Weno—Now is the Time!

A small ABT team of two families moved to Benin, West Africa, during 2017. This email introduces the Weno* language group among whom they are living. Although other Christian workers have been working with this large group of people in recent years, Bible translation and church planting is still a great need. This team responded to that need with the blessing of their church and ABT.
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Introduction:
The Weno people have long and successfully resisted efforts to convince them of the Good News. As long ago as the 1940’s there were delegations who sought to reach the Weno, but when resistance was too great and neighboring people groups were welcoming, the natural thing to do was to say that God was “redirecting”! This is not to blame earlier outreach efforts, but it does help to explain how a people group as large as the Weno could go seemingly untouched until now.

The name Weno:
Because of the level of resistance that the Weno have shown towards the Good News, including current hostility towards family members who would like a New Life, it was deemed wise to code-name the project. This name is used in digital communication, but also by everybody on the ground. This is done to prevent any potential alarm caused by a devout local person overhearing a discussion of “the project.” The meaning of the code-name comes from a language several hours away, where the word means “now is the time.” Now is the time to advance the kingdom, now is the time to despise the resistance, now is the acceptable year of ‘our master,’ and we have been given gifts for a time like this. On so many levels the name is a fitting one for the project. Please beg our Father that now would truly be the time of lasting change!

Current Activities:
Currently, a major portion of our team’s time is focused on language acquisition. Weno is a tonal language, so it has presented us with an interesting set of challenges, especially as the tone is affected by the surrounding tones and is, therefore, a ‘moving target.’ Another challenging aspect has been the many two-letter words and particles, all of which have an incredible array of uses and meanings. The language has a comparatively limited vocabulary, but “re-cycles” a lot of words. Our language helper calls it a “lazy language”!

My fellow team member,** who has been here with his family for several months longer than we have, has had great success building a network of contacts and friends via a creative access model. He is using very practical skills to fill a great need in our city. The avenue he has chosen allows him to have regular contact with many business owners and supervisors—and consequently their apprentices—in a way that is very relationship-building. Our desire is that many, many apprentices (and their bosses) would become disciples.

There is a very small team of local men who have begun with the translation. In fact, they will soon be done with ‘the beginnings’! We’re grateful for the progress that has been made, but there is still so much to do. Please ask for Favor and a Prospering Hand!

Give Thanks for:
-Translation progress
-Many friends
-Language Learning progress

Please Ask for:
-Open & honest hearts
-Hunger for Reality
-Appointed Contacts
-Favored progress on all sides

-RH for the Weno team

*pseudonymous name of people group
**RH is an ABT Old Testament Translator (http://www.allnationsbibletranslation.org/go/be-an-old-testament-translator), and his teammate is an ABT Community Development Facilitator (http://www.allnationsbibletranslation.org/go/be-a-community-development-...).

  • “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
  • “Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witness of these things.” Luke 24:47, 48
  • “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” Matthew 28:19
  • “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:3
  • “That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the Gospel.” Ephesians 3:6
  • “That they all may be one; as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that You sent Me.” John 17:21
  • “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’?” Mark 11:17
  • “Ask of me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance.” Psalm 2:8
  • “Behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes.” Revelation 7:9
  • “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1
  • “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
  • “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
  • “As cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a far country.” Proverbs 25:25
  • “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” Psalm 19:10
  • “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You.” Psalm 22:27
  • “Truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.” Numbers 14:21
  • “Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.” Psalm 96:3, 4
  • “For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14
  • “That all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.” 1 Kings 8:60
  • “For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; in every place incense shall be offered to My name, and a pure offering; for My name shall be great among the nations.” Malachi 1:11
  • “All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, snd shall glorify Your name.” Psalm 86:9
  • “For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” Isaiah 61:11
  • "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" Psalm 46:10
  • "This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:3, 4
  • "You are worthy. . .; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God." Revelation 5:9, 10