Peru (MNN) — A recorded translation of the New Testament is underway for the Yines indigenous tribe of Per, thanks to the concern of local pastors.
"The request to do the recording actually came from some of the pastors who are working with these indigenous people," said Tom Dudenhofer of Audio Scripture Ministries, which is working on the translation with an area partner.
Evangelism to the Yines first began over 100 years ago when Catholic priests traveled to the area. New Testament translations began in 1960 and were published in 2000.
Previously, the tribe has been receptive to the Gospel and is described as a Christian people.
"This is a group of people that has simply been open to the Gospel. They've listened; they've comprehended; they've understood; they've trusted God as their Savior," Dudenhofer said. "You wouldn't really call this a huge revival … this is simply a people who has been responsive to the teachings of the Gospel."
However, because the tribe is spread out in four different locations within the Peruvian jungle, "This is one of those tribal groups that often get overlooked. Right now, it is estimated that they only have between 2500 and 4000 people in the tribe."
Additionally, many of them cannot even read the existing translation with Peru's illiteracy rate as high as 20 to 40 percent, according to the government.
Even if they can read, Dudenhofer said, "A lot of them, even though they've been described as literate, will not take the time to read. Like many languages around the world, it's another oral culture. And they're much more comfortable listening to someone tell them a story. We want them to hear the Good Story."
So far, ASM has raised 80 percent of the funds needed to complete this project. Most of the additional funds raised will go toward the audio players the recordings will be placed on. ASM hopes to collect around 200 of these.
Dudenhofer is optimistic about this project: "I can't predict how God's going to use His Word, but the local pastors are the ones who have said, ‘We know our people will benefit from listening to God's Word in their language.'"
Click here to help ASM supply the rest of the funds needed to complete this translation effort. You can also visit their Web site to find out about other translation projects ASM has around the globe.