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The joy of Christmas

December 27, 2022 by Anonymous 0 comments

Posted in: Missions

Today’s Pulse article is written by one of the missionaries our church supports, although names and specific info is being withheld for safety purposes.


“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.’” (Luke 2:10-11)

The following Christmas story is a bit long, but well worth it. It took place in the Central African Republic, in one of the languages where I trained national translators from 2008-2011.

Last Christmas, Mrs. Logne was worrying about what to do at the Bible college wives’ Christmas celebration. Everyone had to do something in their own language, but here she was, almost at the last minute, and she had nothing to share in her native language, Nzakara.

“I wanted to read Luke 2:6-12, and to sing a song connected with it in Nzakara,” she recounts. “That night I remembered that the Nzakara Bible translation team had given out portions of Luke in Nzakara, and my husband must have a copy somewhere! When he found it, it was the first eleven chapters of Luke in Nzakara, so the story of Jesus’ birth was there! I went over and over my reading, and my husband said he would sing the song with me.” 

On the big day, after the Bible passages were read in the national language, Mrs. Logne stood up. She did her whole presentation in Nzakara, not just the parts she’d prepared specially. “While I was still reading verses 6-12, everyone rose to their feet,” she recalls. “There was thunderous applause. Those outside came running. The pastor had to ask everyone to be quiet because otherwise they couldn’t hear what I was saying. When I finished, my husband and I sang, Aâ vungu Gude ee!! (“The child is born!!”) The excitement nearly raised the roof! Everyone wanted to sing the song.”

Once he’d restored order, the pastor thanked God that he’d been able to hear the story in Nzakara, his own language. It had been the high-point of the whole event for him, and he was overwhelmed by the congregation’s response to the Nzakara presentation. Mrs. Logne’s creativity, courage and commitment to using her own language to communicate the truth of God’s word challenged him to follow her example, and he committed there and then to using Nzakara much more in his ministry in the future.

I remember printing those chapters for the Nzakara translators back in 2009, right after consultant checking that portion of Scripture with them. And years later God brought those printed pages to light. 

Just a few months ago, I heard from a colleague in the Central African Republic (who relayed the above story to me), that the Nzakara team has finished their final book in the New Testament, and it will soon be printed and dedicated. The other three groups I trained there have just finished as well (Banda Linda, Bhogoto and Mpyemo). Soon they won’t have to hunt around for old printouts, they will hold God’s Word in their hands. A light is now shining in the darkness, and the darkness will not overcome it.

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