There is a considerable hunger for God’s Word in Cameroon, and distributing the Bible in audio format gives everyone access to it – young, old, literate and illiterate. For several years, however, the Bible Society there faced so many difficulties in importing Faith Comes By Hearing Proclaimer audio devices that it couldn’t keep up with public demand for them.
“I started to seriously look at the problem to find a way of resolving it at a local level,” says Paul Emmanuel Ntap, the Bible Society’s Faith Comes By Hearing Coordinator. “First I thought about mobile phones, but the audio from those isn’t loud enough for group listening.
“Then, at the market, I discovered a radio and audio player that takes SD cards. The sound quality is good and they only cost around US$8. It was exactly what we needed! With the agreement of Faith Comes By Hearing, we copied their Bible audio recordings (texts which we own the copyright for) onto SD cards, and put them into the audio players.”
Remi Peythieu, Faith Comes By Hearing Africa Director, says that he is delighted with this development.
“When the problems with customs started happening, we found ourselves at an impasse,” he explains. “It is such a good thing that Paul Emmanuel found these audio players. The Proclaimer devices are just one tool among others. The goal of the Faith Comes By Hearing program isn’t to promote the tool, but the Holy Scriptures, so that everyone has access to the good news.
“I applaud the Bible Society’s efforts to resolve this problem. I am so thankful to them for continuing to put such effort into audio Scripture ministry, which is so close to our hearts.”
Since May, the Bible Society has distributed 849 audio players with Scriptures in 23 languages. Contrast this with the fact that throughout 2013, only 300 Proclaimers were distributed. In some regions, people had been waiting several months for audio Scriptures!
Jonas and Honorine Mvessa, a Muslim couple who are very poor, didn’t know what to do when one of their children fell seriously ill. A Christian couple in their village cared for them and when their child recovered, both of them became Christians. They want to grow in their faith but they don’t know how to read. They say that the Faith Comes By Hearing program is a blessing to them.
“I thank God that I am able to listen to the Bible like this,” says Jonas. “My family and I were Muslims but now that we’re baptised Christians, this program will really help us learn about God’s Word.”
Honorine is very conscious of the positive impact that listening to the Bible has had on their four children.
“This audio program has let us be filled with God’s Word,” she says. “Now they pray before going to sleep and I’ve noticed that they are less stubborn. Their behaviour has really changed for the better.”
Sylvain and Marie-Paule Plong are the couple who helped Jonas and Honorine when their child was ill, finding a job for Jonas and a house for them to live in. Sylvain works for the Bible Society as a Faith Comes By Hearing promoter. They also use one of the new audio players at their house, playing the Scriptures for their family and friends.
“We’ve been using this new player for several months now and it’s a great success,” comments Marie-Paule. It’s easy to operate, easy to listen to and easy to carry with the shoulder strap. It can even function as a torch, too, which is very useful during the frequent power cuts!”
“These new audio players are helping to get the Word of God into even the most remote parts of our country,” says Sylvain. “It’s a real encouragement because we had a shortage of audio players for so long. We thank God, who brings inspiration to his children, and we ask for his blessings on this initiative, which has already been so fruitful!”