Audio Bible Ethiopia
God's Word in Audio - Testimonies
Faith Comes By Hearing associates gather information and testimonies about what God is doing in and through Audio Bible listening programs in heart languages around the world.
The coordinator of the Ethiopian Bible Society branch in Tigrai shares, "Ethiopia has had the Gospel since it first began to be preached and Christianity became the state religion 1,600 years ago. Since then, it has continued on without any change so people accumulate stories that are not really biblical. The Proclaimer is a lifesaver because people can't add to it or subtract from it, it just is."
Oromo Audio New Testament Launch: From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work (Eph. 4:16). It is exciting to see this Scripture in action. Churches from many different denominations in the U.S. are working together and giving so that the Ethiopian people can have God's Word in audio; and many different denominations in Ethiopia are working together to carry God's Word to the Ethiopian people.
A wonderful example of this is when the Bible Society of Ethiopia held a launch for the Oromo Audio New Testament in April 2008. It was attended by the Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the Archbishop of the Ethiopian Catholic Church, the President of the Lutheran Evangelical Church, the General Secretary of the Evangelical Churches Fellowship, and an official representative for the President of Ethiopia. In addition, there were diplomats, NGO representatives, and over 600 other people from all walks of life. News of the event was broadcast on national television and radio!
So far, Faith Comes By Hearing is reaching Ethiopia with the Amharic, Oromo, Bench, Gumuz, and Tigrinya Audio New Testaments, and 4,750 Audio Bibles are now in their hands. The Guji and Hadiyya have also recently been recorded. These seven languages have the potential to reach 62 million out of the 83 million people in the country and Audio New Testament recordings in ten more Ethiopian languages are planned for 2009!
Amharic Testimony: "While going to the rural area by foot, I stopped and sat in the shade of an acacia tree near the road. While taking a rest and playing the Amharic Audio Bible, people passing by came one by one and surrounded me like vultures and became a big crowd. I was so pleased to have such opportunity, and at intervals I gave my witness on what Jesus has done for me. The people were very pleased by what they heard and asked me not to go before the Audio Bible finished playing. Finally, I promised them that I would come again if they would prepare a condition for a listening program. They agreed and I went away. Carrying the Audio Bible with me makes me feel as if I have someone beside me and we are walking as two people, as Jesus sent His disciples out two by two."
-Colporteur for the Amharic Audio New Testament
Proclaimers have also begun making their way into several orphanages in Addis Ababa, including one for orphans with AIDS.
“I am a blind 55-year-old man and I serve as the chair person for the Association for the Blind. We were using Braille to read the Scriptures, but the whole New Testament is in many volumes making it uncomfortable to handle. Some of the blind people also have lost the use of their hands and do not have access to the Scriptures unless someone reads it to them. Others do not know how to read Braille.
Along came Faith Comes By Hearing filling the gap of our shortcomings and serving all of us without discrimination. We listen to the Scriptures, discuss, ask questions, and give answers, which enhances our understanding of God’s Word and changes our lives.”
The Door Open Wide
“My name is Assefa and I am an evangelist in a church in Zeway. In our quarterly meeting, I received an Audio Bible and was trained in the Faith Comes By Hearing program. I was able to start a FCBH listening program with 20 people from my church. People are attracted to the listening and are likely to attend the program regularly.
“I can testify to the influence that the Faith Comes By Hearing program has had in the way we present the Gospel. Even though our church has its own teaching methods, this program enhances the dissemination of the Word of God, providing a new way of presenting the Good News to our society.
“The door that has been closed to telling the Word of God to unbelievers is now open wider than ever. I would like to thank God who provided us with such a wonderful program. We are revived through His Word to live the kind of life He wants us to live. God bless all of you who work on the FCBH program.”
FCBH Converts Criminal
A man who committed murder and was brought into prison was so troublesome for the prison officials until he heard the word of God in Amharic. This prisoner has given his life to Christ and has become sober and the most-liked prisoner. Due to the dramatic change in his life, he has been given the privilege of going out of prison weekly into the community to sell traditional clothes and handicraft made by the prisoners. He is allowed to go out on his own and return without prison guards accompanying him. Here is his testimony:
“I was a troublemaker and committed a first degree murder and was convicted and jailed. But now I know God has a special plan for bringing me to prison. When I came here I heard the word of God and received Christ and my life has changed.
I am now one of the leaders in the church in the prison. Because of my faithfulness as a prisoner, I am allowed to go out of the prison once a week to sell all the clothes made by prisoners. Due to my reformation, I may be allowed to go home after one year. My plan is to go home and evangelize my family and my neighbors”.
Chaplain Teshoma Abeta
“Sometime ago we had an open air crusade in a nearby town. We were attacked by a group of young men who disrupted the crusade. Among them was one young man who got into trouble later and was brought into prison. This gentleman accepted Christ through FCBH and has since been a transformed person. When he was released, he went to become an evangelist in his village."
“This program has changed the lives of many prisoners. I can count about 30 prisoners who received Christ through the program before their release. We usually send introduction letter to churches in their areas and they are received into the church. Some have become church workers."