Bahadur*, our translator from a community in South Asia, was facing a lot of resistance from his friends, relatives, and elders of the village. However, he continued with the translation and used to share from the books of the Bible that the tam had translated so far. Their community has no other written material in their own language. Fascinated by the text in their own language and Bahadur’s commitment to the project, his people continued to visit and talk to him.
The governing body in the village, hearing of his determination, took him to task. They decreed that he should either leave the Christian faith or face excommunication. This meant that he had to leave his house, family, relatives, and friends to go somewhere else to start his life anew. Since Bahadur has been translating the Bible, he drew strength from it and decided to stand firm for the name of Jesus. He bid farewell to everything he had known so far and without hesitation left the village.
Bahadur’s daunting and courageous stance convinced his parents and some friends of his faith to trust Jesus. Reading from the Word of God lent credibility to his words. The story of Jesus, his persecution, and death mirrored the situation they saw in the case of Bahadur. In time his sister and brother-in-law began to see the hope of salvation in Jesus and became believers. Soon he started getting visits from others who kept their faith in Jesus a secret. Over time, inspired by Bahadur's stance they started making their faith public. They have now decided to voice their right to live and believe in Jesus, in as much as those who oppose them. They are preparing to start a church in the very village that once excommunicated Bahadur!
Our hopes and prayers are that the Church, based on the Word, will be an enduring hope for those seeking truth and salvation in that community.