Niger (MNN) — The
people of Niger have a long history and deep family roots. One way you can get their attention is to
tell a story. Another way is to show a genealogy.
This was one way it became apparent that genealogies would
be a way to share the Gospel. Tom Dudenhofer with Audio Scripture Ministries
says, "I've got to admit, I've never
even thought about the book of Genesis as being an evangelistic tool."
Here's what happened: an ASM missionary shared that he met
with an individual whose father was a qur'anic scholar — someone gave him an
Arabic Bible. Because he could read, he
began to investigate Scriptures, starting with the book of Genesis.
When he finished, he began to tell people around him that "this book [the Bible] is True" because of the better record of genealogies and
the accuracy of recounting historic events.
Then, he took the next four years and read through the
entire Bible. He came out of that process and said "This Bible is Truth" and
began to follow Christ.
Dudenhofer had a "light bulb" moment. "They understand the
importance of the genealogies. To them, it's very significant. The thing that
seemed to catch their attention was the accuracy with which God's Word recorded
those genealogies. In other words, they were there with purpose."
Problem solved: take the Gospel in through the Old
Testament. However, the country is desperately poor and the
literacy rate is roughly 20%, which means that 80% of the people in Niger can't
read. Taking the Old Testament in print
form would be useless…but as it happens, ASM was ready. They recently finished recording the Old
Testament in Hausa, the primary language spoken by a majority of the Nigeriens.
Niger is almost exclusively Muslim, but it
still supports freedom of religion. "The church in Niger is very small, but
they're growing. They see a huge benefit of having God's Word–especially the
Old Testament in audio for–for their
discipleship and evangelism."
So you have an interest in genealogy, the best record for
one in the Old Testament, a recently recorded Old Testament in Hausa and a unit
on which to listen (ASM's digital audio players). Now, all you need is a way to get them to
people. "Right now, the groundwork is being laid for this. This will happen
probably in about three to five months."
Partnering with the
local church, "We're going to be doing a distribution of approximately 500
audio Bibles as God provides," says Dudenhofer. "And then we're going to be asking the national
church, who is working with us on this, to do a follow-up study."
The approximate cost of a single unit will be around $50 USD. You can help be a part of the building family
of Christ in Niger. Click here.