East Lisu people now have Bible in their own language


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For the first time in the history of the East Lisu people of Yunnan Province in China, they have the Word of God in their own "heart language," reports Dan Wooding, founder of ASSIST Ministries.

According to story released by Anthony Bollback, a former missionary to China, one hundred years ago, a missionary reached the mile high Lisu villages, located in Yunnan Province, which literally means "South of the Clouds." Yunnan is located in the far southwest of the country spanning approximately 152,000 square miles.

"Yang Hanquan, 73, a member of the translation Committee that began work on the New Testament in 1984, radiates with delight to hold the finished product after all these years of preparation," said Bollback. "The spring issue of the American Bible Society Record joyfully reports that finally the 50-60,000 East Lisu can read the Word in their own language.

"The Mandarin Bible, the official language of China, has been available since 1819 but very few East Lisu speak Mandarin. A testimony to the diligence and faithfulness of their pastors who have served under the most adverse circumstances is the deeply rooted faith of the East Lisu Church even though they had no Bibles at all."

He said that the Rev. Yong Haiwen, a fourth generation Christian and member of the present Translation Committee, read the new translation to a crowd of Lisu from their own Bible! The pastor said, "I am now holding the New Testament that for generations my ancestors had hoped to see."

Bollback added, "People walked for more than 12 hours to be present for the celebration and many of them carried their own stools knowing the sanctuary would overflow to the grounds around. Joyful as this report is, this is only the ninth translation available to the 516 groups still waiting for their own Scriptures!

"Pray for the publication of God's Word in China. Amity Press, the only official Bible printing press in China, printed a record 4 million Mandarin language Bibles last year. Worthy as that is, remember that there are 55 distinct ethnic minorities and 516 dialects without the Bible in their heart-languages plus more than half a million Chinese becoming Christians each year. Respond to this challenge to pray and give sacrificially."