When the complete Giryama Bible finally landed in Kenya at the port of Mombasa and eventually made its way to Kilifi town, news spread very fast to the entire Kilifi County.
Bishop Mmika Kenga of the Light of God Church, who is more than 100 years old, didn’t want to wait until April for the dedication. Many others who had translated or participated in the translation work on the Giryama Bible were now very old and wanted to hold the Giryama Bible before they could rest.
No other event in the history of the Giryama church had ever brought together as many bishops as the preparation of the dedication of the Giryama Bible. The dedication also brought together clergy, politicians and administrators!
A procession led by bishops and translators, both young and old, men and women adorned in Giryama traditional dress carrying the Bibles in a Giryama traditional basket, commenced the day. Songs of praise and worship to God led by the Salvation Army band were sung through the procession. More than 2,000 people gathered for the celebration.
Reverend Peter Munguti, National Director for Bible Translation and Literacy of Kenya (BTL), led the dedication ceremony assisted by the BTL patron, Rev. Professor Watson Omulokoli, and Bishop Lawrence Dena, a prominent church leader from the region.
Instead of giving a speech, the chief guest, His Excellency the Deputy President, preached and quoted many verses from the Bible. He then asked all the bishops present to stand and reminded them of their role to the Giryama people. He said, “I have traveled into most of this Giryama land, I have seen the people and I know the kind of spirits affecting them. Bishops, you have some work to do. Some trust in chariots and some in weapons of war, but we trust in the name of the Lord. God is on our side. Let’s trust in God.”
By the end of the day, more than 900 copies were purchased. The Deputy President promised to pay for 1,000 copies to be distributed to the churches in the interior of the country and another politician promised to pay for 500 copies.
God has been faithful to the Giryama people. The project took many difficult years, but God has empowered the community to write their history and have his Word in the Giryama language.