Technology. It’s a part of our everyday lives. From the time our smartphone alarms wake us in the morning until our heads hit our pillows at night, we are immersed in the ever-expanding world of technology. We benefit from technology in many ways, and without it, many of us would find it impossible to function or carry out our daily routines.
Technological advancements and the information age have increased globalization like never before, as the internet connects people on a global scale and provides instant access to a vast wealth of information. This rapid proliferation of technology has led to faster, more accessible communication and has contributed to several positive changes in developing countries—economically, socially, and culturally.
But more importantly, for Faith Comes By Hearing, technology has become an essential tool in reaching oral speakers and communities with the Word of God.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. – John 1:3 NIV
Before the Gutenberg Bible was printed in 1455, God’s Word was handwritten, and people communicated its truths orally. Back then, most of the populace had no opportunity to own the Scriptures, and we know that most couldn’t read it even if they did acquire a copy. As a result, they had to rely on communal reading and memorization of God’s Word.
Even today, Christianity is primarily dependent on the literacy of others. Nevertheless, more than five billion oral communicators can’t, don’t, or won’t learn through literate means.
Oral people come from all walks of life and all levels of education. Their primary form of communication is through oral or verbal means. While some oral communicators learn this way out of necessity because they cannot read or write, many others prefer non-print forms of communication. Oral learners assimilate information by sharing stories, songs, proverbs, drama, chants, and poetry.
To promote Scripture engagement and disciple oral learners, it is necessary to communicate in ways that are relevant to their culture. Fortunately, we now have the technology and tools to ensure this 70% of the world’s population can hear and see God’s Word and be transformed.
Faith Comes By Hearing started as an audiocassette ministry in 1972. Over the years, it has relied heavily on technology to develop innovative ways to reach more people with the Word of God. Today, God’s pure Word is available in more than 1,470 languages—and counting—via Audio Bibles and Gospel Films. Without these invaluable tools, our ability to facilitate Scripture engagement with oral speakers would be impossible.
Our prayer, mission, and vision are for every person on Earth to access the Scriptures in the language and format they understand best. We aim to record an additional 4,000 languages by the year 2033. By freely providing these audio and video tools to oral learners, God’s Word is made accessible to people across the globe.
The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both. – Proverbs 20:12
One example of what God is doing is seen among the Banjara people in Asia. Evangelists have visited 1,200 villages and planted 28 churches and 420 house groups. With only 58 pastors to cover all of these fellowships, Audio Bibles are vital. Pastors carry one with them everywhere and play them in the village churches and house groups. As a result, many are coming to Christ.
The women are involved too—they take Audio Bibles from village to village to share God’s Word. One widow has planted three churches. Although she never learned to read, she has memorized most of the Bible; when she prays for the sick, they are healed. Her faith is an inspiration to all Banjara believers. We are thrilled to see this happening in more and more communities throughout Asia and the rest of the world.
Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth! I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. – Psalm 78:1-4