Kalyan Herenj, 47, was raised in a Christian family and is a descendant of the Naguri Munda people group. Together with his wife Veronica Herenj, they have two adopted daughters Fulmani and Nissi.
He has been working as a mother-tongue translator (MTT) in the Naguri Munda Bible translation team for two years and considers it a privilege. He testifies that he drew closer to God from reading His Word and keeps a consistent prayer life after taking on the work.
Kalyan has dedicated his life to spreading the Gospel among the people of his community, who are mostly illiterate and do not understand Hindi well. He has a burden for his fellowmen, friends and strangers alike, and shares with them stories from the Bible. They are encouraged by the Good News and glad to know that they would soon be able to hear and read the Scriptures in their own language.
Kalyan is grateful to God for giving him the opportunity to help translate the Scriptures in Naguri Munda language. He also has a passion for Christian songs, which has prompted him to compose several hymns in his language.
My name is David Ganesh, a mother tongue translator from the Thamne people group. Please allow me to share my thoughts and observations with you.
The Thamne find it a challenge to refer to the Bible in Nepali because they are not familiar with the language. This is especially so during church worship service whenever passages are quoted from the Old Testament (OT).
The people have been praying for the Thamne version of the OT and God heard them. In His time, God enabled the commencement of a three-year translation project which covers five books of the OT – Genesis, Jonah, Esther, Ruth and Proverbs. The project is scheduled for completion in 2022.
To engage the Thamne community in the project, representatives comprising local church and community leaders were invited to second-eye the translated Scriptures.
Recently, I brought translated portions from the OT books of Genesis and Jonah with me to the village to meet the working group. We gathered in a spartan setting to review the text – line by line and word by word. During those evening sessions, work ethics prevailed. I felt blessed to be among such an enthusiastic group, diligently working together as one to further God’s kingdom.
Sign Language (SL) Translation Team Leader David* shares:
Our team found the SL Bible Translation work to be very challenging at first. The odds were stacked against us. Once, we were working with a hearing team member and she insisted that we do it her way. On another occasion, the funding was delayed for a year and we barely scraped through. Although in despair, we did not give up and prayed to God for perseverance.
Then the blessings came, one by one. God sent representatives from the Asia Pacific Sign Language Development Association (APSDA) to help us with the Bible translation. We also networked with the local deaf communities and NGOs.
Our team once travelled to the northern provinces to visit the deaf Christian communities. We brought along the Sisters2 SL materials and training videos. While openly interacting with the deaf group, we noticed some soldiers approaching us. They stood by the side observing our activity for some time. We thought they would arrest us or perhaps confiscate our materials. Surprisingly, they allowed us to continue and left. It was a blessing and brought us relief. God turned the situation around.
At a recent training workshop, a participant named Samuel expressed his interest to be involved in the Bible translation (BT) project. He also offered the project team the use of his house (which was nearby) as an interim office during workshop intervals.
In an exegesis workshop session, the keyword 'repent' was brought up for discussion. As an active steward in his church, Samuel said that he often came across the word but failed to grasp its meaning.
The language facilitator then explained the meaning of the word according to the Scriptures. The only way to repent is to accept Jesus as personal Saviour, he explained. The explanation helped Samuel to understand the meaning of the word. He confessed that he has not repented all these years, and has relied on his own strengths to cope with issues of the day.
Realising his ignorance, Samuel said he wanted to repent and accept Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. Shedding tears, he insisted on doing it in the presence of the participants. To support his decision, the participants gathered around him and joined him in the sinner's prayer. What a joyous moment of celebration!