April 10 marked the first anniversary of “One Day for the Akebu.” It was on that day in 2015 that cyclists Doug and Dan rode from Orlando, Florida, to Key West. It took them 23 hours and 49 minutes to cover the 363 miles.
Why the epic bike ride? To raise awareness, prayer and funding for a Bible translation project for the Akebu people of Togo.
In the months since the event, Doug’s home church, Faith Assembly in Orlando, “adopted” the Akebu Bible translation project. Doug started a prayer class focusing on prayer for the Akebu. The prayer group stays in touch with the Bible translator for the Akebu, Jacques, through a Facebook group dedicated to praying for Jacques and his team, the translation project and the Akebu people.
Who are the Akebu?
The Akebu live in the Akébou province in Togo’s southwest region, which is located in the largest rainforest of Togo. The people are proud to be Akebu and are distinct from the neighboring Akposos people.
The Akebu hunt and also farm. Main staples include corn, rice, taro, manioc, yam, funyo and beans. They also grow cotton, cacao and coffee to trade in the marketplaces.
In general, the Akebu believe in the supreme Deity, but some pay more attention to other smaller deities that they believe are very powerful. There used to be very few Christians among the Akebu people. Now there are several pastors and priests who have small local churches throughout the region.
Prayer and Funding Gets Translation Rolling
Thanks to the “One Day for the Akebu” bike ride, the support of Faith Assembly Orlando and God's grace, the Akebu translation team translated the book of Luke! Recently they also completed a dubbing of the “JESUS” film into Akebu. Praise God for the ways he has used the prayers and funds of the church to make these things possible!
The Akebu’s connection with Doug’s church doesn’t stop there. One day Jacques and team were in a nearby village doing a community check of Genesis 12-25, the story of Abraham. After the checking session — which turned into a Bible study with great interaction from the community — they attended a service in the small local church. At the end, the pastor asked Jacques to pray with them concerning their need for a building.
Later, when Jacques posted pictures of the event, Doug picked up on the prayer need and forwarded it to Faith Assembly’s missions pastor. Doug knew that in the past, Faith Assembly had been involved in building multiple churches in Togo, so pairing this request for a building with this particular U.S. church seemed like a perfect match.
Praise God, now prayers and plans are being laid for Faith Assembly to send a team to work together with community members to construct a church building in the Akebu village this summer. The plan is to dedicate the building with a premier showing of the Akebu “JESUS” film early this fall.
So, how do you inform and inspire the church to a higher level of engagement in the Bible translation task? The answer is found in Psalm 2, “only ask” and keep asking, seek and keep seeking!
- Pray that more churches would be drawn to partner with people groups still in need of God’s Word.
- Ask God to bless Jacques and the rest of the team as they continue translating.
- Pray for the Faith Assembly team and the Akebu community that will be building a church for the Akebu this summer.
Make a Prayer Connection: Check out the project page for God's Word for the Akebu people of Togo.