Mozambique (MNN) – A year ago, Mozambique, one of the poorest countries in the world, was faced with an ongoing drought that left the nation seriously short on water.
However, Cyclone Idai deluged the country last week, and while it sounds like a respite, going from drought-parched land to flooded land basically overnight is actually one of the toughest transitions to make. Topsoil is mostly dust, which makes for poor root systems and that means loose dirt that can’t absorb the water. A sudden influx of water will wash away what crops there were, leading to food security problems down the road.
Banking Crisis and Refugee Increase
This dual disaster comes shortly after the November 2018 banking crisis, when the largest electronic banking system in the country was temporarily shut down due to debt claims. This caused nearly all ATMs and debit cards in the country to cease function.
Mozambique is also experiencing an increase in their refugee population as people flood into the country from surrounding regions. The number of refugees has doubled since 2015, from 26,000 to over 40,000 by mid-2018. These are people coming from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, and Somalia.
Furthermore, Mozambique has a literacy rate of 47 percent, which means a large chunk of their society learns orally. When it comes to encountering the ultimate Hope during this time of crisis, God’s Word needs to be taught through oral methods like storytelling and audio Bibles.
The organization Audio Scripture Ministries faces several challenges as it steps into Mozambique with audio Bibles. These difficulties and the political instability that Mozambique faces create challenges for the distribution of audio Bibles in the area. Yet ASM continues to work with local pastors and communities to provide God’s Word in audio despite these challenges.
Joshua Harrison, communications and development manager at ASM, says, “Political instability will come and go and the challenges of entire banking systems shutting down for some time or a cyclone like Idai, will continue to be with us until the country is able to move forward.”
In the meantime, Harrison says, “Our team is seeking to move forward and be faithful with what they are given.”
Audio Bibles for Mozambique
To fill the need for audio Bibles, ASM is working to provide 2,000 more audio Bibles for the people of Mozambique.
“There is a great hunger for God’s Word in audio. For many people, they do not have access to a print Bible, they can’t read, or don’t own one, and, for them, hearing God’s Word in audio is the only way they are able to access it,” Harrison says.
Harrison says pastors and leaders are already asking for more audio Bibles so their communities may hear God’s Word as well. ASM is currently raising funds to send even more audio Bibles over to Mozambique in the future.
But providing an audio Bible is not a one-to-one ration with people hearing the Gospel.
One audio Bible helps not only the individual but also their families and villages. “One audio Bible can reach 8, maybe 10, maybe 12 people and really transform not only the individual but families and help bring the light of the Gospel to entire villages as more people listen and respond to God’s Word,” Harrison says.
Hearing God’s Word
The audio Bibles ASM provides are solar powered, durable, and can play the Bible for 14 hours straight. They are made to last in harsh and unstable conditions.
“[These Bibles] can be recharged regardless of whether or not they have electricity that day is a huge blessing and can be a life-changing thing,” Harrison says.
For those in Mozambique, this is the only way many can encounter the Bible.
“For just 35 dollars… we can provide God’s Word in audio with the heart language recording completed to a family in Mozambique,” Harrison says.
Such durable Bibles last much longer than other audio devices and can help share God’s Word in Mozambique.
Do you want to get involved?
Click here to donate an audio Bible to Mozambique.
You can also pray for Mozambique as they face these challenges and instability and that they may hear God’s Word.
Header photo courtesy of ASM via Facebook.