“Why doesn’t Jesus ever answer the question directly?” Our translator, “George” asked this question after translating one of the stories from Bariba into English during our recent trip to Benin. “That’s a really good question,” one of our staff, Joe, replied. We encouraged him to ask many questions.
The next week, he interrupted our translation time. “I have to tell you something,” he told us urgently. “Since we’ve been working at these stories, I find I have so many questions about Jesus. We have Jesus in our tradition but now that I’m hearing the real stories of Jesus, I want to follow Him like His disciples did. But I’m afraid. You see, here in Africa we have our traditional beliefs as well as our religious ones. If I leave them, I’m afraid of what will happen.” So we connected him with a local Cru staff member. When he came back in, we knew something good had happened. “I just gave my life to Jesus,” he exclaimed, beaming. As we headed to lunch, he motioned to a bracelet on his wrist that was a symbol of a god from his traditional beliefs. He said, “I will take this off today. I prefer freedom.”