Ethiopia (MNN) — Considered "second-class" by most Ethiopians, the Bench language was long regarded as unnecessary. Through Faith Comes by Hearing, many Bench people are now seeing that God regards their culture with honor. Because of low literacy rates and other issues, the Bench people previously had no access to the Gospel.
"By putting the Scriptures in audio in the Bench language," says FCBH's Greg Fisher, "it has broken through cultural and language barriers that are there. They're just listening to the Word of God and it's convicting their hearts, and they begin to make a response."
God's Word in audio is transforming Bench communities and lives.
Thousands gather every week to hear the Word of God in the Bench language; these audio sessions are part of an FCBH Audio Bible outreach project. Over 580 groups gather regularly for a time of Bible listening, followed by discussion. This audio outreach touches an unmet need and brings understanding, instruction, hope and value to the Bench community.
"People were really hungry for meaning, and they were hungry for knowing about salvation. When they hear that message," Fisher says, "there's something inside their heart that says 'this is the message that I've been looking for,' and they want to know more about it."
Fisher says the Bench people's hunger for God's Word in audio inspires and motivates the FCBH team.
"We're very excited about how this program has almost become viral within this area. People are just clamoring for more Proclaimers and for more resources to expand the program," Fisher states. "They can see the evidence of a positive change coming because of the Word of God, and they like it."
This outreach program depends on the continued goodwill of Bench village leaders. Fisher asks you to pray that this goodwill continues.