New Bible on its way to Benin

The family on their last day in Benin

SIM’s Hilary Deneufchatel moved back to France from Benin, praising God she had fulfilled her goal of helping the Monkolé people have access to the whole Bible in their own language.

The Monkolé live in the north of the country where in the 1970s, a handful of men became Christians and today, there are two Monkolé churches, with several hundred members.

The New Testament was published in 2007 after many years of hard work by the small, dedicated translation team with SIM Canada missionary Grace Birnie. After Grace’s retirement, Hilary joined the team in 2011 and the Old Testament was completed in 2020.

Hilary with a copy of the Monkolé Bible

“It was pretty amazing to hold the Bible in my hands after so many years of translation work what tangible proof of God’s faithfulness!” says Hilary, who was also responsible for proof-reading an updated Monkolé song book that was re-printed.

“Some songs are translations of French hymns, but many were composed by the Monkolé themselves,” she adds.

Back in France, Hilary has embarked on training to become a Bible translation consultant, which means learning Biblical Greek among other skills!

“It’s a difficult language to learn and very different from other languages I know, but I’m enjoying the challenge! As a former language teacher, I know that motivation is crucial, and I’m certainly very motivated!”

The Monkolé Bibles were printed in South Korea and sent by boat to Benin. Once through customs, 2,000 copies will then make their way north by lorry and are due to arrive sometime in October.

The translation team, from left: Hilary, Pastor Samuel Tchebo, consultant Pierre Barassounon and Philémon Orou

“The Monkolé Christians are planning to hold a ceremony to thank God for the Bibles,” says Hilary, “but this may need to be smaller than hoped for because of Covid restrictions and I’m praying for guidance as to whether I should travel to Benin for the service.”

By Kerry Allan

Please pray

  • For the safe arrival of the Monkolé Bibles.
  • That Monkolé Christians will be equipped to read, study and understand their Bibles.
  • Give thanks for translators like Hilary, whose work is dedicated to enabling everyone to have access to God’s word.

This was posted on 6 October 2021 in Bible access and Translation.

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