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A Peeled Banana

It’s like tasting a peeled banana, after chewing through the peel for years.


It’s like eating soup with a spoon instead of a fork.


It’s seeing the stories come to life.


It’s hearing God speak to my heart.


These are all descriptions that people have given to describe what it is like to read Scripture in their heart language for the first time.

‘Be Nyɔsʋa ‑wa 'plä ‑gböösa, 'ɔnya 'sa 'ɔa 'jʋ 'doo 'doo, 'ia ‑gʋ nyɔɔ o nyɔɔ toroa' 'ɔɔn plɛ ‑pɩ jä, ‑maa 'ɔmä 'klälä 'nyɩa' blöröfa kä 'jä. -- JAAN 3:16 in the Bakwé language

Over the weekend, the Bakwé people received the New Testament in their own language! The Bakwé language group is located in southwest Côte d’Ivoire and is composed of over 10,000 people.


Thirty years ago, Csaba Leidenfrost and his family moved from America to the Bakwé area to begin learning the language. He then analyzed the phonology and grammar, which was all necessary in order to create an alphabet for translation and literacy to begin.


Every milestone like this is commemorated with singing, dancing, prayer and cultural celebrations! What a joy to see these people now able to hold the Word of God in their own language! While we were in Abidjan in August, we felt the excitement mounting as retired missionaries were traveling back to attend the Dedication Ceremony.



Waiting for the festivities to start! Everyone is dressed up and many have had outfits made with a fabric specially printed for this occasion.

This is the logo on the fabric for the Bakwé language project. You can see it in many of these pictures if you look closely!

A quick downpour during rainy season is to be expected! This is Csaba, the missionary who began the work on this project.

Singing and Dancing! God's Word is here!

This is Ayité, our friend and director of SIL Côte d'Ivoire, praying over the New Testaments before they were distributed.

This is Laurel! She was the precious friend who took care of us while we were in Abidjan. She did the typesetting for this New Testament, which means she took the translated text and fomatted it to make sure all of the margins were correct. She checked all the verse, chapter, and page numbers. She formatted the headers and footnotes AND inserted illustrations! She added the translated names to maps and included them in the back of this New Testament. All of that is a VITAL part of Bible translation that I hadn't even thought about before! In this picture, she is parading the New Testament around to make sure everyone can see! Laurel provided all of these pictures, too!


We were given a copy of the Bakwé New Testament and take it with us when we travel. We would love to show it to you and let you flip through it!

You also can read the Bakwé New Testament through Faith Comes By Hearing. On this website (and app), you can listen to the Bible in hundreds of languages! Click here to see it!


Bakwé is one language.


80 total languages in Côte d'Ivoire

19 language projects currently in progress

20 translation projects yet to begin


What a privilege you and I have to do our part to

translate the Scriptures!

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