The audio version of our New Testament, I believe, has brought new hope to our people because I know that our people are not very good in reading.
It’s difficult to find someone taking a long time to read something. So it’s difficult to find someone who has read through the Mwaghavul New Testament, although it has been there for decades. When we first had the audio on CD, people would need to have a CD player to play it at home, in the office, in their car, or somewhere. But because they cannot carry the CD player around, they need something like Megavoice (a portable MP3 player) or a phone. It’s wonderful we are able to have these now.
Last weekend, people from VMS (Vernacular Media Services) came to find out what is happening with the listening groups they set up about two years ago. We’ve set up about 200 groups now, and they discovered that people who previously were not interested in the Mwaghavul New Testament are in love with it now — so much that they no longer use the Hausa or English versions. In the past, they would prefer to carry the English or Hausa around all the time.
Many who have been using the audio version confessed that before they started using it, they did not know much from the Word of God. But with the use of the Megavoice at home, they are able to now share Christ — share the Word of God — with others. They have been able to understand enough to share with someone. It’s amazing that some of these people have been coming to church for decades, hearing the sermon in Hausa or English. And they’ll put up a smile for the pastor as if they are understanding everything.
We went around with the VMS people to hear from those who are using the Megavoice. One woman we interviewed said before she started using it, her husband was wayward. So when she started using it, she was doing it with just the children at home. Little by little, her husband came to join them. And as he started to listen to the Word of God in their language, his life was transformed. He was no longer wayward. He’s back on track now.
By Jacob Bess, Old Testament translator and project coordinator for the Mwaghavul team in Nigeria. Team members are working to translate and print the Old Testament. They’ll also produce audio versions of the entire Bible, which they hope will provide a catalyst for revival.