Introduction / History
Several centuries ago, the Ravula were a thriving, agriculture and forest-based tribe, in Wayanad and Coorg districts of Kerala and Karnataka, respectively. Over a period of time, a feudal system came into place, which resulted in the Ravula literally becoming slaves of high caste Hindu families. With the development of coffee and tea plantations in the area, forest lands were cut down and plantations established – all this required cheap labour. The Ravula and other tribes were recruited to serve as cheap daily-wage labourers.
At the same time, other communities were migrating into the region and they occupied/bought the best pieces of land. Having no land of their own for cultivation, the Ravula ended up as slaves for the migrants or as plantation workers and and had to scour the forests for their survival. Soon the Ravula were being referred to as 'Adiyan', meaning slaves. Even the Government list of Scheduled Tribes lists them as 'Adiya', in the place of their original name – Ravula. In Karnataka, they are often referred to as 'Panjiri Yerawa'.
Though their living conditions have now improved slightly, most Ravula live for the moment, without any thought about the future or any security in life. As a result, most of them also end up being slaves to alcohol or smoking or chewing paan (betel leaf & nut), and more recently, they have become addicted to watching movies. All these fritter away money they could otherwise put to better use.
When the language researchers visited the Ravula and enquired about their language they said, "You are the first person to ask us about our language!" "When will you come back?" others asked. This research was seen by them to be of great value, and they were very excited. The researchers concluded that using Malayalam or Kannada – the state languages - would not provide sufficient understanding of the deeper truths of Scripture. To have the Word of God in the Ravula language is an urgent need for the small, new church taking root among them. It has the power to transform their thinking, way of life and their future.
* God to bring about a social transformation among the Ravula, especially those living in the Karnataka district.
* All Ravula children to pursue education at school, college and through other higher education opportunities.
* God to open doors for communicating the Gospel and for the Ravula to plant churches among their own people.
* The mother tongue translation team to be strengthened and well-equipped to speed the process of accurately translating the Scriptures.