Posts Tagged ‘political unrest’

Reading Mark’s latest post about how enthusiastic he and Laura are to have finally arrived together in Tanzania to support Bible translation, has got me thinking some more about our planned trip back to Ivory Coast in March.

Barthe & Eugenie, our Bouhitafla neighbours, reading the Kouya New Testament

We have mixed feelings about returning to Ivory Coast.

We know why we are going – to celebrate the New Testament (10 years after it arrived in the country) & the Megavoice players (solar powered MP3 players with Luke and Acts loaded).

But we have some fears, some anxieties, some uncertainties… It is almost 15 years since we left Ivory Coast in July 1997. We really want to go and visit our Kouya friends again. But will we fit in? Will they remember us? Will we recognise them?

Then there’s a big cultural divide: we’ve got used to living  in Belfast. Despite the current economic problems here, we are incredibly wealthy compared to the people we are going to visit. We’ve got comfortable, we have a nice home…

Our Kouya friends have been living through ten years of political unrest and civil war! The civil war lines passed right through their territory. How can we empathise with them? We don’t speak Kouya and our French is pretty rusty…

Is it right to spend all that money on airfares and vaccinations and visas? Surely it could be better used?

But I do think it is right to go! Just by going, by being there, we will encourage our Kouya friends. We will join in their celebration and share it with them. We will be saying that we have not forgotten them;  that our church here has not forgotten them. And they will celebrate that God did not forget them.

Kouya New Testament

Kouya elder Bai Laurent became a Christian in the late 1950s and prayed for decades that God would send someone to translate the Bible in to the Kouya language. Laurent had a confidence in God and God heard his prayers even though Laurent had to wait so long for the answer.

God did not forget the Kouya people. In the 1980s God sent Philip & Heather Saunders and Eddie & Sue Arthur to work with the Kouya Christians. The Kouyas now have their New Testament.  God has given them his Word and pointed the way to reject the fear of spirits and fetishes and ceremonial masks that were all part of their animistic past. God has adopted them as his sons and daughters in Christ!

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