the Akebu Story

The Social Media Experiment That Helped Define The Next Dream

If the industrial era was about building things, the social era is about connecting things, people, and ideas. —Nilofer Merchant (emphasis added)

On April 10-11, 2015, I (Doug) and a Wycliffe colleague rode our bikes from Wycliffe's parking lot in Orlando to Key West363.7 miles. The goal was to do it in 24 hours—we did it with 11 minutes to spare. "One Day for the Akebu" was a social campaign/bike ride to raise awareness, prayer and funds for the Akebu Bible translation project in Togo, West Africa. We made our distance goal and exceeded our funding goal of $15,000. Most importantly, by sharing translation updates, pictures, prayer posts and messages, all in real-time, we connected with the Akebu translation team in a very meaningful way. Subsequently, our home church, Faith Assembly in Orlando, FL "adopted" the Akebu project and over the past several years has sent construction teams on four trips (I've been on three) that have built nine churches throughout the Akebu region. The New Testament has been completed and slated for dedication in 2025. Faith Assembly has committed to supporting the Akebu translation through the completion of the full Bible. 

The One Day for the Akebu campaign started as an experiment. I wanted to know if it was possible to connect with a Bible translation project in a meaningful way using a social platform like Facebook. The resulting relationships continue to bear fruit to this day and my efforts in every Wycliffe role since have been focused on replicating the experience for others. 

Connection is everything. It was a thing way before the social era. It was a thing before the beginning when God said, “Let us make man in our image" (Gen 1:26). There is a perfect eternal "connection" in the Godhead, a restored connection with our Father in Jesus through the Holy Spirit. In God's Word, we connect with His heart for the nations. Lord! Connect us, Your church! Make us one in the effort to see Your Word, Your wonders declared in every language, in Jesus' Name.

Facebook timeline

Nine churches built and counting! 

If you’ve ever reflected on God’s unlimited promises and found yourself discontented and longing for more, be encouraged. It was that discontentedness and a prayer, “Lord, teach me to pray,” that started Doug on a new journey to Togo, West Africa.