Bibles for the Oromo

Expectant-congregation

David Garrard (CAM International Director)

Major difficulty
In some regions a major difficulty can be the lack of Bibles in the local language. This is certainly the case in Ethiopia. Christians in all the major language groups need more Bibles for their churches. It has been estimated that less than 1% of believers in all the churches have a Bible in their own language. A frequent question I am asked when visiting Ethiopia is whether I can help find a solution to this difficulty.

Thrilling task
Therefore, on my 2013 visit, I was surprised and thrilled to find that part of the task with which we were charged on our travels to an Oromo-speaking area was to distribute Oromifa Bibles to new churches.

Transporting-the-Bibles

90 cartons of Bibles
Our team left Addis Ababa with 90 cartons of Bibles, each containing 20 copies. These were destined for Christians living in an area where new churches are being planted among the Oromo people, where many are coming to faith in Christ. The Evangelical Fellowship of Ethiopia area coordinator had organised the trip so that we were able to travel to each place that had been designated to benefit from this project. Over four days, we were able to distribute hundreds of Bibles to individuals in 18 different churches.

Introducing the Bible

Eager congregations
We were able to reach most of the churches by vehicle, which certainly facilitated the whole task. However, some locations were high in the mountains and it took considerable effort to reach them. The last part of some journeys required a 20-30 minute walk. At each place, the congregations gathered expectantly, sometimes waiting several hours, because we never knew exactly how long it would take to get there. There were always choirs to greet us as well as joyful church members waiting to receive their quota.

Exciting occasions
At each place, we started by introducing the team members, then there was a short exhortation from God’s Word. After this, the Bibles were distributed to those who were designated to receive them. It was a great privilege to be able to share in these exciting occasions.

Pray for more
Let’s pray that this distribution of Bibles in Ethiopia will be just the first of many more to come. Pray that the wider availability of God’s Word will bring stability and maturity to the new believers, and strengthen the momentum for growth which is already in place.

 

‘Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path’ (Psalm 119:105).