Audio Bibles for the People of Haiti
Proclaimers® Reach Haitians Who Lost Everything
A ministry located in Pittsburgh, PA took a trip to Haiti and distributed some of the most unusual Bibles they had ever seen. They talk by themselves. They can talk so loudly that up to three-hundred people can hear them at one time. They talk in more than four-hundred different languages. They are, of course, electronic, but they have no moving parts. They are digital. They are powered by the sun using a solar panel to charge an internal battery. Or they can be powered by an attached hand-crank that will also recharge the internal battery. Or they can be powered by plugging them into an electrical outlet. They are called Proclaimers®.
They took four Proclaimers® with them to Haiti after the devastating earthquake wreaked havoc on the small country. Each was programmed with a dramatized version of the entire New Testament in Creole, Haiti's most common language. And they were well-received in the resettlement camp outside of Port-au-Prince where they team has been helping hundreds of believers who lost everything they owned – including their Bibles. The Proclaimers® were well received to the point that we will be taking French versions back to Haiti later. (Many Creole-speaking Haitians prefer the French translation of the Bible.)
Proclaimers® are being distributed around the world through ministry partners of Faith Comes by Hearing to serve the more than one billion illiterate people on our planet, as well as the close to 160 million people who are visually impaired.
Perhaps the best thing about the Proclaimers® is that, unlike many modern preachers, they only speak the Truth!
"An Earthquake of Sadness"
Since the devastating quake to hit Haiti in January, Faith Comes By Hearing is working with over 70 churches, ministries, and disaster relief organizations providing food, water, and supplies, to take Proclaimers® (solar-powered Audio Bibles) to minister to the emotional and spiritual needs of the people. Here is one man's first-hand account of taking water filtration units and Proclaimers® into Haiti:
"Even in the midst of a catastrophic earthquake that took human life and limb without discretion and left Haitians to pick up the pieces, literally and figuratively, there was a human spirit and hope that made the truths of the Bible stand out so much clearer. I thought of Job when I saw an elderly man get struck by a car, shattering his lower leg, the first day we were there. What must be going through his mind? He had just survived one of the fiercest earthquakes this century, only to get hit by a car and incapacitated even further. We managed to flag down a car, pick him up with his mangled, bleeding leg, and take him to the nearest triage center. I don't know if the man lost his leg or his life.
As my team trekked through Port-au-Prince and surrounding communities, the human suffering was so intense that it suffocated your spirit and overwhelmed your mind. These people lost everything: husbands, wives, sons, daughters, homes, jobs, safety, dignity—the list goes on.
All our clothes, shoes, backpacks, and skin had a chalky substance (talc-like powder Haitians used to mix the concrete). mixed with thick invisible layers of filth. I kept thinking how nice a shower (cold or hot) would be. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of Haitians live on the streets in tent cities made of bed sheets, no shower, no medical help, no government . . . a survival of the fittest. These same people once had homes, cars, jobs, and a normal life, just like me.
Throughout this sobering trip, I saw an amazing resiliency in these people who have been beaten down (even before the earthquake). I came to Haiti determined to provide clean, life-saving water; but what these people thirsted for most was faith and hope in a one true God who is mysterious beyond all imagination and will provide in the most desperate of times. I thought of the simple, no need for interpretation verse, Come to me, all ye who are weary, and I'll give you rest. So simple and understandable for everyone, yet so powerful that it forces you to your knees.
I met a man named Pastor Gregory at an orphanage just outside of Port-au-Prince. This orphanage is normally home to 80-100 orphans; now it is home to over 1,000 families. Pastor Gregory, once an orphan himself, is now the pastor for the surrounding community and neighboring villages. After we had visited a while, I presented him with a Proclaimer®. After we turned the power on, I pressed play. The volume was low but we both could hear the Audio Bible being read—he could understand because it was in his native Creole language. The expression on his face was priceless and I could feel his excitement radiate from him. As a desperate, but faithful pastor of a devastated, now overcrowded community, he now had a way to communicate to the masses who were not only thirsty for clean water, but thirsty for God's Word.
The little girl in this picture just wanted to hold my hand the whole time—I couldn't say no."
Another organization, Bright Hope Ministries, shared, "There is a second wave, a second earthquake that has occurred. It is an earthquake of sadness." They have worked in Haiti for 13 years, and before the earthquake had established 90 churches. Now, in response to this tragedy, each of the churches has started a tent city and are helping orphans, families, and doing grief counseling. Bright Hope requested 90 Proclaimers® and is using one in each of their tent cities to share God's Word.
Here are just a few of the other organizations helping in the rebuilding process and taking Proclaimers® into Haiti to share God's Word of comfort and hope:
- A ministry that had 12 children's programs in the Port-au-Prince area before the earthquake will be working in food distribution, medical help, and rebuilding. One of these sites now has 3,000 refugees.
- A church that is setting up a medical center, refugee outreach, and child sponsorship
- A ministry that had four churches, four schools, and two orphanages established before the earthquake will be working to rebuild walls, dig wells, etc.
- A group that is building housing, cooking facilities, latrines, roads, and feeding stations
- A church that will have eyeglass clinics and Vacation Bible school with the children
- Missionaries who are giving out tarps, flashlights, hygiene kits, and blankets, and are repairing wells and pumps
- A church that has a team of 45 nurses and doctors traveling to Haiti
- A church that is working in 17 orphanages and with displaced children and widows
- Dental specialists, grief counselors, people working in construction, people taking tents, water filtration units . . . and the list goes on.
Proclaimer Reaches Mountain-Top Church
A Florida church took six Creole Proclaimers to Haiti. At one point, after hiking nearly three hours up a mountain, they found about 50 people sitting in a “four-post tin-covered shelter” where they had been listening to the Audio Bible for two hours! This mountain-top church had no full-time pastor and very limited access to the Word of God.