October 2011 – Yalaland might sound like a make-believe country in a child’s imagination, but the region in southeast Nigeria is quite real.
There, the Yala people mostly make their living by raising crops like yams, cassava and rice. And on Sundays, hundreds of Yala worship at one of Yalaland’s 10 Lutheran congregations.
However, Yala Lutherans lack many resources Americans take for granted. Though the New Testament has been translated into the Yala language, Bible translators are still working on the Old Testament. Materials for teaching children and Lutheran devotions for families are non-existent.
Three American LCMS congregations saw the need to help the Yala better understand their shared faith: Resurrection in Detroit, Mich.; Good Shepherd in Lincoln, Neb.; and Trinity in Walton, Neb. Through their mission gifts to the Lutheran Heritage Foundation, the Yala will soon have Luther’s Small Catechism in their own language.
According to Rev. Dr. Michael Adoga, a professor at the Lutheran Seminary in Nigeria and coordinator of Yala projects, the 1,600 catechisms will quickly be put to good use.
“With this catechism, we will evangelize, teach about salvation and Christian living, and help parents teach their young ones at home about the salvation for mankind found in Christ through scripture alone, faith alone and by grace alone,” Adoga said.
“This is especially important in Yalaland because of the early influence of the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching in this area, which emphasized salvation by works —a thing Dr. Martin Luther refuted in the 16th century,” he concluded.
For more information about mission projects your church can sponsor, call LHF at (800)554-0723.
Only with your help can this important work continue. Prayerfully consider how you can help support LHF projects.