In the remote village of Funsi, Ghana in 1984, Mohammed Musah Jagiare had just qualified to move into senior high school, which was 60 miles away in a larger town. His father, a fetish priest, sent Mohammed to a Muslim uncle who would be his local point of contact.
While he was in high school, a Baptist pastor shared Christ with him and Mohammed became a Christian. His vocal witness for Jesus earned him the nickname “Major.”
The young graduate had a passion for Christ and for helping his people. What would he do now?
He came home to Funsi to find Bible translators in his father’s compound! Major showed great aptitude and soon became the lead Bible translator for his Paasaal mother tongue.
During those days, as two elders fought over liquor, one of them, Nyabeng, stabbed his friend to death. After spending three years in prison, Nyabeng sacrificed many animals and drank a lot to calm his conscience. One day he sent his son to the chief’s compound for more alcohol. The boy arrived to see a crowd gathering. Major was praying aloud.
“Father, thank You that You forgive all our sins,” Major prayed, listing adultery, stinginess, stealing … “and even if we kill someone.”
The boy jumped on his bicycle and raced home. “Father,” he gasped, “Major is talking about a God who can even forgive murder!” Nyabeng immediately summoned Major, who led him to Christ.
Major died suddenly in the fall of 2006, but his legacy lives on. There were almost no Paasaal believers in 1984; today there are viable churches in each of the 15 Paasaal villages. Major left the footprints of Jesus everywhere he went.
Mike Toupin heads the development team for The Seed Company and loves visiting his grandkids in Colorado. He and his wife, Vicki, served as Bible translators for the Paasaal in Funsi for several years.