Toli, a middle-aged man of the Pinai-Hagahai language group in Papua New Guinea, received his first printed copy of the Gospel of Mark a few years ago. He cried.
They weren’t tears of joy, but of sorrow and frustration, as Toli is one of a thousand Pinai-Hagahai language speakers who can’t read. It would take a great deal of time before he and his fellow villagers could be taught to read the Bible’s message in the language they understand best.
He prayed for a solution.
“I got a MegaVoice http://Bible one-and-a-half years ago,” Toli said. “Now the message is clear.”
Toli received the audio Bible along with a printed version so he can read along and understand the Bible more easily. This also helps people like Toli become literate more quickly. Toli is just one example of the millions of men and women around the world whose lives have been changed by access to audio Bibles in their own languages.
“I listen to it daily,” Toli said. “Now I’m like a man who knows how to read. Now I’m like a pastor. The whole New Testament must be recorded.”
The MegaVoice audio Bible is a solar powered, digital, handheld audio player that allows translators to record up to 160 hours of spoken Scripture—enough for the entire Bible—reaching the estimated four billion people who can’t read the Scriptures for themselves. About the size of a cassette player, the audio Bible is much more durable than a cassette or CD and doesn’t require batteries, allowing non-readers to hear and share the Gospel for years to come.
Because of their remote location, the Pinai-Hagahai have a history of lawlessness and crime. Just months after Wycliffe personnel arrived in the 1990s, the workers’ village house was looted and destroyed, villagers were robbed, beaten, raped, wounded, and the whole village was abandoned and burned down.
In May of 2008, the MegaVoice audio Bible was finally introduced to the Pinai-Hagahai people and change began to come. Wycliffe personnel were able to provide the four Gospels and the book of Acts in both audio and written forms.
The lessons and biblical truths the Pinai-Hagahai speakers learned led them to change their behavior toward each other. This year, many said that hearing the Bible in the language they understood clearly has enriched their relationships and brought transformation and opportunity in their lives.
Sabu is a middle-aged man who knows multiple dialects, but feels the most connection to the Word of God when it is spoken in his heart language.
“I listen to the Gospels in my language all the time,” Sabu said. “It speaks to my heart. I used to be a man who gets angry quickly. I feel this has changed now. I want to thank all the people who have given money for this, and I want to thank God.”
Kandama, an elderly man in the village, never understood the Scriptures’ meaning when it was preached in other languages. It wasn’t until he heard the Word of God preached through the audio Bible that he decided to make a change.
“I heard that we should not slander or judge others,” Kandama said. “I saw my guilt. I stopped doing that. I also wanted to remove the splinter from the eyes of others, but I myself had a log in my eyes. I saw my guilt. I stopped doing that.”
Usibia waited a long time for a MegaVoice player of her own. Now that she finally has one, she keeps it wrapped in six protective coverings and removes it only to listen to the messages she cherishes.
“I used to borrow one from one of my relatives so often that he got angry and got one for me one-and-a-half years ago,” Usibia said. “I remember the stories of how Mary gave birth to Jesus, how he got baptized, how he healed the woman who had been sick for twelve years, and the story of Paul.”
Now you can help create the same powerful change for the seven million Nigerian Fulani people, one of the largest unreached people groups in Africa. You can give the tangible gift of God’s spoken Word by providing for the purchase of audio Bibles and by funding the recording and distribution of Scriptures on cassette and video—particularly the Genesis video, the Acts video, and the “JESUS” film.
Check out the Wycliffe Bible Translators’ Gift Catalog at www.wycliffecatalog.org for more information.
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