In a village in Uganda, the guard on duty at the local radio station opened the gate and greeted the team arriving with New Testaments. He eagerly watched as a young radio presenter opened a box and took out a copy of the recently published Scriptures. The guard had heard the excitement surrounding the Gungu New Testament the day before, when a special event had been held to dedicate the newly printed books. There, many people had heard God’s Word in their language for the first time, and because many were inspired to buy copies, the team had run out and had to send to a nearby town for more.
Now, whispering, the guard asked his colleague to read a verse from Matthew. The presenter read the verse aloud while the guard listened closely: “What do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” (Matthew 16:26; NLT). The guard urged the man to read it again, which he did.
Seeing the guard’s interest, the team decided to give him a New Testament. The man leapt with joy, knelt on the ground, raised his hands in the air with excitement, laughed and hugged the Bible to his chest. “I’ve done so many bad things in my life,” he said, “but now salvation has come to me. The Lord is with me!”
Still kneeling and swaying, he kept thanking them for the New Testament, and he called out the name of Jesus with great joy. Then he got up and started dancing spontaneously with the radio presenter, unable to hide his excitement — a moving and a powerful testimony to the impact of God’s Word in the mother tongue. Someone asked if the guard knew how to read. “No,” said the presenter, “but now he will be asking the young people in his home to read that Bible to him.”
For a long time, the Gungu community tried to use the neighboring Nyoro-Tooro Bible, but without understanding it well. Church leaders recognized the Gungu people’s need to have the Scriptures in their own language. During the Scripture dedication, a local minister exhorted the Gungu community to allow the Word of God to take root in them and to transform their lives.
She challenged them to see the Gungu Bible not as a trophy, but as life itself. Praise God for bringing his Word to the Gungu people in their own language. They have eagerly received it. Let us pray that many more people will experience God’s presence in their lives through hearing and reading the Gungu Scriptures.