Another barrier crossed!
The New Testament is on its way home to Mabaan, South Sudan, via Proclaimer radios containing recordings as spoken by the people of Mabaan in their own language. The precious cargo of God’s Word has been sitting in in a Nairobi hangar operated by AIM Air awaiting a charter flight.
A few years ago a pair of SIM mission partners and a pair of recording technicians from Faith Comes by Hearing boarded a small plane to Mabaan with a single question: “do you want to record the Mabaan New Testament?” Some 26 voices from that community were needed to fill all the people who appear in the New Testament. They were meant to touch ears as though it was a conversation. For a month, the workers listened and recorded the precious Word spoken, lovingly, emphatically, desperately, prophetically. When it was done, it was compacted and stored digitally.
One of the big barriers which SIM workers cross is that of language. And one of the barriers to understanding which people experience is not hearing the Word in their own language.
By the end of last year SIM International had an overwhelming majority of support from partners – unanimous – for its new Mission and Purpose Statement, the first of whose clauses is: • We cross barriers to proclaim the crucified and risen Christ, expressing his love and compassion among those who live and die without Him.” Mission statements can sound like worthy but remote academic lists, until you look for examples of what is actually happening on the ground.
So today, the Mabaan New Testament is sitting in 240 proclaiming radios in boxes waiting for their last leg into South Sudan. Voices will be reunited with their speakers. It’s on its way home, where it belongs, among its people. Our prayer? That people would gather around these little boxes with anticipation, excitement and even curiosity saying, “Speak to me Lord, your servant is listening.”