Dangatanga speaks a Yolŋu-Matha language called Dhuwa-Dhangu’mi and leads the church in Gove, East Arnhem Land. Sadly for this pastor and others like him, there are very few translated Scripture resources available to the 10,000 Yolŋu people living in the region.
There is a New Testament in two Yolŋu-Matha languages, while three other languages including Dangatanga’s have some portions of translated Scripture. However, Indigenous oral tradition means many remote communities find written Scriptures difficult to understand. They take more naturally to audio recordings of the gospel such as on the Megavoice audio player.
Two years ago, Global Recordings Network (GRN) went to Arnhem Land and recorded the Gospel of Mark as it was read aloud in Dangatanga’s language. This is now available on a Megavoice along with recordings in five Yolŋu languages – Dhuwa Dhangu’mi, Dhuwaya, Djambarrpuyngu, Gumatj and Wangurri. Scripture passages include the Gospel of Mark, Gospel of Luke, Ephesians, James, 1 John and portions of Matthew and John. Apart from the Audio Bible there are paraphrased Bible stories from the Old Testament, as well as gospel songs and gospel messages in various Yolngu languages.
Bible Society partnered with the Mission Aviation Fellowship to buy 400 Megavoice audio players, and distribution has begun among Yolŋu communities. These recordings have allowed many more people to hear the good news in their heart language for the first time.
Bible Society’s Paul Kube was recently in Gove and witnessed the impact himself. “It was beautiful to watch Dangatanga hear the Scripture in his own tongue for the first time,” says Paul. “We saw his face light up as the gospel began to play out loud. He had requested to hear his favourite story, the Parable of the Sower and the Seed. Dangatanga was so happy to hear this in his native tongue.”
Bible Society Australia is working with ministry partners to make more audio recordings available to the many communities of Arnhem Land. We welcome your support to help Indigenous Christians Open The Bible to their communities, as Dangatanga is so faithfully doing. His dearest desire is for more young people to hear the gospel, so they too will have the opportunity to hear about Jesus and follow him all their lives.