By Godfrey Kampamba
South Sudan has launched the first edition of the Bible written in the local Pazande language. It was presented on 14 September by the Bishop of the diocese of Tombura-Yambio.
Entitled "Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path", the event coincided with the sixth anniversary of the death of the first bishop to be incardinated in the diocese, Bishop Joseph Gasi Abangite. Gracing the occasion was the current ordinary of the diocese, Bishop Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala.
Four million people to benefit
In his pastoral letter published for the presentation of this local language bible, Mgr. Kussala underscored the importance of having such an edition of Sacred Scripture. He said that this version of the Bible is going to cover more than four million faithful who speak the Pazande language. These are spread in areas found in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic.
Vital reference point
"My desire, as Ordinary of the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio, is to celebrate, study, spread and live the Word of God so that it becomes the pivot of all aspects of life.”
He said further that he hoped that the Bible will become a vital reference point for the life of every faithful, and for the church of Tombura-Yambio. He exhorted his flock to celebrate, read, pray and share the Word of God using this first version of the Pazande Bible.
Priests: Ministers of the Word
In his closing remarks Bishop Kussala invited priests of his diocese to consider the event as "a new call to be ministers of the Word". At the same time he also urged Christians to continue praying in order to defeat the global coronavirus pandemic and to abide by the given guidelines in order to help curb the spread of the virus.
The ceremony, in the diocese inhabited by the country’s Pazende speaking people, was also attended by the governor of the western equatorial State, General Alfred Futuyo. In his speech, the representative of the local authority invited citizens to embrace peace and unity. He encouraged the people to unite and foster development in the State and in the country as a whole.