It is an exciting time for this Bible translation ministry! It’s not like that every day, so this feels extra special to be able to report these answers to prayer.
Our vision is to see the New Testament and 50 essential Bible stories translated into five dialects spoken by the Roma living in Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
We praise God that as of last month, our local part-time translator has become full-time along with his brother. For the first time, formal Bible translation was started in this unwritten dialect, called Ludari, which is the language the Roma in our local village speak.
Above are the translators working at home in their village. They are making steady progress in making the first drafts of Luke and Matthew.
The other four languages (Gurbet, Arli, Chergash and Bayash) are farther along in the translation process so we have begun the important step of field testing. What does that look like?
Todd traveled with Djena and Biljana to the part of Serbia where they grew up. We hired three Chergash speakers who had never seen the translation before. We read it to them and asked them questions to make sure they understood it. It was thrilling to see that they understood the translation very well, and it was also helpful to find out where the wording was unclear or where we had made a mistake. For each eight hour day, we were able to check their understanding of two to three chapters.
The following week, Todd went with Sasha to the part of Serbia where he grew up and joined Kada, Goran and Naki as we tested the same chapters, but this time in the Gurbet and Arli languages.
All the Scripture translated has to be gone over by not just Todd, but also a consultant from the US headquarters. That consultant, who is nearing 70, is the kind of person we all want to be like when we grow up. He works so hard with very long days while he’s here with Todd and the translators for each of these five dialects. He will be here next week, and Todd will work with him for 11 days of checking the next chapters in Luke in the five dialects.
After that, Brad, who is an audio engineer, will come for a week from Michigan to work with Todd to train one of our translators in Serbia how to record the newly translated Bible stories and Scriptures. This Scripture will be put on the Internet and in apps so that non-readers can, for the first time, hear it their native language!
After that we hope to print the book of 50 Bible stories, and Luke chapters 1-2 in four of the languages for distribution for Christmas.
Please be in prayer for the field testing, checking the translations, travel, audio recording and printing, that all would be done for the glory of God and in His timing.
As always, we so appreciate your prayers and financial support. Thank you!
Todd, Pamala, Kirsten, Daniel & Ariela