Reaching the Karen Sgaw Across Borders

Reaching the Karen Sgaw Across Borders

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Karen Sgaw woman listens to new Good News Recording on Saber
Distributing new Karen Sgaw Good News Recordings

A new version of the Good News recording in the Karen Sgaw language has been completed for the Karen Sgaw people, totaling over one million, who live on both sides of the Thailand-Burma border.

In February, the Karen Sgaw of Pape village near Lamphun listened to the new version from GRN's hand wind Saber player. Villagers liked the natural sound and accent, which are both important to the Karen Sgaw, as they have more than 13 dialects.

After many attempts to repair the previous version, it was determined it would be best to replace it. GRNT Staff Phet worked with Chipo, a Karen Sgaw woman from Yangon, Burma, on the new version.

"Sometimes recording work is like a rope in knots and you're trying to untangle it," explained Phet.

"The original version was not fully understood, so I tried to solve it by cutting and pasting with pictures, but it was still not the best. Then, the Lord sent Chipo to help."

Although this was Chipo's first time to work with GRN on oral recordings, she was well prepared, having served many years as Chairman of the Board for the Karen Baptist Convention (KBC) in Burma, as well as Editor for the KBC's monthly magazine, the only Christian publication for the Karen Sgaw.

"It's important to know God from your heart language, especially for those living in rural areas who only understand the Karen Sgaw language," explained Chipo.

"My people need oral recordings because the older generation either doesn't have time to read, or, like my aunt, cannot read.

The younger generation can read, but not the Karen Sgaw script, because most of them are busy working and unable to attend summer literacy classes."

Also a Karen Sgaw, Phet has worked with several language groups since joining GRNT in 2009, but he was especially excited to work with Chipo to record his own language. "It's important to record a voice that people want to hear; otherwise, the voice could become a barrier. The Lord worked fast when He brought us Chipo. It was all brought together in just three or four weeks."

Please pray for God to continue working in the hearts of the Karen Sgaw, preparing them to hear and receive the Good News. Also please pray for the provision of mountain motorcycles for the GRNT team, as they plan to go to many more tribal villages in the future.

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