Press Release: September 11, 2013

Themne Hungry for God’s Word by Josh Wagner

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!


Josh and Ruthie Wagner are pre-field missionaries planning to leave for Sierra Leone this fall.  To learn more about their ministry visit their blog.

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