The Day (pronounced "dye") people reside around the city of Sarh in southwest Chad, numbering nearly 50,000. Originally from the East, their ancestors discovered good territory for hunting and cultivating by the side of the valley of Adamaoua and settled there. To this day, the Day people primarily farm, though some also work in factories and government positions.
Fifty-eight percent of the population profess Christianity, 34% of whom claim to be evangelical, while 35% follow Islam, and a much smaller 7% adhere to animism.
The gospel first arrived in the region through the efforts of Baptist Mid-Missions missionary Paul Metzler. Although a German missionary completed the first Day New Testament in 1989, the Day people experienced difficulty understanding the text because of its paraphrased translation work. Meanwhile, BMM missionaries began working with Day believers to translate the New Testament in 1983, then Bibles International gained ownership of this New Testament work and adopted the Day project in 1989. At the dedication of the completed Day New Testament in Sarh on December 5, 1999, former director Fred Carlson, who had led the New Testament translation to its completion, preached to about 2,000 attendees, including many national and local government representatives. The Day believers received the translation with great enthusiasm.
Along with the translation process, BI has worked with the Day people in the area of literacy through the publication of two primers, the first in 1992 and the second in 1994. Completely sold out of the first printings, both primers passed through revisions and reprinting in 2013. Before BI's involvement, only an estimated 20% of the Day people could read their language. The literacy improvement efforts have produced an estimated 70% literacy rate among the Day speakers.
With the completion of the New Testament, the translation work focused on the Old Testament. Many BI consultants and Day translators have worked long and tirelessly throughout the years to bring the complete Bible to the Day people, with many faithful believers growing older along with the project and looking forward to the day when they will have access to the entire Word of God in their language for the first time in their lifetimes.
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