I sat on a bench in a small village church near Makeni, where I plan to move my
family in October. Vibrant Themne singing surrounded me while I enthusiastically
joined the clapping. One day I will understand, then speak, and eventually even
sing. When it came to the liturgy reading from Isaiah I couldn’t understand that
either. I did notice that the speaker’s words sounded slow and hesitant. I wondered
if he had only recently learned to read his language. Being so overwhelmed by the
moment I forgot that there isn’t even a Themne Old Testament. That’s why we’re
going there! When I zoomed in with my video camera I saw “NIV” on the cover. I later
realized that he was actually reading English and translating on the fly into Themne
so the congregation could understand.
What an encouragement to see already, that the Themne will use the Bible in their heart
language when it is finally available!