Remember our telling you about the Proclaimers,the portable solar-powered MP3 players,that would be sent to villages for people to listen to the Embera Bible in audio version? They are on their way! The majority of them will be distributed this coming week,Easter week,during the annual Holy Week conference that the Embera Christian churches have. Here are portions from a report from Abdiel Lopez Argueta,the coordinator for Latin America of Faith Comes by Hearing. (See also the organization’s website on the right of this blog page under “Worthy Organization Links”). He and his team recently returned from a trip to Panama,training Emberas how to use the players,how to distribute them and how to facilitate listening and discussiong groups. The pictures and translated text are allowed courtesy of Dr. Lopez.
The initial training was done in Lajas Blancas,the site of the Bible dedication last August. They had hoped for about 20 people,but due to travel expenses and other obstacles,there were less.
“What we did was train 5 brothers who came…There were also several women…As part of a training exercise,we listened to Ephesians chapter 5 and the most surprised ones were the women. They had never heard this portion of the Bible and you could see the joy in their faces. When we asked them [what they thought],they said that the chapter spoke of the love there should be in the family. It is truly a blessing,at this moment and also for the future,for them to be able to hear the word of God in their own language for the first time. Glory to God!”
“Brother Doug [Schermerhorn] told us that they all said they had learned well what we had taught them [about using the Proclaimers in the villages] and gave thanks to God that we had explained it all very well. A few things [in the training manual] needed correcting,but otherwise they were ready to train others [Embera Christians] during Holy Week [Embera churches gather together for their annual conference,and that will be a time for further training and distribution of Proclaimers]…That evening there was a prayer meeting…the pastor [of the Embera church] told us,‘We’re going to have just 3 prayers,then we will keep talking,because we have many questions [about the Bible].’ In truth I felt very much like an apostle,teaching these Christian brothers and sisters who have such a hunger for God’s word. Doug told us that it is a very very good thing we’re doing [distributing the audio Bible on the Proclaimers] because these churches of believers really need it. I hope we can return to visit them again.”
“We visited another community and met with brother Dennis Cook,a missionary who has a radio station. Brother Doug gave him a MP3 player with the audio Bible so starting that day,Dennis will be transmitting a half hour of the Scriptures each day throughout the region.”
Dr. Abdiel lists 14 communities which will have Proclaimers distributed to them starting next week,after the Easter conference. Some will also be sent to Colombia with a missionary who works there. Those people trained this month will in turn train the people they give the Proclaimers to. We hope and pray this is just the beginning. Please be praying as these Emberas hear God’s word for the first time,that it will sink into their hearts and speak to them. For those who cannot read,this is the answer! Even for those who can read,listening to the Bible together with other people leads to times of discussion and further thought.