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Nirgam

New Testament

Country

South Asia

Language(s)

 

Nirgam

Speakers

350,000

Years of mistreatment, spiritual bondage and economic decline have left their scars. Courageous openness to change is allowing hope to grow.

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



the Need
The Nirgam people live in rural communities and have suffered years of mistreatment as minority people. For a time, they were recognized nationally for their talent for using natural dyes from tree bark to make yarn and weave vibrant red and black cloth. Today, manufactured clothing has reduced the demand for their artistry and forced the Nirgam to abandon their traditional looms for farming or manual labour. Economic decline has led many to heavy drinking. Although there are only a few churches in their region, the people are open to Christianity. Nirgam families who attend local churches struggle to connect with Scripture in the national language that is used in the services. They long to experience God’s Word in their own language.
The Project

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


  • Translate the New Testament.


  • Develop mother-tongue literacy materials.


  • Help Nirgam believers craft Bible stories and make the stories and the translated Scripture accessible to those who want them.


  • Hold literacy classes in the community.

Translation Progress

Drafted

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7

Community-Checked

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7

Quality-Checked

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7

Struggles and Joys
Translation facilitator Kavan and his wife Yami experienced both struggles and joys in this initial phase of the project. They found a home in a Nirgam village, but it had no bathroom. They soon discovered many of the local people were accustomed to relieving themselves in the open area around their house. Kavan and Yami had to walk to the pastor’s house to use the toilet. Thankfully, they have since found another home. Only one water tap serves the whole Nirgam community. When Kavan went to use it, some people angrily told him not to. This made it difficult to get water for cooking and drinking. However, Kavan and Yami were not alone in their struggles. The people from the Nirgam community reached out in love. Even though many people in the local church are facing financial difficulty and suffering from illness, they happily gave their time to help the newcomers learn the their language. Local Christians invited Kavan and Yami to celebrate the rice harvest. Kavan and Yami enjoyed the festival of thanksgiving and even helped prepare the food. This special time worshipping God with their neighbours built trust with the community and deepened relationships.
Digging In
As project facilitators Kavan and Yami try to learn Nirgam, the mother-tongue translators, Ishaan and Akash, face different struggles. These men have spoken Nirgam all their lives but writing and reading their language is all new to them. Also, as they translate the Gospel of Mark, they are discovering that there are no words in their language for many of the key terms. Despite these difficulties, they are so excited to read their language and do the work of translation.

“Nirgam believers are very happy that we are working for their language and hoping to get
the Bible in their own language.”

Project Facilitator

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