God’s Word in a person’s heart language opens their eyes to who God is, what his character is like and how much he loves them. When people get the opportunity to hear the Scriptures in a language they understand best, life takes on new meaning and purpose as the Bible convicts and encourages them.
As the New Testament was translated into Makonde, people learned something new about God — that just like them, he too values generosity and sharing. Makondes value these traits in their community above all else, and anyone who doesn’t live them out is called a person “who eats alone” — one of the greatest insults a Makonde can receive.
Reading the New Testament in Makonde showed people that God not only values generosity and sharing, but that He also displayed the greatest act of generosity and sharing when he gave his one and only Son as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. And because of that sacrifice, we have the opportunity to live with him forever.
On the day that the Makonde New Testament was dedicated, people gathered together and listened to Samuel, a Makonde man, share about the significance of this lesson, both for him and for the Makonde community as a whole.
“Our God is not a grasping God. He is not a keep-it-to-yourself God. Because of his love for us, and his desire to bring us to heaven, he did not hang on to his Son. Truly our God does not eat alone.”
And that day, as this community in Mozambique gathered together to celebrate the gift of the New Testament in their own language with music, dancing and feasting, no Makonde had to eat alone either.