I never cease to be amazed by the wonderful stories I receive from the various partners who use Audio Scriptures as a core component of their ministry. These stories, however, become much more alive and impacting when one actually sets foot in the very places where great change and transformation take place on a daily basis.
On a recent trip to Ethiopia, a partner took me around the capital city to see a little bit of what they were doing by way of resourcing churches and other organizations with Audio Bibles. After some 30 minutes of driving, we got off the main road and eventually found ourselves standing in front of a massive iron door protecting a compound. Upon entering, I was officially welcomed to Deborah Women’s Center, named after Deborah from the book of Judges. The center aims at building and equipping strong women in a holistic way.
The women who come to live in that place are all former prostitutes who have been taken in by a wonderful lady they call “Mama.” As long as there is room left at the center, Mama literally walks the streets in an effort to convince these young ladies to leave their lives behind and start afresh. Her work is both difficult and very dangerous, but she is relentless and those who make it to the center have a chance at a brand new start. And this, Mama tells me, is where the Proclaimer has been playing such an important role.
The ladies in this group began to tell me how they listen to the Proclaimer for two hours every single morning, and have a time of discussion in addition to that. Following that, they go about their various skill-building activities, and then come back to the center at night where they once again gather around the Proclaimer for another hour of listening and sharing together. When I inquired further about this, Mama replied,
Listening to this Audio Proclaimer Bible is the biggest part of their healing and rehabilitation, and the impact on their lives is just incredible.
Another young woman commented further and stated,
This program has been strengthening our faith. Our background is really bad, so we saturate our days with the Word of God. By the time we finish the program, we are whole spiritually, physically, and emotionally.
Another young lady named Saba (or Sheba) explained that some of them went to church with their parents from time to time, during their younger years. She says,
We don’t recall where it was, or [what] church was like. But now, whenever we listen to this Audio Bible, we remember what the preacher told us at some point. This Proclaimer is our preacher. For myself, what I love listening to the most in the Bible is the story of the woman with the issue of blood. Jesus knew that some power had come out of Him and asked who had touched Him. When that woman came forward, Jesus told her it was her faith that healed her and made her whole. This had a very great impact in my life. This lady is ME. I believe in Jesus and that he is my Savior now, because like in this story, I ALSO touched him, and that changed my life. And all of us here are so happy about this preaching, because this is now our life!
What a humbling experience this was! To me, it was yet another reminder of something I have known and seen for years, particularly so since my involvement with Faith Comes By Hearing. We can preach to people about following God, we can talk to them about heaven and hell, but in the end, they first need to get the message from the Source itself. Simply taking it to their context and letting God do what He does best: meet them.
Image: A group from the women’s home and their beloved Proclaimer (held by the two ladies kneeling in front).