Bible dedications are usually big celebrations, with local believers and supporters from all over the world coming together for a festival of praise. Although the Puman New Testament celebration was smaller, the praise was just as heartfelt.
Translation of the Puman NT began in 2006, and it was typeset and printed in 2020. In 2006, there was already a writing system, and some Puman were literate in their own language. At the time, there were fewer than 100 believers. But by 2020, this number had grown to over 400 believers!
During these years, the team not only translated scriptures, but also shared Bible stories, audio recordings and facilitated the printing of worship songs which Puman Christians were writing and translating. These were used in small groups and churches and were joyfully received by the believers.
The project advisor C shared how the project had been interrupted by long periods of ill-health more than once – he had suffered from dengue and chronic fatigue in 2011, suffered a relapse in 2018, and contracted dengue again in 2019. But God gave him the strength to resume work each time, and sustained the whole team as they worked together to complete the NT.
Some words from Puman believers:
A young man who works for a radio programme which broadcasts scripture, stories and worship songs in the Puman language reported: “Some people who listened wanted to trust in Jesus.” As for himself, he said, “I used to read the Bible in the national language but did not understand it well, but if I read the Bible in Puman, I can understand it well.”
Another believer says she had read the whole NT in the national language several times, but could not really understand it. She said, “I prayed to God for a Bible in Puman, my own language, so I could understand it clearly. Praise God that he answered my prayers!”
A man said that when Bible stories in Puman were distributed in his church, the people were keen to read them because they were in their own language and easier to understand. Now that they had the Bible in their own language, “If anyone tells us something that is different from God’s word, we can check if what they say is right or wrong or if anything is lacking. We can maintain our faith so we don’t wander away from God. It helps strengthen our faith and build up the church.”
Pray with the team that the Puman NT will be widely distributed, and that they will be read and applied. The audio recording of the NT is now 80% complete and work is being done on a mobile app. Large sections of the OT have been drafted, and the team hopes to publish significant portions by 2023.
To God be the Glory!
Wycliffe Singapore’s R200 Programme has been a supporter of this project since 2015. If you wish to support a project, please contact us here.
* Not the real name