For the first time, Moise Yonta joyfully read aloud the Ngiemboon Scriptures on his smartphone. (Watch here.) Then he jumped up and delightedly shook hands with a colleague. “Wonderful! Wonderful!” he exclaimed.
It was indeed wonderful! Moise, who works with the Cameroon Association for Bible Translation and Literacy (CABTAL), was the coordinator for the Ngiemboon translation project. Since the New Testament was dedicated in 2007, he’s used both the printed and audio versions, but gaining access to the digital version took his experience to a whole new level!
“I was so happy that I couldn’t hide it!” he said. “Immediately I applied the lesson we learned by selecting a verse and sending it to my dear wife, and she was happy to receive it.”
Now when Moise travels, he carries Scripture with him on his phone. He loves helping others access God’s Word the same way, both digitally from YouVersion and audibly from Faith Comes By Hearing. At the request of his pastor and church elders, he is preparing a training course on how to use cell phones for evangelization.
When I’ve traveled in Africa, I’ve often found better service there than I get in my own home in Orlando, Florida. In fact, Moise is one of more than 650 million cell phone subscribers in Africa, where cell phone service is far more available than landlines. I have no doubt that God is behind the development of digital technology, and while cell phones are used worldwide for communications, financial transactions, healthcare, and much more, I believe that God also intended this technology to support the distribution of His Word.
The Every Tribe Every Nation (ETEN) alliance has helped facilitate increased access to digital Scripture. Mart Green (founder of Mardel Christian and Education Supply and Every Tribe Entertainment) started ETEN by bringing together a group of philanthropic investors/donors and three Bible agencies—the American Bible Society (representing the United Bible Societies), Biblica, and Wycliffe Bible Translators USA (representing SIL International and The Seed Company). ETEN’s primary focus is the development of the Digital Bible Library (DBL) which currently holds 535 texts—including the Ngiemboon Bible that Moise reads.
YouVersion is one of the first organizations to utilize the DBL and make the texts available to smartphone users. Other organizations share them on websites or use them for purposes like e-books and print-on-demand.
If you haven’t already downloaded the YouVersion application to your phone, I’d encourage you to try it!