Burkina Faso is a land-locked country in the Sahel region of Africa and one of the world’s poorest countries. Its official language is French, but it is home to an estimated 71 different languages, one of which is Bissa Barka. Subsistence agriculture is the main occupation in the Bissa Barka area, which is in the south of the country, bordering Ghana and Togo.
Churches regularly use the trade language, Moore, as well as the neighbouring language, Bissa Lébir, and then orally translate into Bissa Barka. Although there is some degree of multilingualism in the Bissa Barka area, many people understand very little of any other language than Bissa Barka. The small Christian community is crying out, as a result, for the Bible in Bissa Barka to strengthen their churches and lessen the misunderstandings which frequently occur when people hear the Bible in another language.
Before this project began there were no Scriptures available in Bissa Barka. Spurred on by translation into the neighbouring language, Bissa Lébir, a team is now working on translating the New Testament into Bissa Barka. To increase access to Scripture, a vital part of the project is to also provide literacy classes for the many people who are unable to read and write, as well as audio versions of Scripture.
Alongside Bible translation, the team has been producing language materials and running workshops to encourage church leaders to use translated Scriptures. A local team is also being trained to ensure that translation will continue on to the Old Testament and so they can use their skills to serve other communities without Scripture in their languages.
The hope is that through this work the local church will grow and believers will truly find their freedom in Christ.
Discover all our projects across the globe