Posts Tagged ‘South Asia’

‘Is this really from the Bible??’

Monday, February 27th, 2017 by Camilla

Luna* grew up in a Southeast Asian country in a community that farmed rice and animals, hunted for their favourite source of wild meat and gathered whatever they needed from the forest that hedged their village on the cool mountain slopes.

One day a week, she would follow her parents and other families to a larger wooden hut at one end of their village. There they would sing some songs from memory and then someone whom everyone called ‘Pastor’ would rise, open a book and begin reading from it. She could not understand what Pastor was saying when she was a child. As she grew older, she was able to understand some words and phrases, but not all. It was not the language that she spoke at home or with her village community.

Luna also learnt from her parents who would regularly place some delicious portions of chicken meat at the trunk of certain trees beside their home and farmland. Her mother whispered to her that there were “unseen beings” that protected them from harm and must not be angered. She remembered when she fell very sick once and drifted in and out of consciousness from the high fever. Her mother had carried her to a big house in the centre of the village. The master of that house put on strange headgear and began prancing around her as she lay on the floor. Whatever he did frightened her, but her mother held her down. Eventually, she was given something very bitter to drink, which somehow made her well.

One day, two girls she knew from the next village visited. They had fun chatting and catching up with each others’ news. Then the girls shared a story from the Bible in the local language.

Is this story really from the Bible??’ Luna asked, wide-eyed. The other two nodded. ‘This is so much easier to understand than the sermons in our church!’ she exclaimed. That day, Luna understood a lesson on God’s grace and on being obedient to God in a way she had never been able to before.

In Luna’s community, there are many people who are Christian in name but are still following folk religious practices because of their lack of understanding of God’s word in their own language. An oral Bible story project is underway to develop Bible stories in their language community for a better understanding of God’s word.

*name changed for security reasons

This story is adapted from an article originally published in Wycliffe Singapore’s magazine – More than Words, June 2015.

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Saturday, August 10th, 2013 by Hannah

You’d be amazed by some of the changes Bible translation can bring to communities! A 100 year-old division plus Bible translation equals… Wycliffe USA president Bob Creson tells us:

On a recent trip into an isolated mountain area of South Asia, my wife Dallas and I met the lady pictured at the left – she’s 100 years old. Some years ago, the Good News about Jesus reached her village and she became one of the first believers. At the time, God’s Word did not exist in her language, so she and others in her village worshipped in the state language […]

This lady is part of a language community that has been estranged from a neighboring group for nearly 100 years – her entire life! Their languages are very closely related, and they share a common oral history, but for the last century they have also shared a strong desire to avoid each other. At times they have viewed each other with outright hostility.

Recently that hostility began to melt as the result of Bible translation. A team from each of these languages joined a multi-language Bible translation project – a ‘cluster project’ – and began to translate the Gospel of Mark. Each team translated for their own people, sharing skills and insights with teams from other related languages.

Read more from Bob about what happened to these communities through Bible translation on the Wycliffe USA blog.

Find out about how you can play a part in what God is doing through Bible translation.

One Man’s Sacrifice

Friday, June 27th, 2008 by Mark

From the Vision 2025 website:

Kaka died at the age of 77 in his mountain village in South Asia. He leaves a wife and five sons. One other son, Sukha, preceded him to glory in November 1998 when he became the first Christian martyr in his language group. […]

By the time of the launch of the New Testament in his language, Kaka had worked on it for 16 years. For two and a half of those years he was locked away in prison and for four of them he was leading the believers through much persecution. During the many stages of drafting, checking and reviewing he walked 6,000 miles in and out of the mountains. For a book of 1,000 pages, that’s six miles per page! For every three pages he spent one night out in the open, miles from anywhere. And for each page the people of his village spent six and a half days in prison, 18 man-years in all.

Because of Kaka’s courage and tenacity there are hundreds of believers today.

Read more of this incredible story of a life of self-sacrifice, bravery and total dedication to seeing God’s kingdom grow in South Asia.