Pray for the First Complete Bible for the Kono People of Sierra Leone

Your prayers can help bring God’s Word to a people longing to know him more

Since the discovery of diamonds in the Kono District of Sierra Leone, mining for these precious gems has been a way of life for the Kono people. But these curious people are learning to seek hope from a different source. They’ve found treasure in something worth far more than diamonds.

They’ve found Jesus.

Jesus has set many Kono people free. Free from the fear of illnesses, crop failure, death, and ancestral curses. They are experiencing the promise found in Colossians 1:13-14:

“He rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us safe into the kingdom of his dear Son, by whom we are set free, that is, our sins are forgiven.” 

As the number of Kono Christians increases, now at approximately 35% of the population, so does the need for God’s Word in a language they can understand.

Translation of the Old Testament Begins

Currently, only the New Testament is available to the 850,000 Kono speakers. Its translation began in 1974 but was temporarily stalled through Sierra Leone’s 10-year civil war. Thankfully, it was finally completed in 2008. Praise God!

Today, the Kono people eagerly await a full Bible—both the Old and New Testaments—in their mother tongue.

Translation of the Old Testament into the Kono language began in 2011 by Bible Society in Sierra Leona and partner translation agencies. Eighteen books have been translated so far, with Scriptures being made available to local churches as they are translated.

Now, local church pastors can read the stories of Joshua, Esther, and Jonah to their congregations in the Kono language. “I am happy for the initiative of this organization in translating God’s Word in our local language that I can understand better,” said one leader of the Kono District.

But the work is not finished! The goal is to make the complete Bible available to the Kono people by 2020. Will you join us in praying for the completion of this translation project so the Kono people of Sierra Leone can grow in their relationship with God?

Let’s Pray Together:

God, thank you for the faithful work of Bible translators and local church volunteers who make your Word available to the Kono people. Strengthen them, make daily provision, and encourage them by your Spirit. Please invite more Kono people into a relationship with you through the power of the gospel. Let them experience the life-changing, freedom-giving hope of your salvation.

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Nena Podbury
Nena Podbury

Nena Podbury is a Prayer Mobilization Associate at American Bible Society. Originally from the Bronx, she served in children’s ministry for 12 years doing Sidewalk Sunday School. Nena is married with two children, Noah and Emilia.

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