and they should pay attention because there would be questions afterwards.
He told the story with the charm and charisma of a seasoned storyteller. For good measure, he told it a second time. All around, heads were nodding in agreement (rather than sleeping!), there were smiles, and even looks of surprise and shock.
Then came the questions. What did you like about the story? What didn’t you like about the story? What can we learn?
For a church that is usually silent except for the swatting of mosquitos, squirming of children, and soft snoring of the tired back row the reaction was amazing. Questions and answers flew back and forth.
“Why was Jesus born there? Was he a goat or a man?”
“Why would Jesus be born in such a dirty place? How could that happen?”
“I like the fact that Jesus was born in a goat house. It means we donâ€™t have to be ashamed to live in thatch houses.”
The blind old man in the back, who rarely participates unless asked to pray, joined in enthusiastically. A lady who was outside changing her grandson’s diaper, couldn’t restrain herself as she stuck her head in the window to answer a question. A “way-off” answer provided an opportunity for Mr. Mosongo to clarify and teach. There was energy in the air as the people began to truly understand the Scriptures.
The translation of the Bible into the Oroko language is not complete. The books of Genesis, Jonah, Ruth and Luke are finished and the book of Acts is being prepared for print. There is still a ways to go to finish the work.
You can support the Oroko Bible Translation by clicking here.
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