SIMpray Kids Fun Facts – Benin

65% of the population in Benin is under 25 years old.

Five hundred years ago, the Fon tribe hunted other tribal people and sold them into slavery to the Portuguese. They had one rule though: they could not capture people living on the water. So, one clever group formed a small city on a lake. They built houses on wooden stilts. They kept animals on small patches of land near the edge of the lake. They built underwater fences to catch fish. Today, this city still stands. It is called Ganvie. Everyone, including children, moves about by riding in small, narrow boats.

Easy Science for Kids
Picture by Bluetaleb

Working with the church in Benin, SIM records and broadcasts Bible based radio programmes in 22 languages. Some of the broadcasts are in the languages of people who have had no other opportunity to hear the Good News of Jesus. In some of these people groups there are no Christians.

Pray that people who don’t yet know Jesus will tune in to these radio programmes and be amazed by what they hear from the Bible.

Image by Joanathan Velasquez

One of these people groups are the Monkolé people. A family who moved back to France from Benin in 2020 have been working on a translation of the Bible for the Monkolé. The translation of the Old Testament was completed in 2020 and presented to the Monkolé people in October 2021. How exciting! Can you imagine how amazing it must have been for the Monkolé people to be able to read the whole Bible in their own language?!

We asked TCK, eight year old Eve (born in Benin) to tell us a little bit more.

Image by Jonathan Borba
  • How long did it take to translate the Monkolé Bible?

The Bible took about 40 years to translate altogether. The New Testament was given to the Monkolé people in 2007. The Old Testament translation went more quickly than that.

  • How big was the team working on the translation?

There were three people on the team, but the team changed a bit over the years. They also worked with a Bible translation consultant who came and helped with the work a few times every year.

  • What was the hardest thing about working on the translation?

Working in the village of Pèdè could be a challenge. The only electricity in the office was solar energy, and this could be unreliable. The internet was bad. Also, it was very hot most of the year.

  • What were the most exciting things?

Seeing people read or preach from parts of the Bible which we had translated and making friends with people in our village.

We’ll find out more about Eve and her family in a future edition of SIMpray Kids.

There are over 450 different versions of the Bible available in English, and yet according to our friends at Wycliffe Bible Translators, if you imagine that five of your friends spoke different languages, one of them would not be able to read a Bible in their own language.

Thank God for the Bible and all it teaches us. Pray for people who don’t have the Bible in their own language, that they might meet Christians who are able to share God’s good news with them.

Ask your parents or guardians about the Bible App for Kids to help you learn more about God’s Good News.

For more ideas on Christian media appropriate for children, please read this article.

This page was created as part of our SIMpray Kids monthly prayer email. If you would like to pray regularly with our mission families serving around the world, please click here.