Partnering in Mission: Translating the Scriptures

Partnering in Mission: Translating the Scriptures

Dave Harthan works for Wycliffe Bible Translators and has been supported by Colonial Church for over 30 years!
For 19 of those years Dave lived and worked in Brazil. Now he is responsible for the consulting and training help that Wycliffe translators receive.
Below is a story from his work in in the field:

There are over one hundred indigenous groups in Brazil, and most of them are relatively small. The largest ones number in the low 20,000’s. You can then imagine our surprise when we learned a couple of years ago that an ethnic group of over 600,000 had contacted our Brazil Wycliffe leaders about having the Scriptures in their language.

How was it possible that we were not aware of them? The answer is that they are a people spread all over Brazil and keep a very low, even secretive, profile. They are the Calon Gypsies with roots in Romania.

So, the Calones that asked for translation help were told about a Mother-Tongue Translation Workshop that was scheduled to be given by Wycliffe. Several Calones participated in three training workshops for mother-tongue translators, held in January 2012, July 2012, and January 2013. The number of Calones varied for each workshop session. The constants were the main translator, Antonio, and his wife. Others who came along were relatives and their children. The Calon people don’t travel alone.

Working side by side with a number of other indigenous groups in the MTT Workshop, the Calones produced the book of Ruth.  2000 copies of Ruth were printed, and the reaction was positive.  The translation team has now moved on to Luke in preparation for preparing the text for the Jesus Film in Calon.

At the same time, we are working with the Calones on an oral storying project called One Story. This is a tool that involves the crafting of about 30 stories in the language from Genesis to the Life of Christ. These stories are used for evangelism, discipling, and creating interest in the translated Scriptures. The training for the OneStory project is almost complete.

The Calon people have a very high level of preservation of their language. Teaching the Calon language to a non-Calon person could create problems, so literacy in Calon is a huge challenge.

God is opening a door for the Gospel among the Calon people. What a thrill to give people God’s Word who have never heard it in their own language. Thank you for your important part with us in this work.

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