At the end of last year, Tanya moved into a new home in the Melbourne multicultural suburb of Dandenong. She soon connected with her new neighbour, Joyce, a beautiful sudanese lady. During one of their initial conversations, Tanya asked if she celebrated Christmas. Joyce described how she knew the story of Jesus’ birth but said “I’d like to learn more”.
Joyce continued to share how she had previously asked her relative about reading the bible together. Sadly this relative was too busy to meet. Tanya invited Joyce to do a Discovery Bible Study (DBS) and soon learnt about Joyce’s tribal language, called ‘Lopit’.
After looking online for an audio version of the Lopit bible, Tanya discovered that only part of it has been translated. So she contacted a few organisations about accessing the bible. She soon received a written and audio version of Genesis and Exodus. That evening, Tanya invited Joyce over to her house. The young sudanese mother literally jumped for joy as she listened to the beginning of Genesis in her own tribal language!
Joyce and Tanya are now doing a regular DBS. They are slowly going through some of the stories of the Old Testament. Joyce is hungry and wants to learn a lot more about God. She is also expressing a strong desire to share these stories with some of her Sudanese family.
Tanya is praying for a group to form around Joyce who will discover God’s word. She is also dreaming of seeing a disciple making movement spark amongst the Lopit people.
God’s Word in people’s native language coupled with ongoing discipleship is a transformational dynamic. God is waiting to speak into people’s lives. He wants to bring deep change as we intentionally connect with and disciple those around us. Those like Joyce, next door.