As Kenyans, we have a propensity of solving many things by running. We run to school, run from hunger, run for money and run from responsibilities. We run for offices, run campaigns, run programs and activities at work, and even have national season of running noses. This could explain why running is such an economic activity in Kenya.
But there is a section of Kenya that never runs. There are Kenyans who simply refuse to run for anything. They will leisurely jaywalk across a highway as an 18-wheeler approaches. They confidently walk in the rain without an umbrella because they do not want to break the do-not-run code.
I suspect these are the people who have hidden only one verse in their hearts. Actually, half a verse, Proverbs 28: 1a which says that the wicked run when no one is chasing them. They refuse to run because there is no one chasing them and they are not wicked people.
But I am here not to talk about the running Kenyans and the runless Kenyans, but about running for the Bibleless. On 14th March 2020, Bible Translation and Literacy has organized the 2020 Run for the Bibleless to support BTL’s work and creating awareness about BTL’s mission of facilitating Bible translation and sustainable literacy among small language groups in Kenya and beyond.
Why it Matters
Why do we need the Bible translated into all the different languages that exist in Kenya? Why can’t all the people just learn some Swahili and the problem will be solved?
The truth is that people need literature in their heart language. It is the language that speaks to their heart, not jut to their mind. This is the reason why people think in one language and speak in another, because their thoughts process better in a certain language.
The language we use also informs other factors. In my home village, speaking Swahili would mark you as a stranger or an outsider, even if you belong. It does not matter that everyone understands Swahili. English would make it worse. People have a language for each context.
This is why we need to ensure that people get the Bible in a language that they are comfortable with. BTL is working to achieve this, and Run for the Bibleless 2020 is aimed at raising money for this course.
Why the Bibleful Should Run
I am urging the Bibleful to run for the Bibleless because it is important, but also because it is good for the Bibleful to run.
As I sit in the office this morning, I am reminded of the million dangers of a sedentary lifestyle that I have been forced to adopt by economic forces. I have daily watched my weight go to undesirable levels as some fats accumulate and the 6 pack disappear into one glorious pack. My weekly walk of 2.15 km carrying a 10 kg kid is becoming unsustainable. My 1.5 km run every day has slowed down to a walk.
But I know that I am not alone. I walk around in Nairobi and see that men lost interest in keeping fit as soon as we stopped relying on hunting and gathering. Even the threat of lifestyle diseases does not move many to action, maybe because there is no set date when the disease will strike.
Perhaps, you can start by planning to participate in the Run for the Bibleless and you will have a reason to run not because someone is chasing after you, but because you are running for your life, and for the eternal life of other people. Let the Bibleful run; for self and for the Bibleless.
How to participate
- If you can run, register and run.
- If you can walk, register and walk.
- If you do not run, register and watch.
- If you do not want to run, support the course.
We are all on the run.