Posts Tagged ‘Togo’

 On 19 January  2015, Wycliffe colleague Peter Brassington posted on his blog

This is Peter’s take on what I recently posted as Ncham Bible Dedication, Bassar, Togo

 Our son is looking forward to a couple of book launches. It’s apparently 163 days until the launch of “Shark Seas – The Falcon Chronicles 4″ by Steve Backshall and there is still no release date for the 12th “How to Train Your Dragon” book.

Imagine however that you’ve waited your entire life for the publication of the Bible in your own language…

I was looking around and asking a few people I know about Bibles and New Testaments being released early in 2015. On January 17th in Togo the Bassar Bible was officially dedicated.


I expect there will be a few more photos available online soon. Google hasn’t indexed them all yet but I found some on Twitter and discovered one of my friends was attending and tweeting photos. (thanks Tim)

One of our Wycliffe UK colleagues, Sheila Crunden first went to Togo in 1969 and was assigned to work with the Bassar. She and her co-worker worked with Bassar Christians to translate the New Testament into the Bassar language which was published in 1991.

Thirty years later another friend and colleague Tim went with a couple of youth teams from UK to help renovate the building used as the translation office as work continued on the Old Testament.Around the world lots of people have been joining with the Bassar people (also called Ntcham) waiting and praying for this day over many years.

If you’ve prayed for years or just heard about the Bassar join in celebrating and praying for the ongoing impact of the Bible in this and every other language.

Every week somewhere in the world a complete Bible, New Testament or smaller portions of scripture are being launched and celebrated for the first time. Wycliffe blogs and articles track many of them (click the links for Wycliffe blogs from UK, Canada, USA , find others via Wycliffe Global Alliance or search for the various Wycliffe Facebook and twitter feeds. You might also find a few by simply Googling “bible dedication” “new testament dedication

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I blogged earlier today about stories: people praying; God answering; people coming to faith: God delighted; language groups receiving God’s Word in their heart languages; God’s church growing…

TchamNow this evening I spotted friend and Wycliffe colleague Tim Robinson’s blog about the recent dedication of the Ncham Bible in Togo.

In 1998 I took the plunge and went on my first short-term missions trip. It was a little unusual in the big realm of short term trips, as it was to a Bible translation project in Togo, West Africa, a Francophone country. I didn’t speak a whole lot of French and having grown up in Wycliffe, I was sure I already ‘got’ the need for Bible translation. However, all the circumstances and gifts to make it happen were clearly leading me to go on the trip.

On the 14th January 2015, 16.5 years later, I started my journey back to that very same village. Before you think ‘ooo dramatic’, I had been back already, leading multiple other short term teams to the same project. It had, however, been 4.5 years since I last visited.

There were at least two NI teenagers, and many others that I knew, who went on WYnet teams with Tim to Togo. These trips were influential in their lives. I hope they come across this and get to read Tim’s whole blog – you guys played your part along the way and now…

It was wonderful to see so many people desperate to get their hands on the Bible in their own language.

We attended church with Samuel the next morning and it was brilliant seeing so many people clutching their new Bibles.



Tim’s whole blog is worth a read 🙂



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Two days ago I posted Praising God for the life of Mary Gardner

Today I received this…

Mary’s funeral took place on Tuesday 10th May in Chapel of Garioch, near Aberdeen.

Such events are inevitably sad, particularly given the circumstances of Mary’s death, but the service was a beautiful tribute to Mary’s life and work. One of Mary’s quilts was used as the altar cloth for the occasion. A close friend of Mary’s commented on the great sense of God’s grace in the midst of all the sadness.

STV showed a short piece about the funeral and Mary’s life as part of the news on Tuesday evening.


Tributes to Mary were given by Mary’s friend Rev Mercia Malcolm, and by Sheila Crunden on behalf of SIL Togo / Benin

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Mary Gardner, Wycliffe Bible translator in Togo

Today Tuesday 10 May at 11am at the Chapel of Garioch Church of Scotland, in the village of Chapel of Garioch, near Inverurie, Mary Gardner’s funeral took place almost seven weeks after she died in a bomb blast in Jerusalem.

This is how her death was reported on the BBC News website on 24 march:

The family of a British woman who died when a bomb exploded at a crowded bus stop in Jerusalem have paid tribute to her as a “very special person”. Mary Gardner, 59, originally of Orkney, was studying at the Hebrew University.

Her parents, who live near Insch, Aberdeenshire, said they were “devastated by the sudden loss” of their oldest daughter.

Thirty people were also injured by the bomb, which was left in a bag on a pavement near the central bus station.

It was the first major bombing in the Israeli city in seven years.

Ms Gardner, an evangelical Christian and Bible translator, spent much of her life living in Togo, West Africa, where she worked for Wycliffe Bible Translators.

I blogged on my memories of Mary back in early April. The post included thoughts from colleagues, some media reports and photographs from France in 1987 when we first met Mary, together exploring membership with Wycliffe Bible Translators.

Mary and Claire Gray with Ruth and me in the background

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Mary Gardner in Israel

Our Wycliffe colleague Mary Gardner hit the media headlines not for her life’s work as a Bible translator in Togo, but for the manner of her death – tragically killed, an innocent victim of a bomb in Jerusalem. As Wycliffe UK Director Eddie Arthur wrote in his blog Out of the Public Eye

Bible translators are often unsung heroes. Even the Ifé New Testament that Mary worked on for so long does not have her name recorded in it anywhere. Bible translators are the opposite of media celebrities. There is no fame and fortune, just years of quiet, dedicated service so that other people can have the privilege of hearing God speak there own language. If there is any glory involved, it goes to God, not to the translator.

And yet when I Googled Mary Gardner this evening, I was directed to an amazing list of articles ranging from the Aberdeen Press and Journal to BBCNews to The Guardian, The Telegraph and the Jerusalem Post which has a very detailed article. There is also a post on the Wycliffe UK blog.

The Jerusalem Post article quotes Mary…

She once told an audience that she had left teaching for translation after God had put into her heart “a longing that other people should have the same access to the scriptures and to the Bible that I enjoyed.

I can identify with that!

I first met Mary Gardner in the south of France in 1987. Mary, Paul Shaddick, Peter Kirk and Ruth and me with two small children were all at STEP Wycliffe’s Summer Training in Europe Programme, camping in the Cevennes and exploring the possibility of joining Wycliffe Bible Translators. We all joined.

Mary language learning with two Khmu refugee girls

Mary and Claire Gray with Ruth and me in the background

STEP meal time

In 1989 Mary went to Togo to be a Bible translator with the Ife language group; we went to Cote d’Ivoire to teach missionary children and eventually Paul Shaddick joined us in Cote d’Ivore as a translator while Peter Kirk joined Eurasia Group.

During these past days, we have been remembering Mary and her family and friends in Scotland and in Togo. We are deeply sad at the atrocity of her death, but we rejoice that through her life and work in Togo, the Ife people have God’s Word in their heart language.

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