‘This is a miracle for us in Lindu,’ said the government official, as the first copies of the Tado New Testament were being pored over.

After years of patient and steady translation work, the Tado New Testament was launched in October at a packed event in Lindu District, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Image of the Tado New Testament being held up at the launch event in Lindu, Indonesia Presenting the Tado New Testament

The launch was the culmination of increasing excitement at the impact that God’s word is already having among the Tado people.

Since 2014, when the Gospel of Mark was first printed and distributed, ‘transformational church services’ using the Tado language and Scriptures have been held twice a month in one of the churches. Tado Scriptures have also been used in services held in homes, and in personal discipleship.

As the translation work has progressed, so portions of Scripture have been released into the community, leading to radical change in people’s lives and in the community. Stories abound of the impact of God’s word.

Ronald, one of the main translators, used to get drunk and beat his wife. Now he has been through theological college and is a youth leader.

Adolf, a native of Lindu and the coordinator of Scripture engagement through music, used to be an emotionally unstable, criminally violent man. His eyes now shine with the light of Christ. He says:

‘The arrival of the Tado translation translation facilitator was an extraordinary event for the people of Lindu. The introduction of the word of God to us has helped our community to change our habits and our character, and taught us how to be closer to God.’

Image of Tado people arriving at the launch of the Tado New Testament in Lindu, Indonesia Tado people arriving at the launch of their New Testament

Julia*, who serves with Wycliffe and spearheaded literacy work in the Tado language for five years, was thrilled to attend the launch. She says: ‘Lindu people love to sing. Recognising this, the Indonesian from Wycliffe’s partner organisation who led the translation team formed a music group of 12 local men, all of whose lives at that time were a mess. Over the years, as they have met together, their lives have been transformed by the power of God, and they have produced many songs in the Tado language using traditional instruments. They now have 38 songs on YouTube.’

Enos – a member of that music group – used to be a drug addict, a drunkard and a gambler. He also used occultic items which the translation team leader helped him to burn. Now he plays songs about Jesus.

Image of four Tado girls at the Tado New Testament launch in Lindu, Indonesia Tado girls at the launch event

All of the above happened even before the complete New Testament in Tado arrived. Just think what God can do from here!

‘I wasn’t sure that we would be able to translate the New Testament, but the Holy Spirit enabled us,’ says another member of the translation team. ‘This activity won’t stop here. We, the people of Lindu, have to keep building on what has been achieved till now. Jesus is now a native of Lindu. Why? Because we hear him speaking to us in Tado.’

‘We have seen so many changes in people’s lives. People are making progress in their faith. They understand the Scriptures better and are more motivated to read them now that they are in Tado. We’ve seen people stop their occultic, animistic rituals – things like sacrificing chickens to help sick people get well and seeking out a witchdoctor.’

Image of Tado singing their praises to God at the launch of the Tado New Testament beside Lake Lindu, Indonesia Tado farmers singing praises to God at the launch beside Lake Lindu

‘People are prouder now of their language and culture. They use the Tado language on social media. The choirs in Lindu now frequently sing in Tado. These are things people never used to!’

Change has come to the people of Lindu in the form of God’s word. As Jesus continues to speak to them through the newly launched New Testament, may they have open ears to listen – and may their community continue to be transformed.

*name changed for security reasons

In YouTube, search for ‘Sangar Seni Peronde’.

Wycliffe provided funds for 50% of the printing of the New Testaments.

Story by: Jeremy Weightman

Date: 15/12/2022

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