I close my eyes and I see them. They are coming from every direction. Some have walked miles down narrow dirt trails. Others arrive exhausted after working all day in the fields. Women are carrying young ones on their hips; their older children are walking barefoot beside them, or running to catch up after being distracted by a stray dog, a butterfly, or another barefoot child.
Some people struggle along, patiently helping friends who are blind, lame, or so drunk they have no strength to walk.
The crowd gathers under a tree or inside a mud-and-stick church building. Curious passers-by stop to see what the commotion is about.
Ten or fifteen minutes after the scheduled start time, someone sets a Proclaimer (solar-powered Audio Bible playback device) on a stump or rickety wooden table and turns it on. An instant hush falls over the entire crowd as they hear the voice of Jesus speaking in the language they best understand.
I’ve been there time and again. In Cambodia, Rwanda, Guatemala (the list goes on) – it doesn’t matter where – when indigenous people hear the Word of God in their own language they can’t stay away, and they can’t stay the same. When these people, who are often despised as dirty, less-educated, and less-cultured, realize that the God of Creation loves them enough to speak their language they are literally overwhelmed.
Some laugh. Some dance. Many cry.
I wish you could be there with me to see them.
Once they get over the shock and wonder, they listen. They really listen . . . they hear for the very first time the power of Christ over disease, addiction, fear, and dozens of other issues that have long made them feel helpless and defeated.
Each time they listen, their lives are changed.
They stop getting drunk. They stop gambling. They forgive others. Their relationships, families, churches and communities are transformed.
I truly believe this is the single greatest gift we can offer a lost and hurting world. Right now, wherever you are, you can give this gift to one more person, one more village, one more people group.
There are so many still waiting to hear . . .
Image: Morgan explaining the use of the Proclaimer to a man in Ghana.