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AUGUST ‘10 VISION CHALLENGE : “....AND FROM EVERY TRIBE, PEOPLE AND LANGUAGE” In the moments leading to his ascension, the Lord commissioned the disciples to go to the ends of the world with the good news. This great commission raised the great challenge of reaching out to the nations in their languages. And so began the work of translating the scriptures which continues till today tirelessly.

India, Pakistan, Northern Africa and South America. As a result of this work, around 390 million copies of the scripture was distributed in 2007-2008 alone of which 26 million copies of the entire Bible was printed and distributed in various languages. Aside from these organizations, there are many servants of the Lord in the There are an estimated 6900 field learning and translating official languages worldwide not t h e s c r i p t u r e s i n t h e i r including the local and regional respective mission fields. dialects. Of these, translations of the Bible in part or whole are not The work of translation is both a v a i l a b l e i n a b o u t 2 0 0 0 challenging and rewarding. languages. At least one book of The main challenges include the bible has been translated in the lengthy time required, lack 2400 languages. Further, recent of or no local script, finding estimates by the Bible societies appropriate and acceptable indicate that a third of the world’s words, remaining motivated, population is yet to read the engaging committed local bible, the major constraints being r e s o u r c e s , f i n a n c e a n d illiteracy and blindness. infrastructure and acceptance by local communities. It is The Wycliffe and United Bible estimated that around 12 man S o c i e t i e s a r e t h e m a j o r years is needed to accurately recognized bible translators translate the entire scripture working in over 200 countries from Genesis to Revelations. including China, Middle East, While there have been reports

of opposition, often translation work especially in remote tribal areas have been perceived as benefiting local communities. Government agencies have engaged bible translators in literacy programs, thereby opening the doors for the Gospel. The Vision challenge for the month of August is to participate in this tireless ministry of scripture translation. In eternity, may we rejoice in seeing souls from every tribe, people and language and till that time, let us uphold and partner with those who work in this ministry.


MISSION CHALLENGE : THE MINISTRY OF BRO. BABU THOMAS AND FAMILY The Mission Challenge for the month of August is from the ministry of Brother Babu Thomas and family. Bro. Thomas and wife Sister Helen Grace have been working among the Halba tribals in the Bastar district of Chattisgarh, in northern India since 1982. Previously, they worked with the Operation Mobilization (OM) where they were exposed to tribal communities. The local language for the Halba community is Halbi. Around 600,000 tribals in this region of Chattisgarh speak the language. At the regional level, totally around 1 million people extending to Raipur, Koraput (in Orissa) and Chandrapur in Maharashtra speak Halbi.

Bro. Thomas and Sister Helen are blessed with two children Christine and David. Christine has completed her post graduate studies in Occupational Therapy while David is completing his under graduate programme in the same field from CMC Vellore. Let us uphold this family in our prayers as they work tirelessly in reaching out to the Halba community. Their efforts have been long and challenging and great would be the rewards awaiting them in eternity as they too strive for every tribe, people and language!

Since 1982, Bro. Thomas and Sister Helen, have worked towards translating portions of the scripture to Halbi. In the process, they had to learn the language, analyze the grammar and develop the alphabet. As a result, God has enabled them to develop a dictionary relating words in Hindi, English and Halbi. They are currently working on translating the New Testament. As a result of this ministry, an assembly 8 baptized believers has been formed at Tokapal village, 20 Km west of Jagdalpur the district head quarters of Bastar. A Child Center for poor children has been established with 278 kids and managed the Christian Brethren Assembly at Tokpal. Similar centers have been established at Kumli, Barhgaon and Chote Dongar. An Adult Literacy Center has also been established teaching locals on basic literacy skills. Their work with the Halbi language has been recognized by the local authorities. They have been engaged in developing health awareness booklets and adult literacy classes jointly with Government Agencies and the Rajiv Gandhi Shiksha Mission.

PREVIOUS ISSUES • January - Uyghurs of Kazhakstan • February -Rescue the perishing..Care for the dying • March- The Good News to the Islamic world • April - The Nation of Argentina for the Lord • May- Reaching Home with the Good News • June- Reach out to those behind bars • July- Wining the battle for the mind

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h August 2010 India Babu Thomas