Audio Bibles for the People of Mexico
The Joy Of The Lord
Deep in the mountains of southeastern Mexico, native missionaries are working with a U.S. church to minister within indigenous communities and establish Audio Bible listening groups. As these participants demonstrate, Proclaimers are spreading the knowledge and joy of the Lord to many people across the region!
"It's the icing on the cake"
Dave's newly uncontainable joy is infectious. The purpose of his life, to bring God's Word to the people in "Tep," is being fulfilled in the most significant way possible. "How many translators get to participate in a dramatized recording of their New Testament?" he shares. "It's the icing on the cake."
Church of the Brethren in Puebla, Puebla
In June 2004, we visited Pastor Gilberto in Puebla to talk with him since his church had just finished the Faith Comes By Hearing listening program. The program lasted from August 2003 to May 2004 - 40 weeks!
When we arrived, we found a very joyous couple awaiting the visit from the Bible Society of Mexico, so they could testify to the joy of what occurred in the last 10 months.
Their family has been serving as pastors for nearly 18 years. They have the blessing of three little ones in the family. One year, Pastor Gilberto was in Mexico City to take a class, but the class was cancelled. He decided to look for a Christian bookstore to purchase some material to take back to his church. As he opened his Bible, he found the Bible Society's address written on a sheet of paper, and he decided to visit it.
There he met Pastor Florentino, who assisted him and introduced the FCBH program to him. Brother Gilberto committed to use the program in the church. It is important to mention that before he was informed of the requirements for FCBH, brother Gilberto had been preaching about the importance of hearing the Word of God. Therefore, when he returned home, he invited his church to get together to hear the dramatized New Testament and to participate in the program.
With almost half of the congregation committed to listening to the program, they decided on Tuesday mornings - 6:00 a.m. They brought before the Lord their request that under no circumstances the program would be suspended until they had finished listening to it entirely. However, it was a bit difficult at the beginning. Because the program was scheduled to meet very early, the brethren who were participating had commitments immediately following the listening sessions, such as work, school, attending to their children.
One thing that called for attention was the fact that the pastor and his wife had to leave their house very early in the morning in order to arrive on time to the listening session. The pastor's wife was feeling pressured because she had to return home to prepare the children for school. When her eldest son, only eight years of age, heard about her conflict, he took the initiative. To her surprise, on the third Tuesday of the listening she returned home to find her young children completely ready for school. Her son said: "Don't worry mom, I got my brothers ready!" The children were involved in that way in the listening program.
The level of interest in listening to the Word of God grew a lot. But, one late night at the end of the Independence Day (September 15) celebration, some of the brethren asked the pastor if they could postpone the FCBH listening session for the next morning. The pastor said no, since they had made a commitment before God to not suspend even one listening session.
The brethren told the pastor that it would be very difficult to attend the listening session the next morning, so the pastor thought that only he, his wife, and his parents would be present, but to his surprise at 6:00 the next morning, all the brethren were present, very punctual, and they had even brought some guests with them. At the end of the listening session the pastor asked them the reason why they were there. One person responded: "During the night, as we slept, the Word of God rebuked us, and so we know that all this is from God."
During the fourth listening session, the pastor said, "An entire family informed me that they would not be able to attend the next session, since they were going on an outing. I gave them my blessing. But to my surprise, the next day all of them came to the listening session, and when I asked them the reason for them being there, they responded:
It is evident that the Word of God changes our lives as we listen to it and we practice it. For this reason we rejoice with all those other pastors who are part of the FCBH program!