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Gurija

Old Testament

Country

South Asia

Language(s)

 

Gurija

Speakers

2,000,000

This project encourages Christians in remote villages to seek Scripture’s wisdom in their daily lives. Gurija speakers can now access freshly-translated verses daily, while drafts of key Old Testament books move steadily forward.



the Need
Scattered in rural villages, the rhythm of life among the Gurija people revolves around seasonal drought. Skilled farmers grow just enough food to survive on their small plots of land. To support their families, many also work as day labourers in the fields of large landowners. Since most Gurija people cannot read or write fluently, they are cut off from reliable medical care. Children frequently suffer from malnutrition and preventable illnesses; many do not live to adulthood. Families struggle to access education, and economic opportunities, such as the increased yields that come with modern farming techniques, remain out of reach. The few who follow Jesus attend churches that use Scripture in a national language. Wanting deeper understanding, the believers pursued training and translated the New Testament and are now working on the foundational Old Testament books.
The Project

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


  • Translate Old Testament selections including the book of Psalms. 


  • Make the Gurija Scriptures accessible in print, audio and digital format to those who want them.


  • Address the literacy needs of the community by completing a Gurija dictionary and holding literacy classes.


  • Lead an educational ministry, conducting Bible studies, youth and children’s programs, worship concerts, and showings of the “JESUS” film.

Translation Progress

Drafted

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94

Community-Checked

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62

Quality-Checked

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34

Distilling the Message
Prasad was working by the river, preparing alcohol to sell at market when he saw a man making his way down the steep hillside. Samuel, a project team member, was heading to the river for a morning bath. Prasad’s children were excited to attend the children’s program Samuel was leading in the village later that day. The two men greeted one another and exchanged pleasantries. Samuel asked Prasad about his work. Prasad explained the process of fermenting the nectar from the local wildflower tree. Then, Samuel turned the conversation towards the impact of this liquor on the people in the village. Sadly, alcohol addiction is a serious problem for many families in the Gurija community. Prasad had to admit he knew many were addicted—so many families had been torn apart. As they talked, Prasad was overwhelmed by a conviction that his work making alcohol was not good for him or his community. Suddenly, Prasad did not want to be a part of that anymore, and he told Samuel about the deep change of heart he was feeling.
A Christmas to Remember
The Gurija project team was overjoyed to give children from rural villages a chance to celebrate Christmas. The team did not know how many would show up, but more than 150 people joined in the celebration. Local kids brought their siblings, parents, and even extended family. The program featured the local children presenting skits, performing dances, and singing songs in the Gurija language. Once the children had finished presenting, the team put on a puppet show for the kids and handed out Christmas presents for each child. Afterwards, the project team shared the Christmas story in Gurija with all those present. The festivities wrapped up with free time for friends and neighbours to socialize over sweets and tea, where many people discussed what they had heard during the program in their heart language.

“We praise God for his provision. We also praise God that anything we were able to do—God alone made it possible. He is at work, and we are only His servants. We want to give Glory to Him alone.”

Samuel, Gurija project team member

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