Missionary Steve Lellelid
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" (Isaiah 6:8)
Description of this Project:
Steve Lellelid, an American, Lutheran missionary in Madagascar is supported by Friends of Madagascar Mission (FOMM) through the gifts from many donors. Steve works in the southern part of Madagascar in the Ambovombe-Androy Synod of the Malagasy Lutheran Church, within the Evangelism Department.
For 16 years Steve worked to translate the Bible into the dialect of the Tandroy people. When Steve worked in the capital city of Antananarivo he found it difficult to communicate with the people who spoke the Tandroy dialect. Why? Because they did not speak the official Malagasy language which was adopted by the government to have a uniform language across the country. As a result, the people of this region have basically rejected the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Steve felt called by God to bring the Good News to these people and so began the process of translating the Bible into the Tandroy dialect. But the project would be much bigger than just doing the translation. The literacy rate among the Tandroy people is below 5%. So, if the Bible is being translated into their dialect, they also must be taught to read.
Even before Steve began translating the Bible into the Tandroy dialect he began building a dictionary of Tandroy dialect words. Working with other organizations they created a literacy training program to teach people how to read. In the literacy programs they often used portions of the Bible that Steve had already translated. Steve recalls how men and women were weeping when they heard the Word of God, which they had never heard before in their own dialect.
In late 2018 copies of the Bible in the Tandroy dialect were printed and shipped to Madagascar for distribution.