Reverend Derese of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus lives in the Gamo-speaking village of Zala, in Ethiopia. He has used an Amharic Bible all his life, despite his mother tongue being Gamo. After The Word for the World completed and distributed the Gamo translation of the New Testament in 2012 (see video), he was able to read scripture in his own language for the first time! Around 1.2 million people in Ethiopia speak Gamo, and now all of them can read the Bible in their own language.
“I easily understand when I read from the Gamo New Testament, and not only I can understand it, but my people as well. I benefit greatly from this, now that I can read the Bible in my own language and understand the Word of God easily,” Reverend Derese said after receiving the New Testament in Gamo for the first time. A Gamo translation of the Jesus Film has also been produced.
The Gamo Bible translation project started in 2003 in partnership with The Seed Company and churches in the language group area. The four Gamo translators—Andinet Meaza, Arega Adada, Tesfaye Tole, and Teliko Tona—are currently working on getting the complete Gamo Bible ready for publication and audio release. If all goes according to plan, the complete Bible will be sent to publishers in 2018! Our prayer is for speedy typesetting and that the funds will be available to publish and distribute the complete Gamo Bible.
How incredible it is when people can finally have access to the Word of God in their mother tongue!