When you think of the word ‘portions,’ what immediately comes to mind?
Controlling, restricting, or reducing the things you love and crave?
How about another take on portions that paints a life-giving picture?
For 43 years, Faith Comes By Hearing’s mission to get God’s Word to everyone everywhere has remained the same, but how do you do this in a world with ever-changing ways of communicating?
Cassette tapes were the dominant method of distributing audio content for decades, then CDs, now MP3 discs and digital files. Through the years, we have continually upgraded or developed new infrastructure and recording methods to ensure the Gospel can be freely accessed in the prevalent medium of our day.
When the Digital Bible Platform (DBP) launched in 2010, it allowed Bible content to be accessed by any means. Podcasts, Internet radio, and the Bible.is app are just a few of the many ways people are engaging with God’s Word in their heart language. The DBP is still evolving as new technologies become available and feedback from users around the world is received.
After the DBP opened wide the door for global digital engagement with the Gospel, another opportunity to record Scripture portions, which had been knocking at the door for years, began knocking louder.
FCBH’s recording model at the time was to make full New Testaments available. As the translation process was unfolding, a huge void existed in recording Scripture portions, primarily due to the time and cost associated with training and sending field recording teams into a country.
Time is of the Essence
Translating Scripture takes time. Sometimes decades. Our translation partners in the field – like Wycliffe Bible Translators, Bible Societies, and Seed Company – know well the huge investment of time and energy necessary when translating Scripture into another language. Their sacrifice and perseverance have been repeatedly field-tested and proven.
When they asked if FCBH could record Scripture portions and make them freely available through our various communication channels, we started answering the call with a new recording platform called Virtual Recording.
After much software development and testing, Virtual Recording successfully launched in 2013. A new door opened, giving willing speakers in refugee camps, enthusiastic church groups, or talented college students at universities the ability to record portions of Scripture – from anywhere in the world that has a viable Internet connection.
In many areas where political conflict and natural catastrophes are rampant, time is of the essence in reaching the lost with the Gospel. Audio portions of Scripture have opened the evangelistic door to fruitful possibilities. The hunger for God’s Word is growing and Scripture portions are transforming lives and exposing dark places to the light of Jesus Christ – now rather than later.
FCBH currently has Scripture recordings freely available in 915 distinct languages spoken by 80% of the world’s nearly 7.2 billion people. Of these, 52 languages only have portions of Scripture recorded, which have the capacity to reach over 16 million people. Making these Scripture portions available now allows 16 million people the opportunity to hear the Gospel and immediately impact a people group.
As people’s hearts are awakened by listening to a portion of God’s Word in their heart language, it gently stirs an appetite for more. This interest expedites the ongoing translation process and allows us to receive translations of additional portions to record and push out to the world for free through the DBP.
The relationship between the communities and translators is deepened to see the project through to completion. When additional Bible portions become available, the seeds have already been planted within the language community. Their roots go deep and are nourished in the truth of Jesus Christ as they hear more of the Word in their language.
The Hunger is Great
Virtual Recording helped alleviate the constructs of time and expense, and made a way to record portions of Scripture. The DBP is making Scripture portions freely and readily available to a growing digital world, and an ingredient upgrade within the DBP kitchen recently added a whole lot more spice to the mix – the Bible.is app, version 2.9.
With over 40 million users, making audio recordings of Scripture portions available on the Bible.is app was critical. Less than a month ago, FCBH successfully addressed this need by launching version 2.9 of the Bible.is app, which now includes those portions. Since then, almost 1 million users have downloaded the new version. With over half of the world’s 7.2 billion people carrying some sort of mobile device, the Bible.is app is another significant milestone in expanding God’s Kingdom around the world.
Much work remains and we need your help to continue recording and making God’s Word available to every people group in the world. There are currently nearly 1,000 more languages spoken by millions of people that only have portions of Scripture translated – waiting to be recorded. Join us on this journey. Give today to help reach these people with the Gospel.
God’s Word so beautifully speaks of the power and impact of portions. In the Gospels, a young boy’s small portion of food leads to a great miracle. In his willingness to give to the Lord what he had, the Lord multiplied it – in such abundance that 12 baskets of scraps were left over. From lack came abundance. From obedience great fruit was borne. This is portion control at its very finest.