The Ancient Path Project Team in Nepal has received the texts for the first five new languages of 2022. They are: Lhomi, Western Magar, Kham Magar, Santhali and Gamal Kham.
The Lhomi of Nepal
The Lhomi of Nepal belong to the Tibetan People Group Cluster. There are over 8000 Lhomi people who follow Tibetan Buddhism, but there have been some recent converts to Christianity. They do have some Bible or Bible portions translated in the Lhomi language and recordings of original worship songs, but no Gospel movies or broadcast recordings are available.
Ethnologue classifies this language as developing and vigorous in use. This means the language is being used in communities for celebrations, religious events, trade, and family interactions. A mother tongue translation would enjoy wide acceptance among the Lhomi people.
Although the Lhomi people are classified as “Tibetan Buddhists,” certain localities practice animal sacrifices before planting season. It is known that some communities have “Shaman,” or animistic priests and that these priests hold as much sway as the Buddhist Lamas.
Pray for the Lhomi translation to be a clear, and powerful translation and that distribution can be effective and favorably received. Pray for those who will distribute The Ancient Path in the Lhomi language and follow up to explain the gospel. Pray for a harvest of souls among the Lhomi people.
The Western Magar of Nepal
The Western Magar of Nepal are a large group of over 800,000. They are classified as “engaged” but unreached. They have some Bible material available and a few gospel films and recordings are available as well.
A mother tongue translation is critical to help the small number of believers share Christ in a way that will touch the heart of their people. Most Magar people also speak Nepali but their mother tongue (Magar) is used in family interactions and among all age groups.
People in this language group practice a religion that is specific to their ethnic group. Legends, stories, myths, and history and beliefs center around the ethnic roots and history of the people group. To convert to Christianity is seen as abandoning the heritage of the people group.
Pray for the W. Magar translation to be a powerful story—more powerful than the myths and legends of the people.
Pray for the small number of W. Magar believers to be powerful witnesses as they distribute The Ancient Path in the W. Magar language.
The Gamal Kham of Nepal
The Gamal Kham of Nepal are about 20,000 people found only in Nepal. They are unreached and unengaged. There are no Bible translations or Gospel recordings available. The language is classified as “vigorous” and is widely used by people in villages, and in religious and community celebrations, trade business, and inter-generational communication.
The Gamal Kham practice a form of Hinduism that is particular to their people group and locality.
Hinduism has many forms of deities and beliefs and it is easy for each sub culture to create and add their own deities and rituals. These practices keep the Gamal Kam in bondage to evil spirits.
Pray for the mother tongue translation of The Ancient Path into the language of the Gamal Kham to be a powerful tool of deliverance for them.
Pray for the handful of Christians who are distributing TAP to be protected by the Spirit of God and pray for their witness to break through and deliver many from their bondage to evil idols.
The Santal (Santhali) People in Nepal
The Santal (Santhali) people in Nepal are a large people group of 50,000. The live in the southern “Terai” region of Nepal which borders India to the south. They rely on farming and cottage crafts to survive and local markets are an important part of Santhali society. They do have a Bible and some gospel material. Although they are no longer classified as “unreached,” the indigenous Christian community is small and marginalized as “those who follow a western religion.” The book “Eternity in Their Hearts” by Don Richardson records some interesting facts about the history of the Santhali people. Their ancestors worshiped a “Genuine God.” But they now fear the lost knowledge of correct worship, and incorporating local spirit worship has caused the Genuine God to turn away from them.
Perhaps, because of this history, the Santhali people are ripe for salvation. When they understand the gospel clearly, whole communities have turned to Christ. Pray for a harvest through the mother tongue translation of The Ancient Path. Pray that the Santhali can receive new knowledge of the “Genuine God” and be confident that He will not turn away from them.
Kham-Magar People in Nepal
Nearly 70,000 Kham-Magar people live in Nepal. This people group is also called “Kham Sheshi” and “Khamkura” and they are only found in Nepal. They are classified as “engaged yet unreached.” There is a small Christian witness among the thousands of those who practice a deeply rooted “ethno-religion,” a religion based on the roots and history of the people group. This language is marked as “threatened,” which means it is only used in rural areas. Therefore, The Ancient Path and accompanying audio mobile app will facilitate “language preservation.”
The Kham-Magar people hold tightly to their traditional religion and they are socially resistant to “conversions.”
Pray that the Kham-Magar people would be attracted to the mother tongue translation as a way to preserve their heritage and history. Pray for the evangelists who will distribute The Ancient Path and engage in life-changing conversations. Pray that many would make a deep connection with the story of God’s love for them, and come to Christ and be born again.