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The Ceren people place a great emphasis on the provision of hospitality and generosity. Hand-shaking (with the right hand) is the most common form of physical greeting, which is often followed by the placing of the right hand over the heart (a symbol of sincerity). Their homes are in the hills in one of the most isolated and under-developed regions in their country. The majority of people earn income through agriculture, but few people have access to healthcare and clean water, and transport is limited due to poor infrastructure.
The majority of Ceren people do not understand the national language and only speak their own language, Ceren. Literacy rates are also low and there is little recognition of their language on a national level, meaning few written resources exist in Ceren, including Scripture. Almost all the Ceren people are devout Muslims and Christians are frequently persecuted.
Due to attitudes towards Christians, translation of the Bible has not yet begun. The focus is instead on blessing the community through helping to develop the language and establish pre-schools. So far the Ceren team has built positive relationships with prominent local leaders, a number of local preschools have been set up with trained local teachers, and the language is gaining recognition. The hope is that these will be the stepping stones to Bible translation, beginning with a series on ‘Lives of the Prophets’ to resonate with the local culture.
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