Stories Within Stories
In 1988 we arrived in the village of Déma to start working with the Kouya people. We learned the Kouya language, helped to develop an alphabet and literacy materials and finally, in 2012, the Kouya New Testament was dedicated. Of course, during that time, we have been involved in other activities and our involvement with the Kouya carries on, in a small way, even today.
However, broadly speaking, those twenty four years from 1988 to 2012 mark the period of our story with the Kouya. Twenty four years is a long time and a lot happened during those years.
But our story, though it is a missionary story and has been told and retold, is not the Kouya story. We weren’t the only missionaries to work alongside the Kouya; we weren’t even the only translators. You can read our friends Philip and Heather Saunders’ telling of their life among the Kouya in No Ordinary Book. But the Saunders’ story is not the Kouya story either. God was at work amongst the Kouya before any missionaries arrived there and his work will continue until Christ appears.
Missionaries have the amazing privilege of sharing a small part of the story of another people group, but we only walk alongside them for a short while.
But the Kouya story is not God’s story. God’s story is told in Scripture and stretches from the first Creation to the New Creation and beyond. It centres around the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and encompasses everyone on the earth – whether they acknowledge it or not.
We all live in interlocking and interweaving stories, but it is the grand narrative of God’s Story which makes sense of it all and give it meaning.