Guam (MNN) — If you can’t get a physical Bible to someone, then using Bible smartphone apps or websites is a great alternative. But what if that person can’t access the internet or afford a smartphone data plan?
Out of the 7.2 billion people on the planet, around 4.2 billion have no access to the internet, according to a report by the United Nations’ Broadband Commission. That means over half of the global population has no access to a digitized Bible source option.
And especially for isolated communities, digital access is often the easiest way to reach them with the Gospel.
However, due to a major recent breakthrough by Faith Comes By Hearing (FCBH), they were able to deliver the Bible to an unconnected smartphone using shortwave radio towers over 3,000 miles for the first time ever.
Troy Carl, Vice President of FCBH, explains, “Yesterday, we were able to transmit file casting data packets from Guam all the way to Thailand using shortwave frequencies, and we were able to do that in partnership with Trans World Radio. So it was really quite exciting! Basically what we did is created one-way internet access turning that tower into a super WiFi router. And that’s quite a story because it’s never been done!”
To put it another way, Carl wrote this description in a recent post:
Just like the one you use everyday in your house, where you connect a data source (internet cable) and a power source (you plug it in) and the little antennas broadcast internet around your house (say 500 ft.) and you connect to it with your phone to read/listen/see the data it’s transmitting.
In Guam, we took a HUGE antenna, (supplied by Trans World Radio), hooked up a data source (a Bible.is app device), turned the power on (250kw) and sent the data into the air bouncing it off the ionosphere over 3,000 MILES!
Our team in Chang Mai Thailand, hooked up to this giant router with a proprietary decompiler. Then sideloaded the Bible.is app with all its content to multiple smart phones using a simple wifi broadcaster!
This success is just phase two in a three-step program through FCBH called the Global Bible Network.
Carl shares, “About a year and a half ago we began developing a way to connect people to the Bible in their own language even when there’s no internet access around. So we put together an aerospace council bringing in industry experts.
“First we use satellites to penetrate difficult areas of the world. Then we use terrestrial towers to broadcast or relay that content around the world. And then last and final, we use cyber technology to distribute the content from phone-to-phone…. This particular test done in Guam successfully was the second leg of that particular Global Bible Network.”
This breakthrough is a big deal for the Great Commission.
According to The Joshua Project, 40.4 percent of the world’s people groups are still unreached; just over 3 billion people.
“It really is quite exciting because it means we have the potential of distributing Bible content directly to people’s mobile devices potentially using short-wave frequencies, very high frequencies. And we can do that without any kind of impediments all the way around the globe — even 3,000 miles away — without connectivity or traditional internet access,” says Carl.
“The next step is to integrate other frequency bandwidths such as FM, AM, VHF and a variety of others. Shortwave was the most difficult. Being able to achieve that with a very minimal data airway now allows us to expand into much broader frequency sets. Then what we do is integrate that into unique devices, possibly even a simple mobile app, that allows data to come to an individual without the traditional data plans.”
To complete the final phase of the Global Bible Network project, they could use funding for the transmission towers and satellite systems.
And currently, if you click here to donate to the Global Bible Network initiative with FCBH, a matching donor will double your gift!
“I think the important thing to remember is we’re living in an incredibly exciting time where even old technology or old understanding of technology can be leveraged in brand new ways and hopefully allow us to get the Gospel to every single human on earth,” Carl says. “Matthew 24:14 could be fulfilled even in our lifetime!”