Church planting efforts in the Wusuraambya tribe began in the mid 1960’s, hindered constantly for many years by the difficult Wusuraambya language. It wasn’t until the 1982 that the first missionary was able to communicate well enough in the language to share God’s truths with the people. The first professing believers were baptized in 1988 and 1989.
While teaching the truths of God’s Word is obviously an essential part of church planting, believers need the Word of God as well as bible lessons and other helps in their language to be able to function independently of the missionaries or evangelists. While a translation from a distant dialect of the Wusuraambya people was useful in teaching, it was too difficult for the people to read and understand themselves. Thus a local dialect translation was badly needed for the Wusuraambyans, a project that began in 2001 and will continue until the New Testament is published in the Wusuraambya language.
Chronological Bible Teaching (Firm Foundations)
After translating Genesis, Mark, and hundreds of other verses needed to teach the foundations for faith in Jesus Christ, and in September 2005, following the example of Christ on the road to Emmaus, we began teaching through from Scripture and bible lessons written in the Wusuraambya language, starting with the creation, teaching the attributes of God and man, the fall in Genesis 3, the punishment for sin, the promises of a coming saviour, and the law and its purpose for our lives. After teaching through dozens of prophesies we finally came to the Gospel. As we taught through the life of Christ those who had listened carefully to the teaching of the past months came to the conclusion themselves that all those prophesies could only be talking about Christ, and that through faith in the finished work of Christ we could finally be set free from the bondage to Satan and sin and have eternal life with God in heaven.
Teaching literacy is also a very important part of the church planting ministry. What good will all this translated scripture and lessons do if nobody could read them? Thus as we began to teach through the Scriptures we also began teaching the people to read the quoted Scripture themselves. The desire to learn from God’s Word really motivated people to want to learn to read themselves. Now there are many good readers and many more wanting to learn as soon as we can begin a new literacy class for them.
There is a local medical facility where basic medical help is available whenever a nurse is present to help out. When the local orderly is away from his post the people have to walk 5 hours to the next aidpost! Thus Cathy often helps people with urgent medical needs whenever the local doctors are away from their post for extended periods of time.
Freedom in Christ
While many people still seek help from witch doctors and suspect sorcery when someone is ill, those who have put their trust in Christ as their Saviour no longer live in fear, trying to appease the spirits of the dead. As they rejoice in Christ others are seeing the change and saying, “We want to hear this teaching!” Several villages are waiting for the Wusuraambya believers to come and teach them as soon as they are ready.