Church-Centric Bible Translation continues amid turmoil in Sudan

By February 21, 2022

Sudan (MNN) — Protests continue in Sudan despite a crackdown that has killed at least 79 people and injured thousands. As described here, “Sudan suffered a coup in October. Since then, the Arab state has been reeling from constant unrest and instability.”

As the civilian-military conflict continues in Sudan, so does Bible translation. unfoldingWord helps by holding their training sessions outside Sudan.

“[Believers] still go in and out of Sudan, despite all the things are going on, obviously timing it carefully. They bring people out, people that they’re developing as leaders of the communities, for six months for some intense training,” CEO David Reeves says.

The training equips believers to do Church-Centric Bible Translation. Together with unfoldingWord, Sudanese Christians translate God’s Word into 60 languages used by more than 30 million people.

Learn more about the Sudanese Gateway Language project here.

There is a Bible translation in Sudanese Arabic – Sudan’s majority language – but the country also has approximately 115 ethnic groups, each using a different language.

“Sudanese Arabic won’t communicate the Gospel effectively if you’re [from] a tribal people group. They can understand bits and pieces of it (Sudanese Arabic), kind of like a lot of us learned some language in high school, Spanish or French, and today we get little bits and pieces of it,” Reeves says.

“But try to live with that, in terms of feeding your soul from the Bible, and you’d have a hard, hard time [having] a vibrant walk with Christ.”

(Photo courtesy of unfoldingWord)

Faheem, a Sudanese Bible translator, recently told unfoldingWord:

“In Sudan, there are many languages. Historically, there have been Christians and churches, but they didn’t have books or Bibles in their languages.

“So, that is the real problem. If they have the Bible in their hands, I think it will change the Sudanese. This is my vision: the Bible transmitted from generation to generation and never ended again.”

Through a special matching grant, gifts to this project now go twice as far. “We have a very generous foundation who’s been partnering with us for some years now. Often they’ll do matching grants to help us invite other people to participate,” Reeves says.

The grant has a $75,000 cap, and “we’ve got about half of it matched thus far.”

Double your gift to the Sudanese Gateway Language project here.

Most importantly, pray. “None of this goes far without a covering your prayer. We’re dealing with Bible translation needs in some of the most difficult places in the world,” Reeves says. Use the prompts listed alongside this report to guide your intercession.



Header image courtesy of Aladdin Mustafa/Pexels.

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