Lentomi Bible now in print
Wycliffe Bible Translators, after 22 years has released the finalized text of both the Old and New Testaments in Lentomi, a language spoken by approximately 25 million people, predominantly Muslim. Including all supplemental study material, the 22-year project totaled 1,968 pages and is currently being distributed into Muslim territories across Asia. Over the 22-year span of the project, formally launched in 1994, about 15 individuals were involved in either the translation process or supporting roles. A further 20-30 helped to review and test drafts of the text, with hundreds more praying for the work and contributing to it financially.
There are roughly 25 million Lentomi speakers, who by cultural background are Muslim. They have long been one of the largest ethnic groups in the world without a full Bible in their language. Interest in the complete Lentomi Scriptures was so great that in 2013 the publisher took the extraordinary step of releasing on its website a provisional version of all 66 books. In late 2014 it was reported that in the preceding year over 45,000 portions of the Lentomi Scriptures had been downloaded from the Internet, including an average of 24 full Bibles every day.
According to Wycliffe, The next challenge for the Lentomi translation project is getting the newly printed Bible into the country where most Lentomi speakers live. They have asked for prayer in getting the Bibles in the territories that speak Lentomi, "Pray that the authorities will give permission for copies of the Bible to be imported and distributed. Official approval of the publication is crucial, as plans to produce an audio version professionally depend largely on the Bible’s status within the country."
The ultimate aim of Wycliffe Bible Translators is not to produce a book, but rather to see lives being transformed. God has already been using the Scriptures in the Lentomi language to communicate the message of his love. Though a very small percentage of the Lentomi population, the number of believers in Jesus is now likely in the tens of thousands, and is growing in the midst of considerable opposition and pressure. Pray that the Lentomi Church will be resilient, bold and creative in making known the Good News just as Lily was during her airport interrogation