The Klao Bible became available to the Klao people of Liberia on May 1, 2011. Bea Kun was among the first who purchased one of the Bibles. Today, May 27th, Bea came to my office and I asked her if she is reading her Klao Bible. She says she reads it every day, especially at night when she has a hard time sleeping. She is especially enjoying the Psalms in Klao because the Psalms in English had many words that she never understood and now when she reads the Psalms she can understand everything she reads. This has really helped her “grow in the Spirit” and she feels happy all over.
In trying to illustrate how reading God’s Word in her mother tongue has helped her understand God’s Word better, she narrated the following story. This morning as Bea was on a bus headed for the LIBTRALO office there was a young man who got on the bus who was “not dressed correctly.” [Proper dress in Liberia is extremely important.] His whole chest was bare under the jacket he was wearing. Bea and another lady, who was sitting next to her, were discussing him when he got up and began preaching. They wondered how this man could be a pastor and dress like this. All of sudden, what Bea has been reading in her Klao Bible began convicting her and she knew it was not up to her to judge this man. She thought perhaps like the man on the cross who had done wrong and Jesus forgave him, this man preaching was like that man, forgiven by Jesus and here she was judging him.
Bea felt really convicted as she was holding these negative thoughts in her heart about this man from the moment the man stepped on the bus. Bea suspected he was a pastor as he did not sit down but went and stood where preachers usually stand on the bus. Then when the woman sitting next to her said, “Why is this man standing there?” Bea responded by saying she was sure he was a preacher. The woman’s next question, “How can a man dressed like this be a preacher?” seemed to give Bea a right to think negatively about this man’s dress.
When the man started to preach, the woman said, “Old Ma, how can this man who is dressed like this be a preacher?” However when he started preaching is when what Bea had read in the Psalms convicted her and she asked God to forgive her.
Bea said that reading the Bible can make her feel fine. Bea, an elderly lady, has been a Christian most of her life. She was the only daughter for her parents, so when her mother was dying, Bea was sitting there holding her own little baby and crying, because she did not want to be left alone. Realizing why Bea was crying, the last thing her mother told Bea was to “trust God.” All these years, Bea has continued to read God’s Word trying to find out who this God is that she is to trust. However Bea said, “There are so many words in the English Bible I could not understand, but now God’s Word is clear and I understand more about God every day.”
Alvina Federwitz is an LBT missonary serving as LBT’s liaison to the Liberian Translation and Literacy Organization (LIBTRALO). LIBTRALO is an organization of 16 language groups working together to bring God’s Word and general literacy to their people.