The Tedim Chin (recently known as Zomi) people originated in a hill region among the townships of the Chin State of Myanmar and currently number about 411,000 worldwide. About 256,000 reside in Myanmar, while most of the remaining 155,000 have settled in India. In the Tedim region, some roads provide vehicle access, but a majority of the people still use horses for transportation. Additionally, the Tedim Chin people earn their living primarily by cultivating corn, leading to a low economic standard throughout the region. Considering their limitations of geography, communication, and economy, an impressive 90% of its people can read and write the Tedim Chin language using a modified Roman alphabet. The church boasts an even higher literacy rate, due to its provision of literacy night classes for church members.
In the early 1900s, missionaries successfully evangelized the Tedim region, resulting in 70% of the Tedim Chin people professing Christianity today, with an estimated 44% claiming to be evangelical. However, most of the Tedim churches and theological seminaries in this area are considered today as theologically liberal.
Baptist Mid-Missions missionary Jim Garlow not only evangelized the Tedim Chin people, but he also provided further discipleship and guidance by bringing Tedim believers to some of India's Bible training institutions. BMM missionary and BI's founder Paul Versluis followed Garlow's example, and he also recognized the need for reliable Scriptures in the Tedim language to better train the Tedim Chin people in doctrine. BI adopted the Tedim Chin language project in 1987 and produced its first New Testament in 2000. Unfortunately, this edition needed a major revision, so BI senior consultant Ross Hodsdon worked closely with nationals as the main consultant on the Zokam Standard Edition New Testament revision until its completion in 2015. Meanwhile, a separate team of translators began work on the Old Testament with Dr. Nang Sian Mung as the chief translator, and translation work continues today.
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