Working together around the same table, looking each other in the eye and getting instant feedback –there is nothing like it! It is good to be back in Côte d’Ivoire working face to face with my Bakwé colleagues, Alexis, Pastor Firmain and Perez. This trip, our work schedule includes doing some evaluation of what we accomplished last year and doing some realistic (we hope) planning for the year to come. Two SIL staff will accompany us to the village where our planning session will include four key members of the Bakwé language association board of directors.
Aside from these meetings, the lion’s share of our time will be spent working through our Bakwé translation of Acts and Romans, getting them ready for a verse-by-verse check by a Wycliffe/SIL translation consultant. What time we have left I will use for a number of things, including the following: training the Bakwé team how to maintain the Bakwé web site; instruction on audio recording technique; the use of a couple of programs; re-installation of original software on a laptop; and much more.
Please keep us in your prayers. Thank you!
“Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me.” Psalm 66:20
Thank you for your continued prayers for Côte d’Ivoire and the Bakwé. Things have finally settled down over there. Our Bakwé colleagues and their families are back in the village and, praise the Lord, nothing was looted while they were gone! Their houses, the office and our house were not touched! Perez’s older brother who was severely beaten by soldiers is recovering from his wounds. The funeral for the chief of the village, who was found dead, will be in early August. They still do not know how he died. Apparently he was running from the soldiers and hiding in the bush at the time. Some think he may have died of an heart attack. He was a Christian.
Alexis, Perez and Firmain are back in the office and the work continues. While Alexis is working on the second draft of Romans, I have been taking the time to do some needed grammar analysis of Bakwé relative clauses and their use in Bakwé narrative. After I finish a short write-up of my findings I will begin working on our next book –1st Corinthians. Pastor Firmain continues to do the bookkeeping for the Bakwé Translation and Literacy Center as well as some Bakwé book production. He also pastors the local church in the village and oversees another church plant. Perez is currently working on back-translating our translation of Acts into literal French in preparation for a consultant to check our translation.
Please visit the private page of the Bakwé Mission web-site for more specific prayer requests. Click here to enter. If you don’t have the password, you will need to email Csaba and request it –thanks.
Pastor Firmain has moved his family to the Bakwé Translation and Literacy Center. Alexis and Perez and their families are doing well. The northern army has taken possession of the whole area, and so far, there has been very little looting in the Bakwé area. However, Firmain’s parents, living in another town, had to flee their home. Keep praying for protection and a peaceful resolution to the remaining conflict. Most of the fighting at this time is in Abidjan.
Please pray for Côte d’Ivoire and specifically for the Bakwé. The northern army is working their way from town to town, with the goal of taking the port city of San-Pédro in the west and Abidjan, the economic capital. To get to San-Pédro they will have to go right through our village. Needless to say, there is much tension and uncertainty. The other day Pastor Firmain was given a death threat by one of his non-christian neighbors who is from the north and loyal to the northern president. I chatted with Pastor Firmain online and I asked him what their needs were. He asked for prayer for safety. He also said that they could use some money to be able to stock up on food in case they have to hole up in their homes for days. We are looking into a way to do this. Since both the north and the south are using mercenaries, if fighting comes to the village, it is likely that everyone’s houses (including ours and the Bakwé Translation-Literacy-Community Center) will get looted. Please pray for the protection of their families, and everyone’s homes and property. Also pray for God to be glorified in the final resolution to the conflict. Pastor Firmain said that the seven denominations in the area are closely working together and meeting for joint prayer for the country. They also have been visiting all the mosques in the nearby large town, assuring the Muslim northerners that they will not harm them.