It’s good news that an “oops” for us is not an “oops” for God! Here’s the story of how a gospel tract got lost and found in translation:
A Maithili Translation
About a year ago, we wrote that Bijaya (leader of the Evangelism to Remote Villages project in Nepal) has been working on a translation of “The Ancient Path” (AP) into the local language of an unreached group, which he thought was Maithili. Maithili is spoken by 30 to 35 million people in the northeast corner of India (where Bijaya often goes) and the southern plains of Nepal, bordering India.
There is a Bible translation in Maithili but it is very difficult to read, which is one reason the leaders of the Story of Jesus project decided to put their efforts into translating AP into Maithili.
Oops! That’s Not Maithili!
But in early January Bijaya learned that the language he thought was Maithili was actually “Tharu”, specifically “Saptari Tharu”. According to The Joshua Project there are over 2 million “Tharu” with about 80% of them located in Nepal.
God Never Makes a Mistake
The Tharu have no Bible or Bible portions translated into their heart language. They are truly an Unreached People Group (UPG). Our “mistake” in initially identifying Saptari Tharu as Maithili has been turned by God to good by putting AP into the “heart languge” of a UPG with no Scriptures (Romans 8:28)!
Pray with us that the Lord would reach many people with the little gospel tract that packs a thorough and powerful punch as it chronologically explains who God is and why we need a Savior. Let’s pray that many Tharu who are lost would become found.