06/13/2009: Bibles for Africa Update
Praise the Lord that He has given us another year to work for Him. May we all do some small part to hasten His coming.
We would like to give a brief report on the work we have been doing in Africa. Many of you know that we started a “Bibles for Africa” project in 2002. The Lord has blessed abundantly. The devil has done many things to hinder the work, but we rely on the promise of 2 Kings 6:16: “And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.”
Through your donations a church near Kilgoris, Kenya, has been completed for the Maasai people. When they accept the gospel, it means a dramatic change in their lives. This church had over sixty adult members, thirty youth, and seventy children. They are already outgrowing the church. We are praying that if the donations come in, this metal church can be turned into a school for the children, with one room made for a clinic for the people. Then a new block church will be built for them to worship in. A lady that is a government official’s wife donated two acres for a school and the church building. Her husband is not an Adventist, but he does not oppose the work, and is very congenial.
Samwel, a pastor of a church outside of Nairobi, tells of going to the church in Kuria to help with a camp meeting. When the camp meeting ended, he and two other brothers were walking several miles to catch a bus to return to their homes. Kuria is a very remote area on the border of Tanzania. As they walked through a village, a group of men stepped into the path in front of them and asked where they were going. They replied that they were going back home after preaching for a camp meeting in Kuria. The men said, “How do we know that you have been preaching?” Samwel, told them some of the things that they had been speaking about. The men again asked, “How do we know that you are really preachers?” Samwel reached for his back pack and pulled out his Bible. When the men saw his Bible, they all dropped their machetes and knives and their arms fell to their sides. The men started saying, “Please, let us go, let us go.” Samwel and the two brothers realized that the Lord was answering their prayer and they quickly hurried past the men. They proceeded to the bus stop without further problems. Truly “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them.” Psalm 34:7.
An elder and a Bible worker have been studying with several members of the Catholic church. The man that owns the land where the Catholic Church is built has joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Three quarters of the members of the Catholic Church have either joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church or are taking studies and planning to be baptized. The owner of the land does not want the Catholic Church on his property any more. He is wanting to either buy the church for a Seventh-day Adventist church, or have the church torn down. We are planning to visit this area on our next trip to assess the situation and see if the church would be suitable and if the price is reasonable.
Another terrible problem in Africa is the orphans. Due to AIDS, malaria, typhoid, TB, other illnesses and lack of birth control, there are large numbers of orphans. We are currently assisting two schools and orphanages (the school and orphanage are combined) and making plans to help two other orphanages. They both have over fifty children. They have no classrooms, very limited cooking facilities, and the children have to sleep on the floor, or wherever there is room. We plan to assist with a classroom and a dorm style room for the children to sleep in.
We also continue to be active in printing literature in the native languages of Africa. We have printed Steps to Christ, Desire of Ages, and Great Controversy in the Swahili language, in Kenya. Christ Object Lessons was partially translated and now a volunteer in Tanzania is finishing this translation. For his wages, he has asked for one hundred of the books once they are printed. We are already arranging the printing for these. The printer is also going to print two thousand Steps to Christ books in the Maasai language. Many of the Maasai people, especially the older people, cannot read Swahili, or English.
Desire of Ageshas never been available in the Twi language in Ghana. A high school teacher translated this book. He finished the translation and then died unexpectedly. Before his manuscript was taken to the printer, a mouse ate the last thirteen chapters. We had to find a new translator. We hope that this will be finished shortly. We have already made arrangements with the printer to print two thousand books. As the funds come in, we will print more.
A college student came to see us this past November. He volunteered to translate Great Controversy into the Twi language. This book also has never been available. For his pay, he asked for a laptop that he could use for translating, so that the manuscript could be typed out, instead of being hand written. This will save money for the printer, and it will also eliminate the problem of the mouse! Please pray that this work may go forward to completion.
The needs in Africa are great. We have been able to build eight churches, but more churches are needed, so that people can worship without the rain and sun interfering. More Bibles are needed. We purchased a thousand Bibles (hard cover, because paperback gets torn too easily) in Kenya in November, and five hundred Bibles in Ghana. We also purchased a hundred Maasai Bibles – they are double the price of the Swahili Bibles, but the people need to be able to read in their own language. We asked the workers to give them only to the people that are sincerely studying and those who have been baptized.
There are so many people that have not yet been told of the love of God and of His soon return. “For years the perplexing question has been before us, How can we raise funds adequate for the support of the missions which the Lord has gone before us to open? We read the plain commands of the gospel; and the missions, in both home and foreign fields, present their necessities. The indications, yea, the positive revelations of Providence unite in urging us to do quickly the work that is waiting to be done.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 114.
“The Lord is coming. The end is near; yea, it hasteth greatly! In a little while from this we shall be unable to work with the freedom that we now enjoy. Terrible scenes are before us, and what we do we must do quickly. We must now build up the work in every place possible. And for the accomplishment of this work we greatly need in the field the help that can be given by our ministers of experience who are able to hold the attention of large congregations.” Evangelism, 39.
If you would like further information, feel free to contact us. We would be happy to send a DVD so that you can see the work if you are interested. May God bless and keep each one of you as we unite to finish the work so that Jesus can return.
By Bill Humeniuk, Advent Hope Ministries, Inc., P.O. Box 100, Campbellsburg, KY 40011. Website: www.biblesforafrica.org