Remembering Reverend Seth Adabuane’s Legacy of Hope to the Mayogo People

Remembering Reverend Seth Adabuane’s Legacy of Hope to the Mayogo People

June 5, 2023

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Honoring a Translation Leader Whose Work Hastened the Mayogo Translation Project

In Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the process of producing a New Testament in the Mayogo language took 30 years—approximately three times longer than normal. But what started in 1986 would shape their community for decades to come. 

Despite numerous obstacles, the work of Rev. Seth Adabuane established him as a pillar of steadfast support to keep the project going when the work seemed impossible, and completion seemed out of reach.

The Work Hindered by War

To summarize a bit about modern central African history: conflicts have plagued the region for decades. War caused the death and displacement of many, slowing the progress of translators and putting their work—and very lives—at risk.

With such a chaotic backdrop, it’s no surprise that the project struggled to maintain momentum. The project face financial struggles, and food shortages plagued the translators. But even when the work slowed, it did not stop.

Local pastors feared for the project’s and the people’s security, knowing that an attack of rebels or soldiers could end with the burning of translation offices and everything inside. There was also the risk of soldiers stealing the translators’ computers. As a result, team members bounced around, always on the move to minimize risk.

Local Christians Carry the Torch

When the project began, much of the work was led by outsiders. But as the war made it more difficult for expat translators to move freely in and out of DRC, mother tongue translators increasingly stepped into leadership roles. 

The transition was challenging, but it was effective. With the combined efforts of Interconfessional Center of Bible Translation and Literacy (CITBA), SIL International, and Seed Company, the Mayogo leaders saw the completion of the Mayogo New Testament in 2015.

One of those Mayogo leaders was Rev. Seth Adabuane.

Remembering Adabuane

Rev. Seth Adabuane carried a passion for the work of translating Scripture. As a lead translator, his zeal for the work helped keep the project going even in the darkest of times. He started the training process to become a consultant, but he was unable to complete the internship when diabetes complications stole his eyesight.

However, Adabuane remained undeterred, and he shifted gears to work with the Haut-Uele Orality project. This project, which included his heart language of Mayogo, would focus less on written Scripture and more on oral storytelling strategies. 

In one training, a team struggled to memorize a Bible story. They repeatedly introduced errors or forgot details when recounting it. Recording after recording, they had no success. However, the team found inspiration when they heard about Adabuane’s amazing feat: He got the Mayogo translation of the story correct in a single attempt!

His work has also been instrumental in translating the Mayogo Old Testament—specifically the book of Genesis.

We are thankful that God allowed Rev. Adabuane to continue the work of translation until the end of his life in August of 2022. Laurel Morgan, an Isario missionary, said, “We thank God for his life and his legacy. He will be greatly missed.”

Seed Company is proud to honor Rev. Seth Adabuane. His wisdom, leadership, and experience were instrumental in the Mayogo translation projects. Please join us in praying that the Lord will raise up another leader like him, continuing his legacy of bringing God’s Word to the remaining Bibleless people groups of DRC.

 

 

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