International (MNN) — Everyone should have access to the Bible in his or her own language. But sadly, not everyone does. Entire translations can take decades and a lot of money to complete. That’s why Faith Comes By Hearing (FCBH) is creating Scripture portions.
“The credible thing about Scripture portions and where this kind of translation model is heading is to focus on a couple of key books for that language community,” says Jonathan Huguenin with FCBH.
Translators often break up the Bible and choose books with narratives, like the books of Ruth, Luke, or Mark.
“It’s really beneficial for a couple of reasons,” says Huguenin. “The translation gets out there quicker… [and] you kind of get to see immediate impact and then immediate feedback.”
Since people in areas get to see quicker results, they become more interested and intrigued by what the Gospel has to say. They might even start giving to the project. In just a few years, a whole community could change for the better.
But a big problem is: a lot of communities don’t read.
Huguenin shares that a country in SE Asia had 600,000 people that spoke one language. Translators took 4 years to get the book of Luke in print.
“You’d think that everybody then could read it after four years; but out of 600,000 people in this country in Asia, there were 5 people that actually knew how to read that translation.”
Fortunately, about 2 1/2 years ago, FCBH started a virtual recording program.
“People anywhere in the world with an Internet connection can hop online and record using their voice with a headset microphone. This really empowered us to begin recording portions,” he explains.
With the virtual recordings, those five readers were able to share the book of Luke with the 600,000 others.
FCBH has received virtual recording help from people in 30 different countries–and some in refugee camps.
“What’s happening is some diaspora speakers–people who have moved from their motherland to countries in Europe and are actually at refugee camps–have been hopping online and producing the audio version.”
As a result, some of the most persecuted countries in the world are receiving the Gospel. Underground believers can literally have access to the Bible in their pocket.
How? FCBH’s newest update on their Bible.is gives access to 70 of these new Scripture portions.
“This new version is a great breakthrough because…even if there’s just a book in the Bible available, it allows that book to be accessed right away,” says Huguenin. “70 new language communities can now see at least what’s available in their heart language.”
These new updates can open doors to more translations, recordings, and the planting of churches.
A lot of people may ask, “Why is this an app? Do people in some areas of the world even have cell phones or laptops?”
Huguenin says most people in Asia have 2 or 3 phones with fast-working Internet. Even in a village in South America, where there were very limited numbers of shoes, nearly every house had satellites and cell phones.
“So we’re actually responding to a need that’s been out there for years,” Huguenin explains.
“To see what happens when people realize that they’re valued by God enough that His Words are actually spoken in their heart language, when they hear that for the first time, often times there’s just silence or weeping.”