I flew into Abidjan yesterday for my second visit in six months. The city has changed a great deal since we left it in 2000, the civil war means that there are far fewer expatriots around – the SIL centre which used to be such a hive of activity is now depressingly quiet – my old office is more or less a store room. Good friends and warm greetings are part of life here and it’s great to be back home even if only for a few days.
It was fantastic to hear some news from Didier. He has just returned to the city after a few days at home in the Kouya area, and he told me that he couldn’t believe how well the people were reading the Kouya New Testament in Church. There is a whole generation of new Christians in the village whom Didier hardly knows, but all of whom are reading the New Testament fluently. He also told me that his sister has been going out alone in the evenings recently and that he had started to get concerned for her – so he asked what she was doing. It appears that she has been teaching a group of Kouya women in Abidjan to read Kouya so that they can read the New Testament for themselves. People are also increasingly sending letters from the city to the Kouya area written in Kouya rather than in French. This is all amazing news, and incredibly encouraging. All that work is being used and even without input from outsiders, the Kouya are using their language in the written form. We need to get more books published!
If you would like to hear what Kouya sounds like, here is a video of Didier reading his favourite passage: Romans 8:28-30. Follow along in your own Bibles! (It does take YouTube a while to publish the video so if it isn’t there at first, please come back).