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Donali

New Testament

Country

South Asia

Language(s)

 

Donali

Speakers

90,000

Hope is scarce when scratching out a living on the fringe. Love arrived in the form of an urgently needed water well, then came winter care kits, hygiene awareness campaigns, and help with children’s homework.




the Need
The Donali people sit at the bottom of their country’s social and economic system. For centuries, the Donali people earned a living collecting and selling forest plants and products as the original inhabitants of their country’s interior forests. Life in the Donali community is difficult. Rampant alcohol addiction and child marriages deeply impact family life. With no written language, less than 10 percent of Donali people can read or write. Most local children don’t attend school past grade five. Inadequate education and a limited access to advanced healthcare facilities means many people—particularly women—die of preventable illnesses. The project is committed to working with the Donali believers to translate the Word of God into their own language and meeting the needs voiced by the community.
The Project

Project team members trained by our national partner in South Asia have made a commitment to:


  • Lead health awareness campaigns in Donali villages.


  • Translate the New Testament and make it available in print.


  • Help Donali believers craft Bible stories.


  • Hold mother-tongue learning centres in different villages to help children in school and teach them other vital topics such as first aid.

Translation Progress

Drafted

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41

Community-Checked

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32

Quality-Checked

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32

Equal to the Task
Darsh and Siya did not understand what God was up to. Local opposition had become so intense that it was no longer safe for two of their mother-tongue translators to continue working on the project. How were they going to finish the work that lay ahead? It seemed far too much for young Veer, the inexperienced translator who remained, to handle by himself. Each day, Darsh and Siya prayed with the team for wisdom and equipping. Soon, they started to see a great change in Veer’s translation work. He improved swiftly, clearly understanding the correct methods and applying them to the Donali translation. He even showed a new aptitude for learning the translation software, and his typing improved so much that he was soon up to speed. Siya said, “God taught us that this work is His—we are just an instrument.”
New Experiences
Basanthi had never read the Bible. She had never left her home region either; as a young woman in the Donali community, she was not encouraged to travel. All of this changed when she was invited to help the Donali project team quality-check the books of 1 & 2 Thessalonians and the Gospel of Mark. She left her home community for the first time as she travelled with the project facilitators to a city where the quality-checking would take place. At one point during her adventure, the team was trying to translate the words “lake” and “sea,” but Basanthi was having a hard time understanding these words; she had never been near the sea or even a lake. The team decided to take her on a boat ride so she could see and feel what it was like to be on the water. She was overjoyed to have this precious experience. Perhaps best of all, she heard God’s Word for the first time in her own language, surrounded by people reflecting the love of Christ. “I will never forget these days of my life, ever. I am so glad you were able to take care of me,” she told the project facilitators.

“I was praising my God because Jesus taught these parables to a small group in the Aramaic language. . . . Even after so many years and so many cultural differences, these parables can get translated, and a minority language where the people are not very educated can understand the parables.”

Project Facilitator

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