International (MNN) — This month marks an exciting landmark in the world of audio Bible translation: 500 languages now have access to their own recording of Scripture.
"We have gotten to our 500th language that we have recorded," explains Bill Lohr with Faith Comes By Hearing. "About 4.6 billion people speak those languages in the world today."
Beyond the fact that now billions of people, literate or not, could potentially access the Scriptures, the 500 mark has special meaning for FCBH. "The reason that's significant for us is that it puts us a quarter way to our goal, which is in 2016, we want to have 2,000 languages recorded. That will effectively be about 97 percent of the world's population."
So what is this special 500th language? Actually no specific language is considered to be the 500th recorded, but in the last batch of completed productions, FCBH hit the mark. The languages that make up this group include one that represents about 1 million people in India, and one that only represents about 1,800 in Paraguay.
FCBH goes to great lengths to get all languages recorded, regardless of how many or how few people will hear the Gospel as a result — even those that represent just a few hundred people, like the people group mentioned in Paraguay.
"Our recording team went [to Paraguay]. There was no drinkable water, there was no indoor restroom, and two people had to travel on a single-person motorcycle while carrying their gear along with the only water that they would have to drink. That's how they got to these people to do this recording, and that is for 1,800 people that, experts tell us, speak that language. But it's 1,800 who can now hear God's Word in the language that they pray to Him in."
That is truly FCBH's heartbeat and passion: to provide every person, regardless of literacy or location, with the opportunity to access Scripture in their heart language. FCBH now has over 50 recording teams in 27 countries working on new translations to meet their 2,000 language goal by 2016.
FCBH has heard story after story of people coming to faith in Christ after hearing Scripture in their own language. The Word of God is one of the most effective tools for claiming all, to the ends of the earth, for Christ. FCBH is constantly rejoicing in lives changed, and they invite you to rejoice with them.
"Everyone that really wants to fulfill God's Great Commission in our lifetime, we want them to be a part of Faith Comes By Hearing, working with us so that we can get these languages recorded by 2016."
To join in this ministry's efforts, visit faithcomesbyhearing.com and pursue the many ways you can get involved in this Great Commission work.