One at a Time: Bible Translation Transforms Lives in Kenya

Today over 7 billion people populate the planet, and Jesus still speaks directly to individuals through the words of the Bible. But some – usually those who are poor, voiceless, “the least of these” – have no Bible in their own language. Yet God has not forgotten them. And Francis Sang hasn’t either.

Francis, a Bible translator in Kenya remembers the first time he felt God spoke to him through Scripture. He was six years old, and someone taught him the text from Matthew 11:27-29, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” The text stayed with Francis from that point on; it even helped him overcome alcoholism more than 25 years later.

And Francis doesn’t take that experience for granted. As a translator for an updated, interconfessional version of the Kalenjin Bible, which will reach nine people groups in the Kalenjin language cluster, he works to share the Word of God with individuals forgotten by most of the world. Francis knows from experience that when God speaks through the Bible, life-change will follow.

When Jesus came to earth 2,000 years ago, he brought the message that God loves the whole world. But he also brought the message that God loves the individual, including the village woman or day-laboring man, who speaks a dialect of Kalenjin in Kenya.

And now, through the work of translators like Francis, God can speak, one at a time, to these individuals through his Word so that they can learn to follow him. Just like the first disciples. Just like the bleeding woman, the man possessed by a legion of demons, the desperate father. Just like Francis Sang.

A version of this story originally appeared as a part of The Seed Company’s blog series “The Least of These.”

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