Starting tomorrow we will begin our 7 days of prayer for the Turka, but I wanted to give you 1st some background about what is happening among this people. I told Dr Peter just yesterday that this is a missionary story that should be made into a book.
About 2 years ago Dr Peter remembers having the Suggetts, Wycliff Bible translators, in their living room pouring out their frustrations. The Suggetts have sacrificed 20+ years of their lives to translate the Bible in the Turka language and make it available to all the different villages. To do this they lived in a secluded village on the top of the famous Fabedougou cliffs (pictured here with the Hayslip boys) for 9 years with their 2 girls, learned the language, laboring over every syllable to get it just right. The culmination of this effort was that several books of the Bible had been translated and recorded.
But in all that time, only 2 young men came to faith in Christ, and the village promptly kicked them out. And even when the Suggetts provided the Bible on hand-cranked cassette players, the villagers gave them back saying “it’s just too much work to turn that little crank”!!
The Turka are fiercely proud and individualistic and seemed completely hardened to the Gospel. In Fabedougou, the families are mostly animist (worshiping idols), but some had recently converted to Islam (while keeping most of their idol worship as well). The family that had given land to the Suggetts was muslim, and the family chief even changed his name to “El-Hadji”. For the 9 years the Suggets lived with them, they seemed unmoved by the love and sacrifice made by this missionary family.
Eventually the daughters graduated and moved to Canada and the wife began having some serious health issues. They decided then to return to Canada and they continue the translation work there, with the husband traveling back every few months to see the work and to meet with his translation team. On one of these trips, he returned to Fabedougou to see El-Hadji and to present some new players that were solar-powered. He was in for the shock of his life!
I’ll stop there – is that a good cliffhanger? Did you catch the witty play on words? Cliffs?
If any of you know more of the background (without giving away the next bits), please add/correct!!
Want the Rest of the Story? Here it is…
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be without your phone, internet, to be unable to communicate with friends or family? Did you think “ah, it would be nice just to have a week-end without all the gadgets”? Well, after a weekend of complete communication blackout, I can tell you that it was a mixed bag. It was kinda nice that I had an excellent excuse to put off those daggum reports and watch “Gulliver’s Travels” (We all liked the last scene where the giants were dancing to “War – what is it good for”.)
But after a month of insecurity, it made us feel a bit vulnerable to be unable to know what was happening in the country (no internet). Of course it didn’t help that it came as a complete surprise and that there were rumors spreading about the reasons. But in the end, everything came out fine – it was a major cable that was cut by a boat anchor and it is getting fixed. So we’re back online, at least for now.
Back to the reports.