Friday, April 29, 2011

Small Word, Big Beginning

(Day 7 of 15-day Prayer Challenge)


When Emile Agoussou typed this word on his computer one day in March of 2004, he stopped to smile at the computer screen.  Emile knew this small word was the start of something big—the start of the first draft of the first book of the Bible to be translated into Aja.

For the Aja translation team, many steps led up to the day they began drafting the book of Ruth. Three Aja men, including Emile Agoussou, were specially chosen to begin receiving training in the work of Bible translation.  They learned to type, to use a computer and to write their own language.  From there, they proceeded to learn some of the principles and techniques involved in Bible translation.

Finally, they began to learn about some of the differences between the Hebrew and Greek cultures and Aja culture. They had never seen a mustard seed, so an expatriate brought some from his home to show them.  To learn to communicate the message of the Scriptures clearly and effectively to their people, they needed to know what they were reading about.

Ruth_and_Naomi001After months of training, the translators were ready to begin using their new skills. Starting with the book of Ruth allowed them to begin with a story—excellent training ground for the new translators.  In Aja, the book of Ruth is called “Hluti”.  And so the word “Hluti”, represented a beginning for the Aja people of Benin. God speaks Aja, and now the Aja people will have the opportunity to hear His Word in the language of their hearts.

The first draft of the book of Ruth is complete, and the Aja team continues to grow and develop their translation skills as they work to give their people more of the Scriptures in their heart language.

“We praise God for this modest beginning,” a Wycliffe member involved with the project writes. “While there have been challenges along the way, God has been faithful in bringing the project this far and we know that he will continue to be faithful as the translators move on to the next book, and the next, till the Bible can be read by Aja people in their own language.”

--adapted from a story by Kate Van Wynen from

Please pray:
  • That through Bible translation, the Kingdom of God would continue to permeate the areas of the world without God’s Word.
  • That God would prepare hearts to receive the seed of his Word.
  • That God would meet our financial need to his glory and the strengthening of our faith.


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