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.


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 consultant-check of Mark’s Gospel has been completed! Praise God for the consultant’s visit and the team’s work in checking the translation.
  • Praise God for the recent cultural festival. The team presented a number of literacy materials and many Lawa people got to see their language written down and try reading. Some for the first time in their lives!
  • Team members are noting increased openness to Lawa literacy. Changing attitudes have given the team opportunities to teach mother-tongue literacy in 5 local schools.
  • One team member held sewing classes for 10 women in one village. A brief worship service the following day drew nearly 30 people. Since then, team members have begun holding weekly worship services where they also share oral Bible stories.

Praise God for young people to help with the development of the literacy videos!


  • 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 $163,850

Current phase:


  • 2023-24|$54,040
  • 2024-25|$53,650
  • 2025-26|$56,160

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.