Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Our God Does Not Eat Alone

 “Our God does not eat alone,” reflects Samuel, a member of the Makonde people group.  Samuel’s view of God springs from understanding the New Testament in light of one of the greatest cultural values among the Makonde-that of generosity and sharing. One of the greatest insults among the Makonde is to be called a person “who eats alone.”   Samuel’s understanding of God has been transformed after being able to hear and read the New Testament in his own heart language.

The Makonde people span the Mozambique-Tanzania border, numbering over 400,000 in Mozambique alone.  Samuel, along with many other Makonde, joined together to celebrate the dedication of their New Testament in print and audio on 26 July 2014.  
 After 20 years of difficult and diligent work, the Makonde celebrated receiving God’s word with gusto.  Hundreds joined in a march through the main street of town to deliver the Bibles to the main celebration.  International visitors joined in with over a thousand Makonde to hear songs of worship and speakers in Makonde.   

The mayor of the town announced that “the greatest of all poverties is the word-of-God-poverty” and that now that God’s word is in Makonde, his people will be able to escape this poverty.  At the end of the celebration, no one had to eat alone, as a meal was shared with those who attended.
Samuel’s testimony rang throughout the day. “Our God is not a grasping God. He is not a keep-it-to-yourself God. Because of His love for us and his desire to bring us to heaven, He did not hang on to His Son. Truly our God does not eat alone.”  This realization has given Samuel much joy and a certainty of faith which now can be shared throughout the Makonde people. 
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