Reasons to Rejoice

By Rachel Greco

Tim* and his family have lived and served among the Tikro* people since 2004, by helping them translate Scripture. Hardly any Christians lived in the area, which has over 100 villages. Carrying the Bible and sharing the gospel were banned. The Tikro language had no writing system, but the Lord helped Tim and his team prepare alphabet charts and develop grammar for the language. And today, small churches are established in many of these villages. 

Tim and his team recently finished translating the Tikro New Testament. They had originally scheduled the dedication for April 2020, but had to postpone the celebration due to the spread of COVID-19. “After a long wait of seven months, the Lord in his time made it possible for us to dedicate this New Testament,” said James*, the CEO of our media partner in South Asia. 

The dedication program was held November 22, 2020, at a local church. COVID-19 protocols were strictly followed, so only about 50 believers from various villages attended. But hundreds of believers witnessed the dedication live through online platforms from across the globe! 

“We believe that the Word of God in [the Tikro’s] heart language will help them accept Jesus, the Savior of mankind, as their personal Savior in their hearts,” James said. 

Because carrying the Bible around in this area of South Asia is banned, it’s important to have the Word of God available in a subtle way. So the Tikro translation team partnered with the JAARS-funded South Asia media partner to produce mobile-accessible apps for Bible stories, the JESUS film, and CDs of songs in Tikro. The apps were also dedicated at the ceremony. 

Bunai villagers listening to an audio Bible in the evening.

Many other South Asian language groups are benefiting from the work of our media partner. Through them, the Word of God is now available in audiovisual formats to about 1.8 million speakers of Bunai* on YouTube, Facebook, and the Bunai language website. The Scripture materials available include fifty Bible stories from creation to the second coming of Jesus, a film based on the Gospel of Mark, a video about the parables and miracles of Jesus, and more. Many people are reading and hearing God’s Word through an interactive Bible app, and the uploaded videos have received a good response from the viewers. 

Another group benefiting from the efforts of our partner are the Sumai*. God gave Daniel* and Marion*, Sumai translators, reasons to rejoice even during the challenges of the pandemic. Last year, they dedicated a Bible app, which contains the translated books of the Bible, through a Zoom meeting. They also published the Sumai website, a story app of 50 Bible stories, and a songbook app containing songs in several languages. Many people from the community have installed and used these apps. 

“In all the languages in which the New Testament has been completed and published, the audio version and Bible apps are being prepared side by side,” James explained. “During this season when the distribution of the printed Bible is becoming more challenging, the proclamation of God’s Word through audiovisual means is becoming a blessing for the minority language communities.” 

And people like you who give to JAARS Media Solutions helps make this happen! Thank you. 

Please pray that God works through the audio and visual forms of Scripture in South Asia to bring many people to him. 

*Names changed for security reasons