Audio Bible Ministry Reaches Amazon Tribes

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Audio Bibles are reaching the farthest corners of the earth.

Adding these two teams means that people from the minority language groups in Brazil will soon have the opportunity to hear God's Word in their own language for the first time

Audio Bibles are reaching the farthest corners of the earth.

In the Brazilian rain forest, the small village of Makita sits along the muddy banks of an Amazon River tributary. When the conditions are ideal, the trip takes two days by boat.

Jeff Scott, an American church leader, and his short-term mission team arrive at Makita and are welcomed by the villagers and swarms of mosquitoes and flies.

Scott and his team notice a small church building that was built by a previous mission team. Inside, bats rest overhead and tarantulas patrol dark corners. In this village and the thousands like it, which dot the Amazon's riverbanks, people live with limited access to clean water, the outside world and the Word of God.

In fact, Brazil has 258 tribes, and almost as many different languages - 235. More than 90 of these tribes are cut off from the outside world, living deep in the rain forest and firmly protected by the Brazilian government. Out of these 258 tribes, only 20 have strong, indigenous church leadership.

Despite their remoteness or restrictions, these villagers are eager for the Word of God.

"I have never encountered people so hungry and begging for help in their walk with Christ as in this place," said Scott.

While working among this tribe, Scott and his team realized the power of teaching God's Word orally, discovering that many in the village, including the local church pastor, could not read. The lack of education and the inability to read broke Scott's heart.

Scott and his team then presented this pastor with the Proclaimer, a self-powered digital playback device that has an Audio New Testament pre-loaded on an embedded microchip. The Proclaimer was designed by Faith Comes By Hearing, the world's foremost Audio Bible ministry, for the most rugged and remote areas, like the Amazon Basin.

"The Proclaimer seemed to turn on a light bulb and empower this pastor in a way he had never known," said Scott.

At other Amazon villages they visited, Scott and his mission team continued to witness how effective God's Word in audio is among "oral" peoples, which are people groups who pass on their beliefs, heritage and values through stories, parables, proverbs, music, and dances. Currently, oral peoples make up two-thirds of the world's population.

To disciple the world's oral majority, Faith Comes By Hearing records and uses heart-language Audio Bibles and works through numerous partners, like Wycliffe Bible Translators, the United Bible Societies and Campus Crusade for Christ's JESUS Film.
Faith Comes By Hearing's language recording manager, Ray Warrior, said, "The majority of the people in the Amazon Basin are oral learners, therefore the need for Audio Bible ministry is great."

To reach the 380,000 people in the oral cultures of the Amazon Basin, Faith Comes By Hearing recently trained two new recording teams.

"Adding these two teams means that people from the minority language groups in Brazil will soon have the opportunity to hear God's Word in their own language for the first time," said Warrior. "Prior to the addition of these recording teams, only the Portuguese Audio New Testament was available. And while Portuguese is widely spoken, many people are monolingual, speaking only their heart language."

"These new teams are a natural fit," said Phil Kenney, Faith Comes By Hearing's regional manager for Latin America. "Both of these teams have worked cross-culturally in Brazil for years and have extensive recording experience."

With 36 New Testaments completed and ready for recording, these teams have no shortage of work. The first indigenous Brazilian New Testament recording is slated to begin in early July among the Wáiwai tribe with the first listening groups expected to gather in the summer of 2009.

Population: 192 Million
Major Language: Portuguese
258 = Total Number of Tribes
235 = Number of Languages Spoken
92 = Tribes Cut Off From Outside World
38 = Languages Ready to Record
20 = Tribes With Indigenous Leadership

IMPACTO! Read Faith Comes By Hearing's Spring 2008 Newsletter which focuses on Audio Bible impact in Latin America.

"Going Up River"
Listen to a short, dramatic story about a faithful Faith Comes By Hearing worker working with the people groups along the rivers.


  •     Protection for the recording team members and their families
  •     More workers to help reach the thousands of tribes in the Amazon Basin
  •     More indigenous church leaders

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Clif Haley
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