Hearing God During a Time of Mourning

Gofa Translation Project, Ethiopia

Bringing joy to the Gofa people.

In Ethiopia’s Gofa community, when someone died and was a believer in Christ, the local church would arrange the funeral ceremony. A pastor in the community would preach from the Swahili Bible for the funeral. One day, Pastor Hizkiel Zekarias, one of the Gofa translators, had an opportunity to officiate a funeral service. He used the occasion to preach from the Gofa New Testament. When the crowd heard the Scripture preached in their own language, they shouted and waved and clapped their hands! The people could not hide their joy in hearing God’s Word spoken in their heart language, even though the jubilant display seemed ironic for such a sad occasion.

The translator said, “I was completely surprised by the reaction from the people. I’ve never experienced this while preaching at funeral ceremonies from other languages. However, seeing how much it meant to the people when they heard the Gofa Bible for the first time brought so much joy to the translators that they are doing God’s work!”

Published By The Word For The World

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