Sometimes, several language communities might be clustered together for a project if they are similar enough to collaborate, but unique enough to merit their own translations. In the Robeno Cluster, six language groups were clustered together to receive a panorama of more than 20 oral Bible stories. But as trained storytellers told these Bible stories to their families and friends, people wanted more of God’s Word.
The Robeno Cluster in Southeast Asia took its next steps—translating the Gospel of Luke and using it as a script for the “JESUS” film. But one language group within this cluster was lagging behind. The Kahak* struggled with developing a writing system for their highly tonal language. Their translation team came close to giving up, until it was determined that Oral Bible Translation (OBT) would be the best fit. Once the Gospel of Luke was translated, they were ready to begin work on the “JESUS” film, but not without more hurdles.
When three days of voice auditions failed to produce a suitable choice for the role of Jesus, translator Lyun suggested her husband Andra try out. Andra was not only antagonistic toward Christianity, but he was equally angry about his wife spending so much time on the project. Nonetheless, the “JESUS” film crew paid him a visit, and since it’s not culturally acceptable to refuse a request for help, he obliged them. And it was he who received the greatest blessing!
After only two days of reading God’s Word, he understood a deep peace and love he had been missing.
Now Andra works alongside his wife on the Kahak Bible translation team. After translating the parable of the lost sheep recorded in Luke 15, he remarked, “From this parable, I realize that God prioritizes the lost. We, too, need to be prioritizing the people who don’t know Jesus.”
*To protect the identity of these individuals and language groups, pseudonyms have been used.
For more about How Bible Translation Works, watch the video below.