A true story of Restoration in the African nation of Ghana from Wycliffe Bible Translators. (Excerpted from “A Story of Restoration: The Siwu Of Ghana” by Jennifer Stasak.)
There are two distinct Siwu-speaking groups that we met with when we visited Ghana: the Akpafu and Lolobi.
Prior to Bible translation beginning in the Siwu language, the Akpafu and Lolobi communities were separated — with no intention of restoring relationship with each other.
The funny thing is that when I talked to people in both dialects, no one seemed to have a concrete idea of how the separation between the Akpafu and Lolobi actually began over a hundred years ago. Perhaps the chiefs had argued. Perhaps something had been done or said. Whatever it was, they couldn’t resolve the issue. So they distanced themselves — one group settled to the east and one to the west of a set of mountains.
Despite the distance between villages, when the community began translating the New Testament into Siwu, they picked a translation committee chairman from Lolobi and a vice-chair from Akpafu.
Working as a team, they translated Scripture together — navigating slight idiosyncrasies in their specific dialects and assisting each other — eventually completing the translation in 2009 and dedicating the New Testament.
One of the Siwu New Testament translators, Reverend Stephen Addai, recalled that day fondly: “We decided we were going to launch it in Lolobi,” he said.
“We went around to our chiefs and told them that this was a great celebration. That day, from the time the people began assembling, it started raining. It rained the whole day. And though it was raining, they [the Siwu people] came in the rain and stood in the rain. In fact, it was a joyous sight. Both the old and the young came. It was very historic.”
For years, the Lolobi and Akpafu were separated because of a disagreement no one from either community can recall. But their mutual desire for the Word of God in their mother tongue gave them a common purpose. When it seemed impossible, the Siwu people showed up — together.
The Lolobi and Akpafu communities are now bonded by the words of the gospel in their own language.
God is in the business of restoring relationships — for the Siwu language, he used Bible translation work to reunite two communities who had been at odds for decades.
But Scripture’s most important purpose is to restore our relationship with God himself. That’s exactly what’s happening among the Siwu people, young and old.
This is the miracle of Restoration! The Father not only reconciles us to Himself because of Jesus Christ’s finished work on the cross, He also restores what is broken. He takes what is ruined and makes it brand new again!
Plus He includes us in the beautiful ministry of Restoration. Paul instructs us, “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently” (Galatians 6:1). Are you ready for the glorious ministry of Restoration?
This Sunday, October 31, we will continue our series, “Freely Give!”, with the life-changing gift of Restoration. Please join us at 10:35am in the building or online for the Live broadcast on either Facebook (Honolulu AG) or our YouTube channel (Honolulu Assembly of God). A link will be posted later here to our website (honoluluag.org).
Coming Up: Pastor Ron Peer will lead a Drive-Thru Prayer outreach ministry in the church parking lot Saturday, November 6, starting at 1pm. The Ladies’ Lunch will take place the following Saturday, November 13, beginning at 11am. Ladies, please do not miss this fun time! The Thanksgiving Celebration and Lunch will take place on Sunday, November 21. Turkeys will be provided by the church. Bring your favorite side dishes to add to the table.
Aloha and Aloha ke Akua!