Charles, a Laarim speaker in South Sudan, knew his life would change when he became a Christian. “I used to drink and smoke,” said Charles. “My friends rejected me, which made me worried, but I prayed and trusted God to help me out of my problem.”
Charles traveled to Kakuma, a larger city in the area, and met with Laarim communities. He talked to other Christians, received Christ and joined the local church. “Life has been peaceful knowing that I have eternal hope even in the midst of difficult challenges,” Charles said.
The Laarim people face many challenges, living in rugged, hilly terrain of the South Sudanese Boya Hills. Many Laarim have to walk long distances daily to find food. Their social and cultural lives are centered on cattle. The Laarim people breed the cattle and eat their meat. Cattle are also used as a bride’s dowry. People use the hides for blankets when they sleep. A neighboring people group often raid and steal the Laarim cattle, threatening this group’s livelihood. These raids have even unfortunately taken the lives of innocent people. For years, efforts at peace and reconciliation between the two groups bore little fruit. But God’s Word in Laarim is beginning to bring change. A project adviser shared, “Revenge and cattle raiding is slowly diminishing as the Laarim seek peace with their neighbors.”
Wycliffe is partnering with several organizations in the area to bring God’s Word to the Laarim people. Through the efforts of Africa Inland Mission (AIM) missionaries, a number of people have become Christians and a local church has formed. Audio players provided by AIM with Scripture recordings, that SIL* has helped translate, are providing access to God’s Word in the Laarim language. In partnership with Cru, the “JESUS” film in Laarim and the Magdalena film have been completed.
By the end of this year, the entire Laarim New Testament will be drafted. Wycliffe’s ministry partners are eager for the translated Scriptures to continue furthering the work of evangelism, church planting, and producing women’s and children’s ministry materials.
David, a translation team member, said that the work of translation has “helped his family understand the Word of God,” which they share during their family devotions. He testified that they are living according to biblical Christian family values.
Another team member said, “I am interested in the Word of God and teaching the people the Word of God. I am trying to see my community have the New Testament in their language; this will help them spiritually to grow in faith.”