Category Archives: Other
The Dedication of the Tagbana Bible
Cultural Center – Katiola, Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa
May 11, 2013
By Dick Jacobs, Class of 1956
Tumultuous black clouds darkened the atmosphere…banging shutters echoed throughout the auditorium…lights flickered and, then, went out…people hustled about preparing themselves for swirls of dust that would soon engulf the room – typical turbulence before a West African midday downpour. However, there was no need for concern for soon the storm would pass and the 500+ audience would resume to a semblance of order. However, as I sat at the speakers table along with five others…in lieu of becoming anxious I allowed my mind to drift back in time – May 1956…57 years earlier…Brooklyn, New York…the annual meetings of Conservative Baptists…Ruth’s and my appointment with CBFMS…our testimony before the Conservative Baptist constituency that, if God allowed us, we wanted to serve in an area of the world where we could help bring the Bible – God’s love letter to humanity – to a people group that did not yet have it in their own language.
The rain moved on…the room brightened…the music and dancing resumed…we were in Tagbana-land in the interior of Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa with a population of about 140,000 people. Ruth, I and our two children had lived and worked here from 1959 to 1978 before the Board of the, then, CBInternational asked us to return to the U.S. headquarters to serve as Africa Ministries Director. We had reduced the Tagbana language to writing…had participated in the translation work…had witnessed the first believers coming to Christ…had helped train leaders…and the church which now numbers 2000+ members is moving forward steadily. Wow! God is so very good!
Several others were scheduled to speak at this celebration – the regional commander, the provincial head, the President of the Baptist church association, the Catholic bishop and the local pastor who had been a member of the translation team from the beginning. When it came time for me to move to the microphone, I was, to say the least, a bit anxious as to how effectively my thoughts would be conveyed. Although, after retirement in 1995, Ruth and I had made month-long visits back to the Tagbana people in 1997, 1999 and again in 2009; I hadn’t lived in either a French- or Tagbana-speaking context for more than 35 years. However…there was something inside me that wanted to be spoken and, realistically thinking, this could very well be my last opportunity:
- an expression of appreciation to people in the Ivoirian government who had labored diligently to maintain an atmosphere in which people could experience their God-given right to worship according to the dictates of their heart…
- a word of thanks to the translation team that had persevered day after day, year after year, for 30+ years, so that this milestone could be celebrated…
- heartfelt praise to our gracious God who never tired, even for a moment, in His relentless desire to bring the Good News to this distant tribe of people – the Tagbanas…
- a story that Ruth and I had had the privilege of living many years before – In 1961, at a time when we were deep into the challenge of trying to make sense out of the sounds in the Tagbana language, the Ivoirian government was building a large earthen dam in central Côte d’Ivoire. Its purpose was to provide electricity for all of Côte d’Ivoire and even sections of neighboring countries. Kaiser Engineers, headquartered in Washington State, had been granted the contract. So, overwhelmed with our task and attempting to reach out anywhere we could to find a fresh perspective on life, we decided to visit the project about which everyone was talking. It was an incredible project …one that would, in effect, revolutionize the lives of millions of people and set the country itself on a totally new path of development and progress. However, as we visited each detail of this amazing undertaking and contemplated the impact that it would have on the lives of people, we couldn’t help but hear the anxious questions that were churning within us: “What about our ‘project’? What impact will the work in which we are involved make on the lives of people? How significant will what we are doing be in making this country a better place to live?” As we turned to leave the site, I looked toward our host and said, “Wow…this whole thing must surely give you a tremendous sense of fulfillment!” Without hesitation, he, in return, looked at us and responded: “Yes, but this is a project for this life only…yours is for eternity!”
May 11, 2013…54 years later…as we placed the Bible in the hands of the Tagbana people, the sense of the “journey” on which God had taken us became much clearer. Because, you see, the Bible is more than a book. Not unlike the electricity that flows from the gigantic turbines of the Kossou Dam, the Word of God impacts the lives of people …it changes them…it makes them better…it restores broken relationships between people and people and God…it prepares us for our life here on earth and also for the life we will live when our time on earth is no more.
“Thanks be to God, who made us his captives and leads us along in Christ’s triumphal procession.”
– II Corinthians 2:14
IGNITE: with the creativity of the GOSPEL
Ruled by ruts and reruns in life and ministry? Creativity is God’s forte! How do we . . .
. . . connect with our Creator God to spark fresh ways to lead others to Jesus?
. . .stay innovative in the work place, the city streets, the home, the community and in the church?
Come team with us to IGNITE––with the creativity of the Gospel for the glory of God!
This gathering is for ALL women. Bring your girlfriends to enjoy this “breath of fresh air” experience together!
April 20, 2013 (Saturday) 9:00 am – 4:15 pm
Imago Dei Community Church, main sanctuary
1302 SE Ankeny
Portland OR 97214
COST: $30 early registration; $15 students; $38 late registrations (after April 6th.) $7.50 optional box lunch. (Sorry, no box lunch orders after April 16th.)
Keynote Speaker: Sarah Thebarge
- Area Restaurants (a list will be provided at the conference)
- Bring your own lunch, or
- Box lunch - Pre-order when you register.
Conference invitations have been emailed out and may be forwarded to others. If you did not receive an invitation, please contact us to request to be added to our list. Please include your full name, city/state, and email address: add to email list.
Note:Photographs may be taken during WCM gatherings. By registering you are agreeing to allow any photos to be used for promotional purposes.
Check out our Spring 2013 edition of Western Magazine online!
Click here to request a print copy.
An Occasional Lecture Series by Western Seminary International Students
One Mile Wide and One Inch Deep:
How can the Ugandan Church translate ‘numbers’ into real cultural influence?
Given by Julius Twongyeirwe, graduating Doctor of Missiology student
Tuesday April 2, 2013
Western Seminary Chapel
Ugandan worship to precede and a dessert reception to follow the lecture
Uganda is thought to be a Christianized nation with 85% of the people identifying themselves as Christians. Yet in spite of this, it is also ranked as the one of the most corrupt countries in the world. How can this paradox be rectified? The true Church of Uganda is called to be a voice in the culture, but this is hard when many already believe they are Christian and yet the truth of what that should mean in their lives does not penetrate more than this surface cultural identification. Come hear as Julius relates this current condition and how the gospel can truly transform hearts in the churches of not only Uganda, but the other nations of Africa.
Julius Twongyeirwe has been a pastor in Uganda since 1994. In 1999 he founded Proclamation Task (PT) which reaches all regions of Uganda to help equip pastors. PT organizes, supervises and coordinates training for pastoral leadership. Julius earned an M.Div. from Western in 2006 and is completing his studies for the DMiss program. Julius is married to Grace and has 4 children
Global Voices is a free lecture series at the Western Seminary Portland campus, featuring our international students. We’ll hear from at least one international student each semester on topics of interest to the Christian community around the world. We invite you to bring friends and family who may also enjoy learning about God’s work in other countries.
Congratulations to Steve Korch for his new book, “Coming to Your Senses” published by Red Kite Publishers (Santa Cruz, CA). Steve is a full-time faculty member and Director of Pastoral Training at the San Jose campus. His book addresses two big questions: How does God bring about authentic change in the lives of His people? What does authentic change really look like? Want the answers?
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