We support a long term project translating the Bible into tribal languages of the native population of South America. These are amongst the poorest communities in South America and often live in the most inhospitable parts of the continent. Many people are illiterate and CMS - SAMS is involved in developing literacy classes so that people can read the Bible. Bringing the Bible to oppressed communities can bring them to Christ.
Michael & Silvia Browne, serving in Northern Argentina
Michael, from Suffolk, and his Argentine wife live just outside Salta in Northern Argentina. Since the mid-90s he worked with a team of three native-speakers on the translation of the New Testament into the Toba language. The work was completed in 2009 and was presented to the Toba communities in August 2010. Mike and Silvia live in Salta with their sons Kevin and Chris, and Mike continues to visit the Tobas, and to prepare materials to help them read their new translation. The Toba people requested a missionary presence in the 1920s after seeing the effect of the gospel upon their neighbours, the Wichi.
Tim Curtis, serving in Paraguay
Tim is coordinator of a Bible translation project which began in the 1980s. The language is Enxet of the Paraguayan Chaco and the New Testament was dedicated in 1997. A team of translators now work on the Old Testament under Tim’s guidance, based at a specially built office in Río Verde. The complete Bible will be another milestone for a people first evangelised by ‘the Livingstone of South America’, SAMS’ pioneer missionary Wilfred Barbrooke Grubb, in the late 19th century.
For centuries the Wichi Indians have lived in the scrub forest of Northern Argentina as hunter/gatherers. Now this way of life is threatened by the relentless advance of civilisation. The forest is being chopped down and many Indians thrown off their land, or they have difficulty pursuing traditional methods of finding food. There are few jobs.
They have turned to craft production as a means of survival and keeping their culture alive. All items are hand-crafted in four scented local hard woods, beautifully finished and polished, thus enabling them to continue living in the forest and able to work in their own homes. By purchasing Siwok Crafts you help the Indians survive in their native land while they earn a living wage in their harsh environment, maintain self-respect and retain their culture and thus restore their dignity.
What happens to that revenue? Firstly, the Wichi are paid fairly for their work at source by Alec Deane when he travels fortnightly to Misión Chaqueña to purchase the crafts. Secondly, the Trust has sent surplus monies through SAMS into a discretionary fund which distributes it where most needed in the Chaco via Asociana. Asociana is the social justice organisation of the Anglican Church in Northern Argentina, working amongst the indigenous indian people the Wichi.
WEBSITES: CMS - Latin America (SAMS) SAMS Ireland