Ecuador (MNN) — The final project of the HCJB Global Vozandes Printshop is bringing the Word of God to the Chachi people.
"Twenty sets of 40 CDs of Martires Tapuyo's recording of the Chachi Scriptures, a five-CD series of 40 lessons on the character of God, and a CD of Chachi music are intended for group use in Chachi communities that agree to listen to them regularly," said Neil Wiebe, who has headed the project of translating Scriptures into the Chachi language since 1970 with his wife, Ruth. They received the project from retired Wycliffe missionary John Lindskoog and his wife.
The Chachi people number about 15,000, and believers filled the church to overflowing for the dedication of the Scriptures. Lindskoog recounted highlights of mission and translation work, while Wiebe described specifics, such as describing key Biblical terms with Chachi phrases instead of borrowing from Spanish.
"I concluded by saying that this work was our offering, first to God but also to the Chachi people," Weibe said.
Genesis, Exodus, and the entire New Testament have been translated into the Chachi language, and an HCJB Global engineer is working to provide a way to power listening devices. "[He] enabled us to hook up small, 12-volt Gel-Pak batteries to solar panels which are to power the CD players," said Wiebe. "We trust that the print and audio forms will complement and stimulate the use of each other."
The Bible League is the official publisher of the Chachi Scripture and is directed in Ecuador by Milton Bustos. Despite suffering a broken vertebra after being attacked by thieves during his bus trip to the dedication ceremony, Milton's enthusiasm hasn't waned. He will be working with the translator, Tapuyo, to train Chachi leaders to use simple Bible study guides.
Through the decades, HCJB Global Vozandes Printshop has translated Bibles into the indigenous languages of Cofan and Waorani (Auca). Its final project before closing is the Chachi Scriptures.