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Translating the Bible into Opo language

Posted on: May 15, 2014 1:33 PM
Photo Credit: Diocese of Egypt
Related Categories: Egypt, Middle East

[Diocese of Egypt] On Easter Sunday, Opo people gathered together from the 5 Opo Anglican Churches to hear the Gospel of Mark for the first time in their own language. The Opo are a recently reached group in Gambella. Their entire ethnic group numbers approximately 5,000 people. Until many of them recently became Anglican Christians they had no written language.

The Opo desperately want the Bible in their own language. There is a team of three working on this project: the Rev. David Onuk is the only priest of the Opo, and recently attended a one month course on Bible translation in Addis Ababa. Rev. Isaac Pur Wal is a Nuer priest who helped with understanding the base text as they were translating from Nuer and inputting the translation into the computer. James Bol is an Opo who works for the Gambella government doing translation of documents into Opo.

They have just finished translating the Gospel of Mark into Opo, the first book of Scripture in their language. Rev. David says “when we used to read the Bible in Amharic, we used to miss words and lack understanding. We are so excited to have the first book of the Bible in our own language.”

The Bible translation team now starts the editing process. They plan to bring together the educated members of the community for feedback, and to improve the translation. Please pray for the team as they edit Mark and as they begin work on Luke and Acts.

Please pray for the Opo Christians who are now housing and feeding refugees from South Sudan.

The “Koma” people (the name of the Opo people who live in South Sudan) have fled to Opo villages in Ethiopia to escape forced conscription into the so-called ‘white army’ of South Sudan.