Towards the start of September, people from many neighbouring communities came together in Kulai Village to celebrate the harvest festival. But during this time, many of them walked down to the nearby river. Evangelist Menpoi was going to baptise some new believers.
In Bangladesh, 38 different languages are spoken. While most people speak Bengali, many smaller communities only speak and fully understand their local language. This makes the work of evangelism more difficult for people like Menpoi, who reaches out to many small villages in his community, like the Mru village of Duhkhah.
MangUia and Kaipre are two women from Duhkhah. They are Mru people, and speak the Mru language. For most of their lives, they were followers of animism. But last year, when they were both more than 80 years old, they heard the gospel in their language for the first time.
Menpoi came to their village and they heard him preach, in their own language. They were able to read the Bible in Mru language, see the words and sing the songs, in their own language. Over time they learned about God, and have become followers of Jesus.
“Physically we were old and sooner or later we may need to say goodbye to the physical world without hope of second life,” the women said. “At this age, God is truly mindful of us and given us such blessing of His salvation and so grateful and thankful to God for His love. His love is our great hope that we shall be with him in eternity even when we leave the world.”
On the day of the harvest festival many from the church and community made the five kilometre walk down to the river for the baptisms. That night, four new Christians were baptised by Menpoi. Despite the distance, their faith in the love of Christ compelled them to commit their lives through baptism.
Pastor Rambuai, the minister for the local area, said he was pleased with the way the word of God is spreading in his community, despite the challenges they face. “We thank God for the opportunity to serve the Lord. And our humble request to pray for the Mru community to have adequate Bibles and songbooks for the new souls, and for all.”
For those preaching to smaller communities like the Mru speakers, language can be a significant barrier. There are only a limited number of resources – including the Bible – that have been translated into Mru language.
International Church Partnerships assists in funding the translation and production of Bibles, song books, and other resources in Mru language. It’s thanks to the support of people like you that MangUia, Kaipre, and many others have been able to hear about Jesus for the first time.