India (MNN) — The thirst for the Gospel is great across India, but resources are running dry. The work of Audio Scripture Ministries there over the last few months has been more than overwhelmed.
ASM has made great strides in recent months. They have completed the first recording of any kind for the Garasias, they have reached new tribes in Northeast India, and their work has even been acknowledged as a good thing by the unlikely vigilante group, the Naxalites.
The Gospel is breaking barriers as the power of God's Word reaches villages via audio player.
The desire for these Scripture units in places where few people read is so great that ASM can't possibly keep up. In a recent distribution to Mundari speakers, ASM was able to hand out 350 digital players–more players than had ever before gone to the group, says J.P. Sundararajan.
"When I was done with the distribution, the missionary looked at me and said, ‘No, we need 5,000 for this village.' For this village he needs 5,000! And for that area–roughly a few villages in that area, they want 9,000 units," says Sundararajan. "And I was pretty proud of myself for getting 350 units!"
It's not just the Mundari who are desperate for more of God's Word. ASM goes all over remote areas of India where people are begging for audio players of their own.
"Every time we go to a distribution, it is one of the more heart wrenching scenes you'll see. There are too many people who wait outside these distribution areas," explains Sundararajan. "As we walk out, they keep begging with us–pleading with us–for one Bible…. We have to tell them there's a three-month waiting period. And after three months, we'll try to come back."
The ministry leaves every distribution empty-handed, heading back to their Bangalore office where few other players remain. Thus, one of ASM's goals is to get the stock of players up to 1,000 at the office. Up until now, the extra stock has never surpassed 100.
There's good news amid the barrenness of resources, though. Apart from the exciting fact that people are ready for the Truth, Indians are ready to share it. During the Mundari distribution, says Sundararajan, "Half of these units were paid for by local, Indian Christians in Bangalore and cities in India."
Indian Christians are grasping hold of the vision that ASM has to get the Bible to people everywhere, regardless of their literacy. But the need is greater than the available funding. Others need to get involved.
Sundararajan says that no matter what resources come in, ASM is just glad to be a part of the Lord's work. So when people want to help, "I don't tell people, ‘This is how you can help God,'" says Sundararajan. "It's more of, ‘This is what God is already doing. And if you want to get involved, it's very easy.'"
God is using ASM to reach the remotest of tribes in India with Scriptures in their heart languages. It's only $40 to provide an audio player–a gift that will reach not just one family, but their friends, neighbors, and maybe entire village. Get involved with what God is doing by clicking here.
Join ASM in prayer for their Indian ministry as well. Pray for ASM as they make the difficult choices to prioritize which languages will be recorded when, and how many players will go to each distribution. Pray, too, for the hearts of eager listeners as they get the opportunity to hear God's Word for the first time.