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SMS Cluster

Fast Facts:

  • Languages: Bandi*, along with a few other people groups

  • No. of speakers: 10,000–60,000, 3 million

  • Christians: varies; mostly nominal

  • Location: Southeast Asia**

  • Project 2 date: 2017~2028


Long-term Goals:

  • Train other language groups to make Scripture Use products and engage their own communities.

  • Continue with Bible translation, language development and Scripture engagement for Bandi.


The Bandi project started in a very low-key way in the 1980s. However, besides doing Bible translation, the Bandi team have turned out to be good at making Scripture Use materials and promoting them to local churches – Sunday school materials, Bible storybooks, Big Books, audio CDs with original Christian songs, still picture videos, etc. Furthermore, they are eager to help other groups to do the same.

To take advantage of these strengths, in 2017 the Bandi project was reconfigured into the SMS Cluster Project. The SMS Project’s primary aim is Scripture Engagement – to train and equip people groups to produce Scripture-related materials, that they may know Christ more deeply.

* For security reasons, pseudonyms are used for the language name and names of individuals.

** The exact location is confidential. Prior approval is required for further reproduction or distribution in any form.


Project updates:


Long-term goals in detail:

  • Bandi translation and publication, video dubbing and Bible study workshops:

    • Books to be translated and checked: John, Psalms, Genesis, Mark and Luke, Exodus 1–20, Jonah.

    • Videos to be dubbed: John & Genesis

    • Still-picture videos: Exodus, Jonah

    • Video-based Bible study workshops for: Acts, John, Genesis, Mark, Luke, Exodus and Jonah

  • Spiritual song albums based on: Psalms

  • Sunday school materials & Bible picture videos: The Bandi SE team will continue to create and send out more of these, and give Sunday School Teacher Training.

  • Continuing Christian education: More Bandi and other workers will be sent to the local seminary for the Certificate in Christian Ministry and the Diploma in Christian Ministry.

  • Ongoing SMS advocacy meetings and workshops:

    • These very much depend on the demand from other groups in the region for training in production of SE materials. If demand is running hot, this would affect the timetable for completion of the Bandi translation and SE goals.


Progress to date in detail:

  • SMS Workshops:

    • Songwriting, audio recording & CD production, Big Books & booklets – translation and production, Oral Bible Storying, Still Picture Video dubbing, EthnoArts and Narrative Discourse; Bible translation principles; use of the Paratext translation software; stop-motion animation, creative crafts for Sunday School, Sunday School Big Books and booklets.

  • SMS regional language OneStory set – this is now ready for other languages to use.

  • Bandi Scripture Engagement (these materials are also templates and inspiration for other groups in the region):

    • Five series of Sunday School materials

    • Several Sunday School teacher training events on the above materials

    • Three albums of Bandi spiritual songs (Album 4 in progress)

    • One series of still picture videos on Jesus (Series 2 in progress)

    • Comic books on the life of Jesus

    • Many Bible card videos (Scripture verses read and set to music; Matthew video excerpts) for adults and children

    • Video-based Bible Study Workshop on Matthew (Acts will be next)

  • Bandi Translation:

    • Published: Matthew (print, video, audio, app), Acts (print, video almost ready)

    • In progress: Genesis, Exodus, Psalms, Jonah, Mark, Luke (revision), John, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Hebrews, Revelation

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