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.


  • Despite the ongoing pandemic, the Eastern Lawa team recently added more than 400 new words to their dictionary, through “Rapid Word Collection” workshops.
  • Draft translations continue for the Gospel of Mark. Chapters 6-8 were completed in 2022 and the team has since progressed through chapter 12.
  • A draft translation of Jonah has been checked by a translation consultant.
  • Community literacy efforts have resumed. Those activities stalled during the pandemic.
  • The team has crafted 50 oral Bible stories in Eastern Lawa and uploaded them to YouTube.

“Please pray with us for funding to come in so we can start the office building project.”


  • 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 $106,800

Current phase:


  • 2023-24|$34,160
  • 2024-25|$36,160
  • 2025-26|$36,480

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.