Leonard Bolioki understands just how powerful translated Scripture is. During a Good Friday service at his church in Cameroon, he began to read the story of Jesus’ crucifixion. In previous years, the congregation had heard the story in French.
But this year was the first time it was being read in Leonard’s own language, Yambetta.
As he read the story, the congregation was stilled by the words. Then a few of the older women began to weep. After the service, they approached Leonard and demanded to know where he found the story.
“We have never heard anything like it before!” they said. “We didn’t know there was someone who loved us so much that He was willing to suffer and die like that — to be crucified on a cross to save us!”
Leonard showed them the story in his French New Testament and told them it was the story the congregation heard every year during Holy Week. But the women insisted that they had never heard it before.
That’s what truly motivated Leonard to translate the Scriptures into Yambetta. He wanted the Bible to be available in the only language they truly understood.
Source: “An Unheard Story,” wycliffe.org.uk