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Gaba

New Testament

Country

South Asia

Language(s)

 

Gaba

Speakers

300,000

Forced eviction and resettlement and loss of home, livelihood, and dignity—all led to squalor, despair, and addiction. Gaba people are being equipped to make a difference in their community through medical aid, oral Bible stories, and Scripture in the mother-tongue.

Thank you! This project has been fully funded for the year!



the Need
One of the first inhabitants of their country’s protected forests, the Gaba people have made their living for generations collecting and selling forest products and plants. However, recent conservation efforts resulted in the eviction of the Gaba people from much of their homeland. Life in resettlement camps or towns offers few opportunities; sadly, many people struggle with poverty, addiction, and confidence. Those who farm have difficulty making ends meet. Few Christians exist in the isolated community. Those who have chosen to attend church struggle to understand the Bible in the trade language, so they want to be trained to produce Scripture in their language. South Asian pastors have expressed an urgent need for the Bible in the Gaba language so that the Gaba people might receive the life-giving message of the Gospel.
The Project

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


  • Develop an alphabet.


  • Translate the New Testament and make it available in print, audio, and digital formats.


  • Publish mother-tongue literacy manuals.


  • Provide essential mother-tongue materials such as a health awareness booklet.

Translation Progress

Drafted

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9

Community-Checked

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7

Quality-Checked

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0

Clear to Us
This fall the project facilitator, Farhan, visited a church in a nearby Gaba village. During the service, he read a passage from the Gospel of Mark in the Gaba language. The congregation was shy at first and didn’t react to the Scripture reading. However, after the service, several people cautiously approached Farhan to share their joy at having heard the Word of God in their mother tongue. They told him they could understand all the words he read! A woman came up to Farhan separately. She shyly explained that many believers find what the preacher teaches on Sunday confusing because they do not understand the Bible passages he reads in a language that is not their own. She admitted they would never tell the preacher this out of respect. “But this translation is clear to us,” she said. “When we read this portion, we will be able to understand everything and mature in our faith. The translation is going to help our whole community grow in Christ.”
God at Work
When the project team did a scouting trip in the area, they met Vinod in a village deep in the jungle. They had travelled for so many miles looking for people to work with the translation project, they thought they had reached the end of the earth. Although the team didn’t obtain helpers, they were thrilled to meet Vinod, a young man who faithfully serves the Lord. God had miraculously healed Vinod of an illness, and now he excitedly shares what God has done in his life to those who want to listen. Many people come to Vinod’s home for prayer and are experiencing God’s transforming work in their lives.

NEW

Translation Builds Understanding
Checking the book of Titus in a remote Gaba community was not going as well as Yash the project leader hoped. The translators would read a passage from the Gaba Scripture then ask the prescribed questions to check that the translation was natural and easy to understand. Repeatedly, they were met with silence or blank expressions. Surely the translation wasn’t that confusing. Or if it was, they needed to know where they’d gone wrong. Finally, one man spoke up. “Sir, we are uneducated, and we don’t have much Bible knowledge. So, we cannot answer if you ask something.” Suddenly, Yash understood. “Brother,” he explained gently, “We are not checking your Bible knowledge. We only want to check whether our translation is clear or not” The community members agreed to try again. “We started to meet them regularly and read scripture portions for them. They started to respond to us,” reports Yash. This testing revealed that some words the team had chosen, such as the way they translated “eternal life,” proved difficult for the people to understand. The team collaborated with the community to find more accurate words. “After learning concepts of the Bible in their own language they were happy and surprised to know it,” says Yash. Praise God for the process of community checking, which allowed the Gaba team to build trust with local people while creating a clear translation of God’s Word.

“Till the age of 40 we were just speaking the language, but this is the first time I am reading my language. . . . I believe in coming days we will be fluent in reading the Gaba materials.”

Mahendra, man from the Gaba community

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