Audio Bibles for the People of Suriname
"I have peace in my heart"
"When my husband left me for another woman, it was very difficult to accept. I had trouble facing him, though he came to visit our children regularly. Also, knowing that he had kids with the other woman was hard for me to deal with. But when listening to the Proclaimer, in the book of Matthew, it seemed that the Lord spoke precisely to my situation. During the listening of His Word, it was as if the Lord touched me and I felt peace in my heart – a peace I had never felt before. From that moment on, I was able to forgive my husband and start talking to him again. I was also able to speak about his other children. Up through today, I have peace in my heart and really nothing can take it away from me." – M. N.
JESUS Film and FCBH Planting Churches
In one Saramaccan village, parents requested a Sunday school class and, seeing the positive effects of Christians on the community, the chief demanded that a church be established. A second village saw 42 young people come to Christ following the film and many healings that displayed the greatness of God took place during the prayer time. Two listening groups started immediately and, by the time a follow-up visit was performed, these had multiplied into several more through passing the Proclaimer around the village.
Suriname Bible Society Report
See, Hear, Experience God in Your Own Language Project (SHE)
The objective of the SHE project is to reach everybody in Suriname with God's Word in their own language. For the Suriname Bible Society (SBS) this was important because we want to reach the people in the language of their heart—so they will not only hear God's Word, but also live according to what the Word of God is saying.
The success story for the SHE program in 2010 is with the Saramaccan language. We were able to achieve a 100% completion of our projected goals in this language. Also, we have seen that God is using this project not only in reaching people for Christ, but also to bring healing and character change. The combination of the JESUS film, Proclaimers®, and New Testaments in each people's language is a very big success. We have noticed that people are not only coming to the listening groups to listen to the Bible, but they are also bringing their New Testaments along. This has resulted in solid Bible engagement in some groups and many questions concerning how to live a better Christian life.
SHE Program Testimony (Saramaccan village): After over three hours of driving, plus another hour by boat, there were more than 150 people at the showing. Most present were young people, and at the altar call 42 came to Christ. During the prayer requests that followed the film, people were healed from their illnesses—which for many was a sign of the greatness of God. Following the showing, two listening groups were started. During a return visit, our coordinator noticed that the Proclaimer® was [circulating] around the village. This means that there are more than two groups, but they share the Proclaimer® on different days.
"The Bible is alive . . . "
"Now I just listen and listen, and prepare my questions for the pastor. The Bible is alive in my belly when I hear it in my own language." - Saramaccan listener, Paramaribo, Suriname
The Suriname Bible Society launched the Faith Comes By Hearing program on the 19th of February in the presence of the representative of the Minister of Internal Affairs, the representative of the Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs, and many pastors from different denominations. Days before the launch, Proclaimers in Saramaccan were sent up the Suriname River to start listening groups in villages.
The Faith Comes By Hearing listening program will be the perfect tool to reach this oral-based culture. It will impact them with the Word of God in their heart language in order to make effective disciples of Jesus Christ.
The day after the launch, Pastor Karwafodi of the Assembly of God church invited the Suriname Bible Society to a meeting in an American Indian village where more than 500 Arowak people live. Pastor Karwafodi and Paul Doth, Jr., the Bible Society General Secretary, along with the SIL Americas Group representative and projects coordinator all met and brought Proclaimers in the Sranan Tongo language for the people in the village. (Sranan Tongo is a trade language widely understood by the people of Suriname.)
The Arowak people listened to part of the New Testament during the meeting. Their eyes lit up and smiles appeared on their faces as they understood what they heard. After the meeting, many of them wanted to continue listening. Pastor Karwafodi thinks that the use of the Proclaimer is the start of an awakening among the Arowak people. He hopes to reach his people with the Proclaimer in their own Arowak language sometime in the future.
While the launch began in Suriname, listening groups will be done throughout the country in Aukan, Carib, Saramaccan, Sranan Tongo, Suriname Javanese, and Mandarin Chinese, and Proclaimers will also be sent into the deepest part of the rainforest.