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.
The TWIG Cluster project has brought the pastors and leaders of various church denominations together to support the team with the Bible Translation (BT) work. The pastors anticipate the translated Scriptures would be a great tool for evangelism among the unreached groups in Nepal.
For the Wanchi team, their project has been an eye-opener. The translators saw the work as very demanding, yet fulfilling. They delve deep into the Scriptures to fully grasp God’s Message. They have become so engrossed in their work that each time a verse or passage was read out during group devotion, some members would jump at the thought of exegeting it!
The Wanchi community accorded respect to the team for their dedicated work. They could not hide their excitement in knowing that the Scriptures are being translated into their language. Also, the community checkers have been very cooperative in answering the call of duty.
The Lilac translation team sought God’s guidance to enable them to focus on tasks scheduled for the quarter.
The project work schedule was hampered by the coronavirus lockdown. Work could not go on as planned. The group had to shelve the task of reviewing the book of Hebrews because they could not meet due to the lockdown. However hapless they were, the team knew they could always count on God for divine guidance. True enough, their prayers led to progress at work!
In the Palan village, Mahir was learning to read and write through a small and simple church in his village. Once he was able to read a few sentences, he requested for a copy of the Angika translated Scriptures, which he had seen in someone’s hands. When Mahir read a few passages from the gospel of Luke in his mother tongue, he was overwhelmed. He started to narrate the story to his friends and everyone he would meet in his community. For a few months Mahir continued to actively share the message of Luke’s Gospel with many people in his community, and they too want to know more about Jesus. A fellowship group was formed with about 20 people new to the faith, to read the recently translated Scriptures and pray together. After a few months of meeting together, the group members decided to be baptised, and 14 out of the group were baptised together. This all happened as a direct result of God’s work through the translated Word and the ministry of the local church.
The Walangi Valley is conﬁned between two lofty mountain ranges in the Himalayas. Amid the harsh conditions found between heights of 2130 m and 4260 m, live 23,500 Walangi people in 54 small hamlets generally made up of 25 to 40 houses each.
Two young men trudged wearily into a Walangi hamlet in 2006. Mano and Das had traveled at least 14 hours over treacherous mountain roads from the nearest train station, praying all the way. Would they be permitted to stay? Only God could open this door. Some evangelists had visited the Walangi Valley in 2000. But the wary villagers discovered their intentions and violently chased them out. No one had tried again – till Mano and Das obediently responded to God’s call.
They introduced themselves to the hamlet’s governing body as linguists who would like to live among them to study their language. Could they stay? The committee conferred amongst themselves for a while. Their answer was “yes”. Thus, the pioneering work began.
In 2016, the ﬁrst Walangi from a language community that was 100 per cent non-Christian professed faith in Christ. There is now a crack in the spiritual wall of resistance.