Large turnout, shouts of joy as Bible Society dedicates Okrika Bible

St. Peter’s Cathedral, Okrika, Rivers State, venue of the dedication of Okrika Bible [Kirikeni Baibul] was not enough to contain the large crowd that turned out to behold the Okrika Bible which they had awaited for over 46 years.

The church auditorium was packed, many were outside the auditorium under the canopy provided for them while others had to stand by the windows to catch a glimpse of the Bible and the dedication programme.

IMG_0456Excitement and joy were on the faces of the crowd from the Traditional rulers to the Clergy, the Laity His Royaland many others who came for the dedication of the Bible. The Chairman of the occasion, His Royal Majesty, King T. E. Ogube, the Amanyanabo of Kirike Town who radiated joy and excitement, urged the people of Okrika to use the Bible to bring about religious harmony not only in the community, but also in the entire Rivers State.

Also speaking at the occasion, the Guest Speaker, Pastor David Ibiyeomie, the General Overseer of Salvation Ministry described the Bible as the most important book in the world. He said that it is only the Bible that has the capacity to transform any society and solve any problem.

IMG_0455A cross section of Okrika men and women expressed joy that they were alive to witness the dedication of their Bible. One of them, Mr. David Ogan, a Civil Servant said they have been expecting the Bible for a long time. “As an individual I am very happy,” he said. Mr.  Ogan believes that the Bible will restore the Okrika Language which, he said, has been dying gradually, and enhance proficiency in the use of the Oganlanguage. Reverend Tamuno Kingsley said they had been preaching the Word of God in Okrika but without the Bible in the language. According to him, now the Bible has finally come, it will make the work of preaching easier as the people will have access to it in their mother tongue.

The Okrika Bible translation project started in 1971. A total of 36 people translated the Bible at one time or another, but only eight of them are alive at the time of the dedication. One of the serving and the last translator that worked on the project, Reverend Mark Ambo said he joined the translation team in 1974, thinking that within one year the project would be over only to discover that it was much more than he thought. According to him, he singlehandedly typed the manuscript of the Old Testament. The book of Genesis, he said, took him five days to type. He gave thanks to God for sparing his life to see the Bible. The New Testament was dedicated in 2005, while the complete Bible became available 13 years after

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