“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3
Grinning, Brahima held aloft his phone, and said, “Hearing this completely satisfies my heart.”
Brahima had just installed an 8G SD card with recordings of Turka Scripture, dramas and testimonies. But it was the music that thrilled him the most and he was delighted to find the written words to the songs come up on his phone as he listened.
When I last wrote about the Turka Project, we were observing Advent, a season when Christians anticipate the coming of Jesus. In our Advent newsletter, we celebrated the coming of the audio Gospel message to many Turka. We are now in the season of Lent, a time to anticipate the resurrection of Jesus. In keeping with the season, we find ourselves eagerly awaiting the reality of a living, resurrected Jesus in the lives of many Turka men and women.
Through Brahima, we are able to see the beginnings of this transformation on our last day in Banfora last October. We met him and his family when a mutual friend, missionary-translator Bärbel, introduced us. Bärbel knew this couple from a French Bible study, where they had recently lamented to her that God had forgotten their people group, the Turka.
All this time Brahima had been living in the Banfora region, but was unaware of God’s work among his own people group. Although Brahima is highly literate in French and is also Biblically literate, hearing those Scriptures read and sung in his mother tongue was incomparably precious to him.
Brahima plans to use these recordings to facilitate worship for the Turka in his multi-ethnic church in the village of Nafona. For us to meet a Turka man who not only loves to study Scripture, but also loves his language, was a great blessing at a time when we were feeling quite discouraged. I was reminded of the Lord’s words to Elijah when he was downcast, “Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel ― all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal.” 1 Kings 19:18
Like Elijah, we had felt alone and abandoned. We may have even indulged in a little self pity. But through Brahima, God has encouraged us to remember His faithfulness—and that he has Turka men and women who love Him and His word. There might not be seven thousand of them yet, but who knows, perhaps one day there will be!
We have been firm in our belief that God is, and will continue to be, at work among the Turka. And we had further confirmation of that recently when we received an email from Bärbel with the following message:
“Just want to let you know that Daniel*… told me that there is a lot of interest among the Turka for your stuff…he said that according to what he sees, the people are interested and were glad to receive your cards from him. Thought this might encourage you.”
Well, yes, that did encourage us, Bärbel! And we hope it also encourages those of you who support and pray for us, who have been with us on this journey.
Blessings this Lent season,
Colin & Dot Suggett
*A pastor to a Turka congregation in Beregadougou
Perhaps Brahima’s daughter, with the help of her parents and the Turka Scripture App, will be one of the first to learn to read Turka Scripture from a young age.