Last weekend I was privileged to attend the dedication of the Akosse New Testament for the Bakossi people in Tombel. The drive there and back is another story, which will come soon but I wanted to share about the celebration first.
The dedication was an all day event that started with breakfast. At the end of the breakfast one of the national translators held up a bag of coconuts. He said that the coconut symbolized the Bakossi people with the hard outer shell that is not easy to break through and the flesh of the coconut on the inside was the Word of God. He asked for several people that filled key roles in the translation process of the Akoose New Testament to come forward and hit the coconut to with a hammer.
If you have ever tried to break a coconut with a hammer, it’s not really an easy task to do with only one hit. I enjoyed watching the various people hit the coconut and try not to get the coconut milk on their outfits that they would be wearing throughout the day, everyone was cheering and laughing. It was a great way to start the day off full of joy. The group of people showed me once again that it’s not just the translators that are required for the work of Bible Translation. There were linguistic consultants, representatives from various funding agencies, pastors and administrators all were working together to break these hard outer shells.
Once the shell is cracked, the coconut milk comes out and the rest of the coconut is easily broken apart to get the fruit on the inside. They then divided up the coconut and we were all able to eat the fresh coconut. The coconut tasted extra sweet to me, I’m sure not as sweet as finally having the Bible in your mother tongue but it was good.
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. (Psalm 34:8)