The Challenges of Life!

Anne and Daniel Ministry Update January 2, 2015

Dear Friends,

Greetings in this New Year 2015!

Challenges are sometimes exciting, sometimes scary, and but very often distressing, as we need something far beyond our own resources and strength when facing tough times

Joseph faced the challenge of a pregnant fiancée, of no place to stay in a town, having a baby far away from family, and then having to run away to Egypt because of that wonder baby. Jesus. His life began and ended with challenges. And yet he lived up to each one and we today we reap the benefits of what he did for us. Praise God! May the Lord give us this same fortitude and wisdom to face the challenges before us! And now especially in 2015.

Challenges in Turbulent Political Climate

On October 31, President Blaise Compaoré resigned after violent demonstrations. He had been trying to impose a change of the constitution once again, so that he could run for elections again, after being 27 years in power. A transition government has since been put in place, and we are thankful for a relatively smooth transition. It could have been much worse. The new leaders need our prayers as they face many demands and expectations, and prepare for elections later in 2015.

But Burkina's problems are nothing compared to Nigeria. As Nigeria prepares for elections in February, there are growing tensions and fears of an escalation of violence. The last time I was there in November, my friends shared their fears and concerns with me. We were told that it might be best not to come again until after the elections. Pray for Nigeria.

Challenges in the Face of Hostilities

While in Nigeria, I met a pastor who had to flee along with his entire town from the radical Islamic sect, Boko Haram. Most of the members of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria are now refugees. Many have been killed. They fled with the clothes on their back. And too many have horrible stories to tell. And yet this pastor said — we must love and pray for the salvation of the Boko Haram people. What a contrast from others — also Christians — who retaliate in violence. But how to solve the problem of Boko Haram violence in Nigeria? Pray for the people of Nigeria, and that the Lord will bring the peace they so much desire.

Pray also for cool heads and calming words here in Burkina. There has been fear of potential hostilities of people of the former regime under Compaoré, and clear expression of hate and vengeance of some towards former leaders of the past regime.

At the end of November, I was invited to teach Theology of Warfare in the Bible at the Logos Bible Institute here in Ouagadougou. Whoa! Did they know what they were doing asking a Mennonite pacifist? I ended my course with a challenge that they may well have the opportunity to love their 'enemy' in the next twelve months. To just do it, according to the exhortation in Romans 12:9-21.

The Lord seems to give me plenty of opportunities to do just that lately — loving and praying blessing for people who have been hostile (verbally) to me. I pray for grace and strength in each case.

Translation challenges!

Now this kind of challenge is more exciting!

When I introduced a translator to the Bible Society Handbook on translating Isaiah recently, he started reading it right away. A little while later he exclaimed, oh I did not know that all those kings (mentioned in Isaiah 1.1) succeeded each other! He thought they had lived all at the same time. One never knows what a translator will misunderstand. Another day, as I was checking scripture, I was surprised that the translator mistook the word 'ford' for 'fort'. And then I realized that there is no 'd' at the end of words in his language, so the tendency to confuse the two words.

These are only two examples that illustrate the need for translation manuals and consultants to explain potential misunderstandings of the text and help the translator towards an accurate and clear translation.

In a few months, I plan to be leading a workshop in Congo Brazzaville where they will be preparing to translate selections of Exodus. The problem is that there is not yet any translation manual of Exodus in French, except for drafts of the first four chapters. So my challenge, right at this moment, is to either find or develop materials for them, or find people to help me do it! I am in the process of marking the verses that will need special explanation as I pray for the best way forward. Pray with me.

Another very exciting challenge for me will come just after the Congo workshop. Next April, I have been invited to teach Discourse of Biblical Hebrew at the Home for Bible Translators in Israel. It is the same place that I studied and taught at a number of years ago. In addition to teaching a topic that I enjoy, I will have the opportunity to continue research for the development of resources for translators, particularly in French. I am thankful.

A few final words

Daniel had a few health challenges last August, but we are very thankful that he has regained his former energy, and keeps busy with his schools and church and various other projects.

We are thankful for all your support. A special donation helped us to match the CTEN grant for solar lamps, so that we hope to be able to complete that project before the due date in March 2015. Our giving in 2014 totalled to 58% of our projected goal, up from 56% in 2014. Again, thank-you!

Don't forget to check out the WordShare Prayer Page on Facebook for the latest prayer requests and news. Ask to be invited.

May the Lord give you the peace that Jesus brought and the joy and strength to serve Him daily.

Anne and Daniel Kompaoré

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