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I Thank You for this Book: Toma People Dedicate Genesis through Samuel

The line snaked around hand-hewn wooden benches under the canopy of palm fronds. Toma Christians waited patiently in line to buy their copy of newly published Scripture in their language. Twenty minutes later, there were still people in line. Over the three days of ceremonies related to the dedication of Genesis-2 Samuel, over two-thirds of the 1,000 available copies sold, demonstrating a hunger for God’s Word that surpassed the expectations of even the Toma church leaders.

A Quiet Crowd

About 80 people sat and stared intently at nothing in particular with that strange look of concentration a person gets when straining with all their energy to hear a sound. Everyone leaned forward to capture every word of the Sermon on the Mount as the voice of Jesus echoed through the grass shelter where we had gathered to explain the new dramatized audio New Testament. The chief would occasionally nod his head at a particularly poignant teaching. One of his advisors would occasionally risk voicing assent when Jesus hammered a point home, but quickly hushed again to avoid missing a single word Jesus had to offer.

Power Hungry

I have a really intense friend in West Africa. In January I went to visit him, and I said, "Let's have a meeting with the church leadership to choose several initiatives that will advance the Kingdom of God among the Yalunka people." Without hesitation, he looked straight into my eyes and said, "I know one that will work! Do you remember when the people of God were about to die in the book of Esther because Haman was going to kill them all? Esther declared three days of fasting and prayer--not drinking or eating. And they were saved. When Ninevah was about to be destroyed by God, the king called for fasting and prayer, and the city was saved. If fasting and prayer saved those people, and it was a matter of life and death, then how could we fail to evangelize our own people if we are fasting and praying? There's no way we could fail!"