Mexico (MNN) — Imagine your job looks like this: You travel for weeks in a crowded, hot bus through precarious mountain roads and rugged terrain. You have to live for months at a time in unfamiliar, remote villages, sleep on the ground, shower from a bucket, and eat simple, maybe even foreign food.
During this time, you have no access to medical care or cell phone service. Additionally, in this environment, you need to complete your job tasks in a slow, methodical manner, often while partially exposed to the elements.
This is what life looks like for recordists in Mexico with Audio Scripture Ministries (ASM). It’s a far cry from five-star hotels and first-class airline seats. But the work recordists do makes it profoundly worthwhile.
Joshua Harrison with ASM explains, “A recordist is someone who has the technology and the know-how to set up a makeshift studio and record quality audio wherever they’re at. In many cases, we are able to invite people in to record [at] our Mitla studio. But in other cases, in Mexico especially, [recordists] have to travel far and wide to find a person…who would be able to read the Scriptures in [their language] or perhaps repeat after someone else and give the proper pronunciation…. So the recordists often have to travel and go to where these speakers are.
“We’ll then place those recordings in audio Bibles and other ministry tools so that those who are still waiting to hear can hear God’s Word in their own heart language…. We will then take those recordings and work with other organizations and partners — for example, Faith Comes By Hearing — to distribute those to people.”
For the recordists, Harrison explains, “Every time you are able to return to an area and perhaps you are bringing more audio Bibles or you are just following up to check on a Scripture that you brought back, and you hear and see the joy in people’s hearts and lives as they are hearing and applying God’s Word — our recordists would say that is priceless.”
When it comes to Scripture translation and audio Bible ministry, we often hear about the end result — the distributions, the dedications, and the impact stories. However, there is so much that happens behind the scenes, often over the course of months or even years, to bring an audio Bible recording to fruition.
“We have partners such as Wycliffe who work so hard to translate God’s Word in the heart languages of those around us, and then we try to help record and also distribute God’s Word in these remote villages where it’s needed,” says Harrison.
“I think for you and for me, it’s helpful to remind us that even as we perhaps take part in distributing God’s Word, there is a lot of hard work needed to get to that exciting part of handing someone God’s Word in their own heart language.”
As ASM partners with other Bible translation and distribution ministries, ASM focuses on the realm of audio Bibles to meet the needs of oral learners.
According to International Orality Network, there are an estimated 5.7 billion oral learners around the world — people who either can’t read or prefer to learn outside of literate methods. For these people, audio Bibles meet an important need since they can now listen to God’s Word in their heart language.
“People are being connected to God’s Word. We’re seeing a large number of people in villages receiving Christ. We’re seeing churches being planted, believers strengthened as they hear God’s Word in their own heart language, and we see people applying and understanding God’s Word.”
Currently, Harrison shares, “We need to record these Scriptures in audio, and right now, what is lacking is the recordists that are needed to invest those months to go to the remote and hard-to-get places and record it in every language that is still needed.”
Even if you can’t travel with ASM or serve as a recordist, you can commit to lifting their ministry before the Lord.
“Pray for the right people, wherever they come from, that God would send the right laborers for this harvest field that is so ripe, that we would be able to go and record God’s Word in audio so we can bring God’s Word in audio to those who are waiting to hear.
“Also, please pray for the many organizations busy recording God’s Word in audio in many other places, that the Lord would provide. This is not a need specific to just ASM. The needs are great also in Mozambique, India, and in many other places.”
(Header photo courtesy of Audio Scripture Ministries)