Bible translators in West Africa lose home, but not faith, in fire
Seven-year-old William Fariss said the words as he and his family watched their home burn to the ground.
The Farisses, who live in the West African nation of Guinea, lost most of their possessions in the fire, but not their faith.
“Who can stand on Mount Everest? Who can face a rhinoceros? The Lord,” the 7-year-old said in a 44-line psalm of praise, which also contained multiple references to dinosaurs.
His parents, Yancy and Sherry Fariss, work with Pioneer Bible Translators. The Dallas-based ministry translates Scripture into lesser-known languages around the world.
The Farisses, supported by the Minter Lane church in Abilene, Texas, are working with a language group in Guinea that “has no written alphabet, not a word of Scripture, and is entirely unreached with the gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Marsha Miles, director of mobilization and development for Pioneer Bible Translators.
Yancy Fariss and Debra, the couple’s 7-month-old daughter, suffered minor injuries as they fled the flames started by an ember from a trash fire. Sherry and the couple’s other children, William, Sarah and Rex, were not injured. The family’s car, computer and language data were spared.
Neighbors reached out to the family.
“Many cried for them, and some even wailed and threw dirt in the air to show their pain,” Miles said.
The translation ministry is collecting funds to help the Farisses replace what they lost. In a message to supporters, Sherry Fariss said her family was overwhelmed with support — from the people of Guinea and Christians around the world.
“We know God is taking care of us,” she said.
CONTRIBUTIONS FOR THE FARISSES may be sent to Pioneer Bible Translators, c/o Francille Vesel, 910 Harrison Street, Abilene, TX 79601. To donate online, click on the Fariss Ministry Relief icon at pioneerbible.org.