The Flame* community
The Flame people live in the central region of a country in West Africa. Over 99% of the 500,000 Flame speakers are Muslims. In recent years some Flame people have moved to surrounding towns and neighbouring countries for work, but the centre of Flame cultural life remains in 60 or so small villages. Homes are very tightly set together in groups by family clan. A circle of rooms provides a central courtyard for cooking and eating in the day and for protecting sheep and goats at night. The language of education is French, and the majority of rural students do not continue beyond primary school. As a result, literacy rates are very low.
The Flame language is used for business and trade by several surrounding Muslim groups, making it the most widely spoken language in the region. It is therefore a key language to translate the Bible into so that many unreached people in the region have the chance to hear the good news of Jesus.
We pray that Flame Muslims and the surrounding groups will read God’s word and turn to Christ as their saviour.
We praise God that the Flame team has completed translation of the New Testament and Genesis. These portions of Scripture were launched in the community in April 2020. The focus going forward is to translate the rest of the Old Testament, which will help to build stronger bridges with the Muslim community. From an Islamic perspective, the biblical canon comprises the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament, also known as the Pentateuch), the Prophets, the Psalms and the Gospels. The team will therefore first translate the Torah, then the Psalms, then the Prophets and then all the remaining books, so that in 10 years’ time, the whole Old Testament will have been translated.
To increase reach of Scripture, the team is also aiming to record all of the Scriptures so people can listen to them and share them on mobile phones. To meet literacy needs and bless the community, the team works in cooperation with local non-governmental organisations to teach Flame* literacy classes for adults.
The team’s ultimate hope is to see individual lives and Flame society transformed through people hearing God’s word in their own language and growing in relationship with him.
*name changed for security reasons
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