Understanding God’s Word in Your Own Language | Wycliffe Bible Translators

Understanding God’s Word in Your Own Language

The Tunia community is learning to read in the language that speaks to their hearts.

  • April 10, 2017
woman studying

There are approximately 2,250 Tunia speakers, most of which live in Chad (though some were relocated to Oubangui in Central African Republic during the civil war in 1914). Many Tunia people practice the traditional religion, called yorem, which is animistic. Others are Muslim, like the majority of Chad’s population.

Most Tunia people have not attended school, and don’t know how to read or write their language. This, combined with the fact that many people use another language outside of Tunia, has endangered the use of Tunia and put it at risk of disappearing altogether.

literacy classroom outdoors

That’s why work has started to begin literacy initiatives in Tunia — so their language can be preserved and people can ultimately learn how to read and write it. The goals of the project are to help more and more Tunia people learn how to read, write and count easily. Then they can use it to read God’s Word and engage in Scripture in a way that speaks directly to their hearts.

Through literacy initiatives — including literacy classes, recruiting and training literacy teachers and more — people are learning to read and write their language for the very first time. The team is also working to translate different books of the Bible — including the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, 1, 2 and 3 John, Ruth, and more — so that people can then engage with Scripture in their own language. So far, the Gospel of Mark is published and already in their hands. With this foundation, more and more Tunia will be able to understand God’s life-changing Word for themselves. The impact will then be felt by them and future generations.

lady studying at desk
  • As the team continues to work with the Tunia community on developing their language, pray that their efforts would be successful and that the Tunia would actively participate.

  • Pray for the health of the translators and their families that God would continue to give them the energy and stamina to continue the project.

  • Ask God to use the literacy efforts and the translated Scriptures to capture the hearts of the Tunia people and stir within them a desire to know him intimately and accept his gift of salvation.



man standing with motorcycle

Make a Prayer Connection: Pray for God's provision for the Motorcycles for Transformation project. In the Sahara Desert of Chad, motorcycles help literacy workers reach remote villages.