Publisher involvement beyond publishing
As publishers, we must also take care of our “children”, the books we bring into the world. That is, we must make sure that the project grows well by telling others about the existence of this remarkable Bible and the unique encouragement if offers to Christians. After its publication, a book must live. As for the Bible, and in particular La Bible d’étude perspectives africaines, we hope that Christians in French-speaking Africa will get to know it because we are convinced that their encounter with it will be a beautiful one and that it will have a long-lasting, beneficial and enriching impact on their lives.
Our ultimate goal in publishing La Bible d’étude perspectives africaine is to see the Word of God sink deep into Christian’s lives. We know from experience that when someone comes along side us and shows us how to develop practices that allow us to grow in our discipleship, the roots of our faith push deeper. For that reason, we have made training in the use of La Bible d’étude perspectives africaines a part of our efforts.
Training with a profound purpose
Our goal in training is to allow readers to know La Bible d’étude perspectives africaines from cover to cover and to help them make the most of its rich content and teaching. Deepening Christian discipleship and seeing truly transformed lives is the heartbeat of this effort. Our prayer is that through the reading and study of God’s Word, readers will progress in their knowledge of and relationship with God – that they’ll be strengthened and spurred on to live a life that reflects the heart and love of Jesus. That is the foremost purpose of our training.
And we have excellent trainers to take people down this path. The original and current training team of la Bible d’étude perspectives africaines is composed of: Dr. Abel N’djerareou, Dr. Augustin Ahoga, Pastor Barka Kamnadj and Mrs. Geneviève Guéi. Our primary partners in the distribution of La Bible d’étude perspectives africaines are the Bible Societies in the French-speaking countries. They have committed to championing the cause of training along with us. In April, our training team spent three days training the Bible societies directors and other representatives from 16 different countries so that they, in turn, could train people in their respective countries. The countries represented were Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Togo, Gabon, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Brazzaville, Burundi, Niger, Mali, Senegal and Madagascar.
Since training is an integral part of our publishing and distribution effort, for all our launch events, we first do training times, then launch celebration ceremonies.
The training program
There are 12 major types of content in La Bible d’étude perspectives africaines and over 2,600 notes, that’s a lot! The training covers all the content types including: introductions to the books of the Bible, notes that integrate African proverbs and stories, notes that highlight similarities between the cultures of Bible times with African cultures, notes spotlighting African Church Fathers, basic theology notes and the list goes on…
What makes La Bible d’étude perspectives africaines so special are these multiple “entry points” that allow us to see the relationship between the Bible and African life today. Another example are the notes called “Comment vivre la Parole”. They give clear advice on applying what the Bible teaches to daily life situations. A significant portion of the Bible is the 58 feature articles that address the big questions African Christians face today and that explain the biblical perspective on these issues.
As King David wrote, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” The content, notes and articles are written by African authors who use concrete examples from African realities. This light, which comes from an African perspective, really facilitates the understanding of the Word of God and our training really brings this out.
The training times are always interactive and include small group discussion times. There are moments dedicated to using La Bible d’étude perspectives africaines for preaching and teaching. With content so well adapted to its audience, the sessions are dynamic.
Who can request training?
Initially, we have invited church leaders, leaders of theological training institutions and Christian organizations to benefit from our training. We’ve also trained at Theological Seminaries and Bible institutes. Such institutions are a perfect fit for the work we are doing. We’re reaching out to all of French-speaking Africa. Recently, in April 2023, we held a training time in Cotonou, Benin and another one in at the Scripture Union offices in Côte d’Ivoire in June.
This said and after first turning to leaders, training in the use of la Bible d’étude perspectives africaines is for any Christian who wishes to better live out the Word of God. We’ve started to generalize the training and adapt it to all categories of people in the Churches. Thanks to our collaboration with the Bible societies, we are establishing a network of trainers that will allow most French-speaking countries to have people available to train in the Churches and institutions.
When, where and how?
In the coming months the current training team will conduct training times in Cameroon and Chad. Planning has started for a training time in the Central African Republic. Another option for organizing training is to invite the training team to travel to your Church or institution. Costs are to be covered by the hosting Church or institution. For any training requests, please contact: BibleBEPA@gmail.com.
To celebrate the formidable work of the African authors and the release of the La Bible d’étude perspectives africaine a first launch ceremony was held in Abidjan in June.
Additional ceremonies are planned for Yaoundé and N’Djamena. If you can’t attend these events, you can keep abreast of what is happening at: https://www.facebook.com/BibleBEPA.