Friday, January 10, 2014

Give me the Konkombas' love for your Word, O Lord.

In Unafraid of the Sacred Forest, Ronaldo Lidorio tells the story of his church planting among the Konkomba tribe, an unreached people group in Ghana, Africa.    Especially touching is his account of the affection with which the people received the Word of God as it was being translated:

The hunger for the Word of God became clear even while people were still painstakingly learning to read. As they gathered in small groups they developed effective ways of hiding the Word in their hearts. One week everyone was memorizing Matthew 14:34-6 and they particularly liked the final part, 'and as many as touched it [the hem of Jesus' garment] were made perfectly well.' Some women repeated this short text over and over as they walked to the river to fetch water. Others repeated it while working in the plantations. Even the children were saying it as they played under the trees. The desire to know God's Word was so great that when people living in outlying villages forgot some of the Scriptures they were memorizing, they were prepared to walk several kilometers to the nearest believer to ask, 'How does that part go?' Christians set Bible verses to music, singing them repeatedly so they would not forget them. 
          Many people wanted to learn to read and write. In the evenings they would gather in a circle around a small fire and listen to each other reading portions of the Word to demonstrate what they had learned. No sooner had we begun to teach them to read than they started writing Bible verses all over the place: on jars, walls, trees, anywhere.They did this so they would not 'forget the Lord'. This love for the Scriptures, placing them at the heart of Church life was a wonderful indication to us of the way the Spirit was moving among the Konkombas.  

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