Cerma translation dedication (Photo courtesy Wycliffe Bible Translators)
Burkina Faso (MNN) ― Sometime in 1989, church leaders in Burkina Faso gathered to talk about a proposed Bible translation project in one of the country's indigenous languages.
Six years later, part of the Bible was published for the first time in Cerma, the mother tongue of many of the tribes living in Burkina Faso and the Ivory Coast. It wasn't until now, however, that the entire Bible was finally printed.
On April 14, Wycliffe Bible Translators and the local believers gathered to dedicate and celebrate God's Word in Cerma, finally fully translated, printed, and available. According to the Joshua Project, many Ciramba know Jula--the local trade language--quite well, but they still cling tightly to Cerma, their mother tongue, with over 60,000 speakers.
The crowd celebrated the new release since the process has been a long time in coming. Portions were typeset last March and then shipped from South Korea in time for the ceremony.
Only a fifth of the population is literate, however, so the people are also very receptive to literacy efforts in both Jula and Cerma.
In the pilot phase of a new program, the government has two bilingual schools where initial instruction and materials are in Cerma. The percentage of children enrolled in primary schools is one of the highest in Burkina Faso.
Most of the tribe follows the local traditional religion, and there are approximately 6,000 Ciramba Muslims. The new Bible will be a great tool to support the strong, although small, self-propagating church among the Ciramba.
Pray that God's Word will accomplish all He intends for it to accomplish among
the Cerma speaking community.