Efforts to engage local people in the work of Bible translation are called “mobilization.” One component of the Bali mobilization project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is to translate and produce oral Bible stories for distribution on smartphones.

After one matriarch heard one of the oral Bible stories, she said, “Oh, these are Bali words that I have not used since I was a child. Please help us so that our language [stays] alive!” 

Although the Bali people are not as far along as the Mba in mobilizing their communities for Bible translation, they are determined to move ahead. That was the message the paramount chief of the Bali  shared with Wycliffe’s Beat Kunz during his most recent visit to the project.

“He came to reassure us of their strong desire and full support to see the Bali have the Word of God in their own language,” said Kunz, who serves as vice-president of field partners and projects for Wycliffe Canada.

Another Bali man, Samuel Alutz, is the vice-president of an umbrella organization that oversees all the evangelical churches in Congo.

When he saw draft translations from Luke’s Gospel, he showed them to his 96-year-old brother. Deeply moved by what he read, the old man said, “I don’t have the whole Bible, but I have seen the first signs. I started to serve the Lord before you were even born and I have never seen this before.”

Learn more about the Bali-Mba project.