Nearly three million people, representing 287 languages live on the island of Borneo. This year, 100 of those languages will have Bible translations, thanks to a new form of translation, known as MAST.
More than three million Dayak people on Borneo, representing 287 languages, are without the Scriptures. “Millions of Dayak people have never seen a Bible in their own language,” said Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “But now, Christians from these language groups have contacted us, requesting the tools to translate Scripture for their own people.”
Decades ago, missionaries shared the gospel with the Dayak, predominantly in the Indonesian language. As the gospel spread from the cities to smaller towns and villages, it could only be shared by word of mouth. Only a handful of the local languages had Bible translations. In some of the most remote Dayak villages, only a few of the residents speak Indonesian.
“The Christians in the villages have heard stories from other parts of the country about the incredible transformation that happens where God’s Word becomes available in the heart language of the people,” said Smith. “Tribes at war for generations, regions bound by demonic influence, have experienced a new wave of peace.”
Through this innovative translation method known as MAST, or Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation, Wycliffe Associates provides training to mother-tongue translators in a workshop setting. The workshops are staffed by local churches, and the translators and church leadership participate in a review process throughout the translation project to help ensure the translation is accurate.