“How will going through the book of Genesis help to disciple this man? Usually you start [discipling new believers] in John’s Gospel or something like that.”
Since he was 19, this committed Christian has struggled to keep his life clean in God’s eyes. Based on what he knows in God’s Word, Berki has consistently refused to participate in a Hamer people’s cultural rite of passage into manhood: bull jumping. In this ceremony, the village gathers. Bare-backed women chant and blow horns in hopes of provoking the boys to whip them with birch sticks. The permanent scars become a symbol of their devotion — even though some women have died from the beatings.
After my wife Jo and I accepted the Canelas’ invitation 50 years ago to come and live with them in their jungle village in Brazil, we never heard a Canela pray. Why should they? Their Creator had abandoned them.
For many elderly people in minority language groups around the world, God’s Word is only now coming to them in a language they can understand. They are learning about faith in Christ in their sunset years.
A good example is an African man in his 80s named Taapro, living on the Ndop Plain of Cameroon. He was known as a liar and a thief, and he feared traditional spirits.
When Matilde decided to attend a literacy class based on Bible readings in Cusco Quechua, her mother tongue, her husband taunted her.