“Found” in Translation


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.

About Sharing the Story of Jesus

A little booklet called "The Ancient Path" circulating in several languages throughout Southeast Asia talks about how the story of Jesus wasn’t just made up by Westerners. It details how the true account of Jesus begins way before Buddha, Confucius, or Mohammad.

So far, "The Ancient Path" is printed in six languages: Vietnamese, Burmese, Chin, traditional characters Mandarin, simplified characters Mandarin, and now Nepali. Plus, Mongolian, Urdu, Rakhine Arakanese, and Tharu are underway and should be available for print soon. The project is looking to expand into to more Asian languages and to print what is being requested by the Christian community for distribution.