Translating the Bible into the heart language of Wolof speakers in urban areas. The Wolof people, known for being entrepreneurial and also strongly Muslim, are the dominant people group in Senegal. They say, “To be Wolof is to be Muslim”. Pray that He will call Wolof speakers to the knowledge of Himself through His Word.
In Senegal on a two-year mission term translating, recording and sharing stories from the Bible, we met the Wolof Bible translation coordinator. Having already read And the Word Came with Power, by Joanne Shetler, we had a picture of the difference God’s Word in one’s own language makes in the lives of people. In fact, we had been thinking God might be leading us into Bible translation. We began praying about joining the team.
Since arriving back in Senegal with WorldVenture in 2009 and working on the Wolof Bible translation, we have experienced firsthand the need for yet another Bible translation. Millions of people — ethnically Wolof and from other ethnic groups — grow up in urban areas speaking a variety of Wolof different enough from the Wolof of the villages that they have difficulty understanding the “deep Wolof” Bible. Gerald, with the help of three Senegalese men, has been researching the differences in the Wolof language used in urban areas to prepare the way for work on a translation that urban dwellers can understand well. Believing that God is seeking those urban Wolof speakers, we are working to provide Scriptures in their own heart language.