From dial-up to high-speed internet, the world around us constantly transforms as innovations arise. At Faith Comes By Hearing, this need for constant innovation is ever present. More than twenty years ago, Faith Comes By Hearing dedicated our ministry to share Audio Bibles on cassette tapes. But the world began to change, and new ideas were needed.
In 2000, we found that cassette tapes were not practical for the millions of people around the world without electricity. Faith Comes By Hearing saw a need for a new, solar-powered player restricting no one from God’s Word in audio. This new machine would have to be a dedicated playback unit—it would play God’s Word and nothing else. But while this new gadget seemed incredible on paper, the ministry struggled with how to produce such a complex device.
Faith Comes By Hearing’s leaders searched for direction. They arrived at three criteria: The new player needed to be solar powered, loud enough for crowds of 100 to hear, and freely available for hundreds of language groups around the world. Nothing seemed to fit the ministry’s specific vision for this new device.
During this time, a local pastor contacted Faith Comes By Hearing’s president, Jerry Jackson, and suggested three days of fasting and prayer. After wrestling over how to do this, Jerry trusted God and announced that the staff should fast as they saw fit.
While praying on the last day, Jerry felt the Lord tell him the ministry needed a dedicated playback unit. Jerry thought, “Yes, I’d love this, but Lord, how do we begin?” Even after the time of fasting and prayer ended, the ministry continued to seek God’s direction.
An employee named Mike Jayne tinkered at home with a prototype of a new device later that year. As a former electrical engineer, Mike had experience with technology and felt called to attempt this seemingly impossible task. This humble man believed all his years in electrical engineering had led to this moment: He would help millions hear God’s Word in their heart language.
After much experimenting, Mike walked into Jerry’s office with a prototype of the Proclaimer. Jerry cried tears of joy as he listened to the Proclaimer speak God’s Word. The ministry’s prayers had been answered!
With the Audio Bible prototype in hand, the ministry faced many obstacles in production and distribution. Leadership soon realized the startup cost to produce Proclaimers was around $100,000. As a small ministry, Faith Comes By Hearing wondered how they would ever afford it, but God generously provided through a developer who explained that he would foot the bill. This gentleman became the ministry’s first major donor.
Once the Proclaimer was produced and distributed, Faith Comes By Hearing waited for feedback from partners around the globe. As the player was a completely new product, no one quite knew how partners on the field would react. But quickly, the ministry received wonderful feedback from listening groups around the world. This device fulfilled the needs of oral people everywhere.
Up to 100 people could listen to God’s audible Word using a cassette tape, but groups of more than 500 could hear the new Proclaimer loud and clear. Five times as many people were hearing God speak their language in a format they could understand with each device. Not only could more people hear God’s Word from the Proclaimer, but this device could also withstand rough environments. In one instance, a hurricane in South America hit a multitude of Proclaimers, but the players only needed to dry off before they could be used again.
The Proclaimer has continued to sound out God’s Word for more than 1,600 language groups over the past two decades. Lives are changed as people connect with the Lord in their heart language. The Proclaimer speaks God’s Word in a way everyone can understand without any hindrance: electricity, cost, durability.
Through Scripture recordings played on Proclaimers, millions of lives are transformed by God’s Word. Faith Comes By Hearing exists to share God’s Word in audio until all have heard. Through the partnership of generous donors, Faith Comes By Hearing uses Proclaimers, digital proliferation, and all means possible to help complete our goal of Vision 2033—to record and freely distribute pure Scripture in every language that needs it by 2033. If you would like to hear more about Vision 2033 or hear stories about how the Proclaimer has changed lives, families, and communities, click here.