Last year, as part of the 20/20 Vision Partnership, a team from Create International Taiwan traveled to sunny Hainan Island in China to record voices for an animated gospel presentation, The Story of Hope. Although the minorities on the island have a population of 1.6 million and are united by a common culture, there is no widely-used writing system for their languages.
After researching the culture, we began planning a media project in the artistic style of the local people. Concept art for Jesus, Adam and Eve, and angels were sent via the Internet to show to the local believers for their feedback. Suggestions were made as to the color and clothing styles for a more contextual look. The final script was then translated from the national language into six local mother-tongue languages.
Arriving at the airport, surrounded by palm trees and a warm breeze, the team was welcomed by the project partner, a long-term worker who partners closely with the local believers. A recording studio had been prepared and the first believer came to record in his native language.
This believer, like the rest of his people, spoke the national language as a second language, but not very well. No evangelistic media had ever been done in his mother-tongue. With no access to a local church or even one Christian from whom they can hear the gospel, they are cut off from hearing the good news. He expressed a great desire for his people to know the message of the gospel, and we prayed together that God would speak the good news through him clearly.
To maximize the reach of this film, we planned to record the voiceover in six minority languages. At the last minute, however, some voice actors were unable to come because of storm clean up from a major typhoon that had hit a few days earlier. Others were told by a church leader that there was no need to translate the gospel into the mother-tongue because the national language was “better.”
Working through these details and misunderstandings, God provided a young believer that the team was able to train to do the remaining recordings. As of this writing, the gospel is now available to see and hear in all six languages. Please pray with us that the people of Hainan Island will embrace the good news as it is presented to them in a way that they can understand.