Partnerships allow change in Rwanda

By May 23, 2011

Rwanda (MNN) — For a community that cannot read or has not had access to the Bible, it's exciting when they first hear the Word of God in their heart language on an audio device. Lives and entire communities are changed as a result of these encounters.

So why doesn't this happen more often? There are hundreds of languages with a written Gospel, but hundreds are still waiting for it in audio form. Why the wait?

For one thing, the process is not quite as simple as you might think. "You don't just walk in sometime with a Bible and a microphone and start recording the Bible," says Greg Fisher, African Regional Manager for Faith Comes By Hearing. There are a lot of hoops to jump through.

Faith Comes By Hearing has 112 partners in 34 countries–and that's just for Africa. Before anything else, the audio Bible ministry has to partner with dozens of Bible translation organizations in order to know what languages are in progress and which ones are completed so that Faith Comes By Hearing can begin recording.

Beyond that, there are all sorts of legal obstacles to ensure that the ministry gets the proper permission to record based on copyright laws and other formalities. After readers are found and the recording is actually completed, Faith Comes By Hearing needs more partners to do the actual distribution of the Proclaimers or audio devices loaded with the New Testament.

It's exciting to see the body of Christ work together like this, but it's undoubtedly a time-consuming process. The good news is: it's paying off. Through these partnerships and the eventual manufacturing and distributing of Proclaimers around the globe, the Christian community have boomed.

Fisher just returned back from Rwanda, where the introduction of the Word of God has been particularly pivotal. Campus Crusade for Christ, a partner of Faith Comes By Hearing, has been taking trips to show the JESUS Film in Rwanda. At the end of the showing, follow-up needs to be done with new believers. Enter the Proclaimers.

Listening Bible studies of sorts have been popping up across the country. "Listening groups are being started in Rwanda with the local people, and they listen to the New Testament [on Proclaimers]," explains Fisher.

Churches are being born from these listening groups, and individual lives are transforming. One man who used to practice sorcery turned to Christ by hearing the Gospel from a Proclaimer. Fisher says the man's listening group will likely become a church soon. A pastor in the region now has a dream to put a church on every hill in Rwanda, the "Land of 1,000 Hills."

The work to get to this point has been long and involved, but the Lord has blessed the efforts of Faith Comes By Hearing and its 112 partners. Their ministry currently provides the hope of the Gospel for people in 546 languages by simply proclaiming the Word of God.

You can help this ministry in Rwanda and around the globe. Click here to learn more.

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