Eastern Lawa

Southeast Asia

This new Bible translation initiative is beginning at an opportune moment. Communities which have been hostile to Christianity and the Scriptures are now open to gaining literacy skills. A very small, fledgling church exists among the Eastern Lawa, who number about 10,000. So far, fewer than 20 have chosen to follow Christ.

Now living in 13 communities, the Eastern Lawa were the original inhabitants of Northern Thailand, before invaders forced them to flee to the mountains hundreds of years ago. They take pride in their culture and in using their language. However, fewer than one per cent of the people are literate in Eastern Lawa. 

Furthermore, education and government services are offered only in the Thai language. That creates significant language barriers for the majority of the people.

Most Eastern Lawa are farmers who practice animism or Buddhism. Many live in poverty and in fear of the spiritual realm. Most cannot read the Thai Bible for themselves, and if they can, they often do not understand it well.

You can help share the Word of God with the Eastern Lawa in their own language for the first time, and spread literacy.

Due to the sensitivity of the region this project is located in, please contact development@wycliffe.ca for the latest updates on this project.


You can help make an impact for eternity among the Eastern Lawa. Through your financial gifts and prayers, you will partner with a small group of committed Christians to begin translating the New Testament into their language. Initial priorities include translating the Gospel of Mark, the Epistles and parts of Acts. Other goals include:

  • Translate materials that will help the Eastern Lawa engage with the Scriptures.
  • Facilitate the production of Lawa songs and hymns.
  • Create a writing system that is widely accepted.
  • Create and distribute Eastern Lawa reading materials.
  • Teach literacy classes.
  • Host community outreach events.

Local translators, supported by experienced linguists and translators, aim to complete translation of the New Testament by 2032.


  • The translation team completed a first draft of James! Mark’s Gospel is ready for checking by a consultant.
  • A second Christmas event was held in a nearby Lawa village that has been closed to the gospel. But praise God, there was great interest in the Christmas Story and some people have expressed interest in following Jesus. 
  • The first collection of literacy videos has been produced.  This video teaches “virtually” the same content as an “in-person” teacher would teach in a classroom setting. 
  • Several songs were translated and the team plans to add them to a new songbook they are working on.
  • In December, the team rejoiced in the baptism of the main translator’s son. He had been battling depression and even attempted suicide earlier in the year. Since his baptism, God has done some amazing things in the young man’s life, including freeing him from depression and blessing him with a job. 

Pray for a literacy specialist—they are hard to find.


  • Visit the project regularly to monitor progress, address challenges and help ensure good stewardship of resources.
  • Send you regular updates to keep you informed of progress, financial need and prayer requests.
  • Send you an annual tax receipt for your donations.
Remaining Need:
of $162,250

Current phase:


  • 2023-24|$54,040
  • 2024-25|$52,870
  • 2025-26|$55,340

The current phase of this project is fully funded. Additional gifts to this project will help ensure a smooth transition into the next phase of funding.