Introduction / History
In the year 2000, a language survey team set out to survey the languages spoken in the Malva region, an area covering 10 districts of western Madhya Pradesh. Initial information suggested that Hindi is well understood in the region. Meeting with the people, travelling to villages, and collecting language data, a different picture began to emerge. Generally, Hindi is used in towns and cities. In the villages, the team concluded that a different language is spoken, which they refer to as Malvi.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Only 0.1% of Malvi speakers call themselves Christian. Most of them live in cities, and are comfortable using Hindi for their personal Bible study and worship. Ultimately, these Christians have stopped using Malvi as their mother tongue.
It was in this context that they met Rev. Masih, a Malvi speaker. Twenty years earlier, Rev. Masih had begun to travel to remote Malvi villages to show the Jesus film in Hindi. Sitting on floors plastered with mud, the people watched the film with enthusiasm. Though the viewers could not fully understand the dialogues in Hindi, they wanted to learn more about Jesus. "This experience burdened my heart for my people to have the Bible in Malvi," he told the team, so many years later. "I started translating the Gospel of John into Malvi." He passionately shared his vision with anyone willing to listen, but found no one willing to help publish the gospel.
Years later, he was commissioned to translate the Jesus film into Malvi. Once again he experienced the enthusiasm of Malvi speakers for their mother tongue. He was convinced that he must continue the translation work. As the language survey team was explaining their passion, his heart leapt. After decades of persistence, he was finally meeting with men who shared his vision and had a passion to publish the Scriptures in Malvi.
Now, nearly seven years later, the Malvi NT is going through final checking and getting ready for publication. God's Word in Malvi will communicate clearly the message from God. Rev. Masih believes, "He who began a good work in them will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ."
* God to open doors for communicating the Gospel and for church planting by the Malvi among themselves, in a culturally acceptable manner.
* Malvi Christians to be strengthened and growi in their faith, providing a bold witness in the community.
* The translation checking to be completed well and God's Word to be well distributed, laying the foundations for an effective and strong Malvi church.