The Book of Esther Can Change a Community

Banna Translation, Ethiopia

The Word of God helps them to hear the Spirit of God calling them into deeper faith and unity!

In the Lower Valley of the Omo River, most of the Banna people reside. This prehistoric region, filled with fossils and other archeological treasures now nurtures a Bible translation project for the Banna people. Part of translation work is to travel to various villages and communities to present drafts of the translated Bible to the people for which it is translated. Having community involvement helps to ensure that the translation is accurate and clearly understandable.

One of the Banna translators, Zacharias, traveled to one community, and met a group of people. The group had gathered to discuss social affairs in the community. Zacharias took the opportunity to ask them, ‘May I share something with you?’

They answered, ‘Yes, of course.’

He began reading the Banna translated Scriptures from the book of Esther. After the reading, the community expressed their joy in hearing the story in their mother tongue! Having their own king, and not accustomed to women in leadership, they were amazed about this biblical story of a queen who had influence and power. 

Zacharias asked, ‘What do you call a woman king in our language? Is there a woman king in our Banna history?

Their reply, ‘No, of course not.’

Then Zacharias asked, ‘What about the mother of our current king, who ruled over our community until he was old enough to be king? Did she only rule and make laws for women?’

‘Oh, we forgot about her! She reigned so long ago in our history. But, yes, she ruled over both men and women, and made laws and developed regulations for all Banna people—regardless of man or woman!’

Zacharias continued to press, ‘Then can we say she was a woman king?’

They replied, ‘Yes, we can! How interesting that we can learn so much, even about our own history, from one Bible story. We would like to learn more so we can share the stories with our families and community! Please, come again with more Bible stories and teach us!’

The biblical story of Esther about a young Jewish girl who was taken from her family and eventually became crowned as the Queen of Persia opened up the Banna people’s hearts to understand their own history better. 

The power of the Word of God in the heart language of the people helps them to hear the Spirit of God calling them into deeper faith and unity!

Published By The Word For The World

Join the movement
+ Stay in the Know

Subscribe to the illumiNations Newsletter

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.