Taiwan Church News
May 1st ~ 7th, 2023
Report by Lin Wan-ting from Pingtung
Translated by Peter Wolfe
After more than 30 years of hard work by the PCT’s Ngudradrekai (Rukai) Presbytery, with the help of Korean Yong-Le Church and the Bible Society in Taiwan, the Ngudradrekai Bible was finally published in 2017. This year, Ngudradrekai Presbytery, the Taiwan Bible Society (BST), and Wycliffe Taiwan officially launch the recording ministry of the “Rukai Audio Bible”.
On April 30, a thanksgiving service was held at Kucapungane (Good Tea) Church. Entitled as “Rukai’s voice Preached Christ to the End of the World”, Rev Lrwane Davelengan, moderator of Ngudradrekai Presbytery, gave a sermon based on the verses of Romans 10:13-18.
In her preaching, she pointed out that in the Rukai culture, the “voice” can convey good news of a hunting harvest or a sad news of the death of a leader. Through the broadcast of voices, all the tribe members know how to respond next. Just like our worship today, the elders’ messages in Rukai language will be declared to the audience at the beginning, announcing the recording of the audio Bible in Rukai language will be started, and reminding all Rukai churches and believers to worship with one heart in the church, she said.
Rev Lrwane Davelengan told an amazing story of witness: In 1980, when civil war broke out in Sudan of Africa, a group of children inspired by a simple Christian faith read the Bible in their mother tongue all the way along their four years’ exodus, and finally arrived at the United Nations shelter in Kenya. In this story, people can see how beautiful the footsteps of the gospel were proclaimed, she said.
She then interpreted the scriptural verses of Romans 10:13-18 and pointed out that in order to save people’s lives, first of all, there must be Christians willing to be sent out to preach, and then people can hear God’s words; when people can hear the good news, believe in God’s truth, and then pursue the light, then they can be saved.
Rev Lrwane Davelengan emphasized that “preaching the gospel to all nations in the world” is an important mission of the church, and this missionary call is right here at this very moment. Especially, she gabe her thanks-giving to God sending the BST and Wycliffe Taiwan to work together with the Rukai Church to launch the audio bible ministry of the Rukai Bible allowing people not only to see, but also to hear the words of God. In the meantime, this is also an action by the church to contribute in the preservation of the aboriginal culture and languages, she said.
Rev Cheng Zheng-ren, general secretary of the BST, remarked that the Rukai Bible was the first Bible in an aboriginal language published after he served in BST. The typesetting of the Rukai Bible was done with the assistance from the Korean Yong-Le church, which demonstrated to an ecumenical cooperation.
In addition, most Taiwan Bibles in aboriginal language are usually published in a mono-language family only, but the Rukai people have made a pioneering ministry: Now the “Gospel of Mark” has been translated into Maolin, Wanshan and Dona language families respectively and are in preparation for publication. Such interesting progress has attracted the attentions and encouraged other aboriginal people to follow suit.
Rev Cheng also gave thanks to Wycliffe Taiwan and their hard works of the recording. He pointed out that there are many people’s diligent jobs and painstaking efforts behind it, in order to let everyone have the opportunity to listen the Rukai Bible and God’s words in its best effects.
Ms Chang Hsun-huei, chairwoman of Wycliffe Taiwan, expressed that the translation association has successively completed the recording of audio Bibles in Dawu, Amis, and Tsou languages, and the Rukai language is in still under progress. She thanked Mr Fang Chia-hsi, general secretary of Wycliffe Taiwan, for his progressive fundraising, and Rev Cheng Zheng-ren for his wonderful assistance in the preparation. The recording of the audio Bible is like King Solomon’s building the holy temple, which inspired many people to work together and contribute their best.
Mr Mayaw, chairman of the Aboriginal Language Research and Development Foundation, sang to express his blessings to the audience and gave audio books to children. Rev Palri Aruladegne, general secretary of Ngudradrekai Presbytery thanked and affirmed the trio-parties cooperation in his report, and also stressed that professional and technical task force should be involved in the future recording of the aboriginal Audio Bibles.