In the beginning was the Word (John 1:1). God spoke, and everything came into being—only later would people such as Moses pen His plans for mankind. Though literacy may be common in much of the Western world, Scripture was often spoken to the people throughout history as a primary means of instruction and memorization. This dependable method remains the norm in many societies today.
Faith Comes By Hearing has aligned itself with hundreds of churches, Bible Societies, and translation organizations to fulfill the Great Commission and make God's Word accessible to everyone who needs it by 2033. Like the Body of Christ, these ministries work together to ensure everyone has a chance to encounter the Gospel. But what part does Faith Comes By Hearing play?
(Learn more about our mission here.)
Audio: the Scriptures' original format. For a majority of the world's population, this will be the only way they ever discover, understand, and believe in the Gospel of Christ. This fact impels Faith Comes By Hearing in our daily efforts to record and freely provide God's Word in every language that needs it.
Working in mutually beneficial partnership, our vision is to get God's Word to every person on Earth. Much of this vision is borne out of some of Faith Comes By Hearing's core ministry values, long held before Vision 2033 ever coalesced:
We are committed to one purpose: Get God's Word to every person.
We are servants and are here to serve others so the kingdom of God can advance most effectively.
When the decision to translate the Bible is made, the decision to record it is made.
These values, along with several others, inform our position of "walking behind" translators to ensure God's Word is available in the format with which the highest number of people can engage. And with the advent of Oral Bible Translation, Faith Comes By Hearing is able to facilitate both the translation and recording process—meaning even languages with no orthography can still receive Scripture.
Spill water on a table, and it may cover a large part of the surface—but dump an ocean-sized amount of water on the table, and it will (obviously) become soaked through and through. So it is with God's audible Word. Habakkuk 2:14 says, "For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea." No matter their literacy level, communities worldwide are completely soaked with God's Word when they receive it in audio and in their heart language! Consider these testimonies of impact:
A pastor shared a testimony about how a man named Richard habitually stood by himself and avoided speaking with him and other church members. When he asked Richard about it, the man explained that large group settings made him anxious. The pastor invited him to come to a small Bible listening group. Reluctantly, Richard agreed.
Over the next several weeks, the pastor observed how God's Word softened Richard's heart and changed his attitude towards others. After listening to the story of the prodigal son, Richard came up to the pastor with tears streaming down his face and said, "When I listen to the Audio Bible, I feel as though Jesus is speaking directly to me. Thank you for helping me find my way back to the Father."
"Our neighborhood is rich with a diverse mix of cultures, which has forced us to rely less on our mother tongue for communication. Instead, community members speak the trade language, and the church uses it during worship services.
"Several months ago, the church received several Audio Bibles loaded with my language. Every Sunday and Friday before the church service, the pastor plays the Audio Bible for us. Since the program was launched, I have never missed a session. Today, nearly 70 people regularly attend the listening group. Everyone who comes listens with great enthusiasm. For many, it is the first time they have heard God's Word in their language. I think it is a wonderful blessing to our nation.
"The Audio Bible has helped me overcome my narrow-mindedness and pride. My knowledge has increased, and I feel closer to God than ever before. Now, I regularly preach the Word of God to the church. I am grateful to those who made this Audio Bible possible."
Considering that 70% of the world's population prefers oral means of communication and 50% cannot read at a functional level, providing God's Word in an intimately familiar language and in oral formats ensures that oral people will comprehend the hope, joy, and peace found only in the Bible. This is the part God has assigned Faith Comes By Hearing—to ensure all may have the chance to hear the Truth and come to Christ.