International (MNN) — Audio Scripture Ministries just hit an exciting milestone this month — 50 years of ministry! Their mission is to provide the Bible in audio so everyone will have the opportunity to hear God’s Word in their own language.
Naomi Frizzell, ASM’s Executive Director, says any outreach based in technology is bound to go through a lot of changes in 50 years. “The ministry started with a small, cardboard audio player, moved into the high-tech hand-crank cassette players, moving into solar cassette players and through lots of other technology. Just think how technology has changed in the world over 50 years! And ASM has sought to use the most current and relevant technology as they’ve shared God’s Word in audio. Now we’re using small digital players [and] we’re working on an app in one of our locations as well.”
Approximately 5.7 billion people around the world are oral learners — people who learn through spoken communication rather than literate communication and may not even be able to read. For these types of learners, a written Bible is ineffective. It’s these people that ASM is especially trying to reach with God’s Word in audio.
“We’re also looking at learning from the past at what types of resources meet the needs of the most number of people, those resources that are effective in sharing the Gospel, and of course, our focus remains on sharing the Word of God in audio.”
For example, says Frizzell, “The Joshua Project reports that an estimated 95 percent of pastors worldwide have had no formal training and that 1,000 new pastors a day are needed to keep up with church plants. In the global south, many of those pastors and church leaders don’t have access to Bible colleges or seminaries, and even if they did, those in oral cultures may not read and that means the materials may be inaccessible to them. So we’re looking at audio theological resources that could really make a difference in the lives of these pastors and their congregations.”
They hope to continue partnering with mission organizations, churches, and individuals to advance future audio Bible production and distribution and, potentially, other biblical resources in audio, as well.
So how is ASM celebrating half a century of ministry? Frizzell shares, “Audio Scripture Ministries has a 50th anniversary celebration goal of raising $100,000 towards the distribution of audio Bibles in India, in Mexico, in Mozambique, and elsewhere to really help get God’s Word in the hands of those who need it most.
As ASM forges ahead into the years and decades of mission work to come, Frizzell says they are bathing everything in prayer and asking God for wisdom.
“Prayer is essential to any ministry and it’s been essential to ASM over the last 50 years. As a ministry, we’re continuing to start on our knees, first of all, in thanksgiving for what God has done, secondly in seeking the Lord for his direction. Corrie ten Boom once said, ‘Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?’ Here at ASM, we want prayer to be the steering wheel of ASM.”
Please pray along with ASM for God to bless the distribution of audio Bibles to oral communities and unreached people groups who need to hear the life-changing message of the Gospel. Pray for boldness and refreshment among their field workers and that the Lord would open doors for the Good News to go out.
“God’s Word has given each of us who know Jesus Christ as our personal Savior hope and new life. And God’s Word in audio is bringing hope and new life to the people who hear the Bible in their own heart language in India, Africa, Latin America, and many other parts of the world,” says Frizzell. “We’re excited where God is leading us in the next 50 years and look forward to seeing many more people have the opportunity to come to that personal relationship with Jesus Christ.”