As I traveled across the length and breadth of Africa interacting with Bible translation Agencies, I got to know that millions of people cannot read. I went to several villages and cities and I felt passionately about the spiritual needs of those who could not read.
Despite the success of the Bible translation projects and other programs in the field, illiteracy remains a problem in Africa, especially in the poorer countries. One of the language group leaders in West Africa said “If a bible is translated and the bible is not recorded in audio, it has limitation. In some cases, it has no value. In Africa, many cannot read or do not read even if they can. Whenever a bible is translated, dedicated and launched, many people come to buy and thousands of the bible are distributed. These people who buy these bibles go and place it in their wardrobe or in bags. The reason is that they see the Bible as a powerful object that is very spiritual because they cannot read.’’
A huge percentage of the world’s people are oral communicators to some extent. Even those who are highly literate and ‘print-focused’ can still learn from oral teaching techniques.
I began to look out for ways or mediums to meet the spiritual need of the people group I met in different towns and villages in some African countries. I partnered with a Mission organization in Guinea to record 50 chapters of Genesis in audio format. It is one of the languages and dialects of the southeastern Manding subgroup of the Mande branch of the Niger-Congo languages. Over 98% of the people group are Muslim. When we distributed the audio bible to them on SD cards and on audio players, they said ‘’We can now hear God’s Word in our heart language. We are familiar with these Bible stories because it is in the Quran. This is good news to us. God speaks our language’’
The testimonies from the people group and the vision to transform lives in every language with God Word using audio-visual materials gave birth to Vineyard Media &Training Services.
I have seen the impact of God’s Word when it is in someone’s heart language. When God’s Word is in a foreign tongue, it can come across as a foreign religion – someone else’s beliefs, someone else’s God. When God is able to speak in the heart language of someone, it moves them from an intellectual knowledge about who God is to the ability to have a relationship with Him.
As you go through this site, it is my prayer that you will be motivated to join hands with us to serve the people of God together in Africa by providing audio-visual scriptures in their mother tongue.