Christian evangelistic ministry, perhaps more so than any other endeavor, exists to work ourselves out of a job. John Piper put it this way:
“When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more.”
The end goal of each project Seed Company partners with is to translate Scripture into the heart language of a people group so that all might be saved.
As we work toward the day when there will be no more need for Bible translation, we celebrate each life transformed along the way. One of the many languages in which lives are being changed forever through God’s Word is Ndrulo, which is spoken by over 145,000 Ndrukpa people in Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Two Friends Trade Alcohol for God’s Living Water
Before he met Jesus, Mr. Okecha’s friends included alcohol and a man named Mr. Mathatha, who regularly drank with him.
But hearing James 4:1-10 in his own language brought a deeper friendship than he’d ever known. As Mr. Okecha heard these words in Ndrulo, he absorbed their message: “Wash your hands… purify your hearts.” He turned from alcohol to the living water of Christ’s love and received Jesus as Lord.
It wasn’t long before Mr. Okecha’s transformation caught the attention of his former drinking buddy, Mr. Mathatha. The two of them invited a local pastor to preach from James, and Mr. Mathatha followed Mr. Okecha’s example. He gave his life to Christ.
Now, the two are united by something much stronger than the proof of their drink. Two weeks after his decision, Mr. Mathatha declared that “Jesus Christ will be his best friend in life.”
One Man Turns from Witchcraft to God’s Wisdom
Among the Ndrukpa people, many attend church gatherings, but few have a deep, transformational knowledge of the gospel. As a result, superstition and witchcraft still retain footholds in their culture.
Mr. Ukumu had spent years practicing witchcraft. He gained such notoriety that his own nephew attacked him with a panga—a type of machete popular in Africa—because he believed Mr. Ukumu had killed his father with sorcery.
Though Mr. Ukumu was left disabled by the attack, he did not turn from witchcraft. Instead, he continued distributing poisoned charms to those in the community he considered enemies.
Thankfully, Mr. Ukumu witnessed the transformation of his brother-in-law Samson, who had recently turned from idols to follow Jesus after hearing God’s Word in Ndrulo. Mr. Ukumu, seeing that Samson’s life and marriage had been blessed by the One who truly has power, invited a church leader to help him understand who Jesus is. After working with other believers from the local church to remove the charms that he’d hidden around his home, he was baptized as a follower of Christ.
Today, Mr. Ukumu is experiencing peace in his home and community. Not only has he received God’s forgiveness, but he’s also experienced reconciliation with the very people he’d tried to hurt.
Ndrulo “JESUS” Film Brings Community Together
When Jesus’ disciples approached him about perceived outsiders doing work in Jesus’ name, the Lord responded, “Anyone who is not against us is for us.” While striving to have the most accurate view of God that we can is noble, we must remember that believers need not be in the same camp to be on the same team.
As the Ndrulo translation team has worked, they have seen growing unity among the people. Recently, with the completion of a major project goal—the translation of the “JESUS” film into Ndrulo—the community came together to celebrate the new way in which they could hear Jesus speaking in their heart language.
Because the voice actors represented various denominations and hailed from both Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo, the “JESUS” film’s Ndrulo version has bridged many gaps that had prevented the community from experiencing the kind of unity Paul wrote about in 1 Corinthians 12.
The Journey Continues
Currently, the Ndrulo translation team is working on translating and publishing Ruth, Matthew, and 14 New Testament epistles. They’re just one of over 900 translation teams that Seed Company investors currently partner with!
Though it often feels as though the work of Bible translation and evangelism will never end, we know that, someday, it will. That’s part of why it is so important to take time to pause, thank the Lord for the work he is doing, and ask him to direct our time, energy, and resources to what ultimately matters most: the Word of God and the souls of people.
Want to meet someone else from the Ndrulo community whose life has been transformed? Read Ucaya’s inspiring story about how God’s Word helped her open up to love after a heartbreaking past.