Thanks to the faithful support of the LWML Utah-Idaho District, Lutheran—and Muslim!—families in northern Ghana are receiving their very own Bible storybooks, written in their Kusaal language.
At their 2014 district convention, women of the Utah-Idaho LWML voted to send $3,000 of their mission mites to the Lutheran Heritage Foundation (LHF). LHF is a recognized service organization of the LCMS that translates and publishes a wide variety of Lutheran books for churches and missionaries in more than 80 countries around the world.
When faced with the task of explaining the teachings of Christianity to someone who knows nothing about it, the huge quantity of information can seem daunting.
Now imagine trying to introduce the Gospel without any educational materials in your language to a group of people who is largely illiterate. That’s exactly what Rev. Nicholas Salifu faced in his home country of Ghana.
“I saw that [a Lutheran school] was something Ghana needed, urgently,” he shared. “The Scriptures are clear: ‘Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it’ (Proverbs 22:6). All of northern Ghana had not even one Lutheran school, even though northern Ghana has the majority of Lutheran churches and members.”
So Rev. Salifu built a Lutheran school on his own land with donations from churches here in the United States. When it came time to teach, he contacted LHF for simple books written in Kusaal he could use to teach the students the basics of the Lutheran faith; he envisioned that these same books would be used as reading primers.
Four years later, Rev. Salifu’s school has over 500 students (half of whom come from Muslim families) who use A Child’s Garden of Bible Stories in their everyday education.
In addition to teaching the faith to children, A Child’s Garden and Luther’s Small Catechism are used in adult literacy classes. Rev. Salifu estimates that 80 percent of the adult population in northern Ghana is illiterate. These books written in Kusaal allow these adults to increase their earthly standard of living while also growing in their spiritual understanding of Christ’s love for them.