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07 August 2018

Solar-powered audio Bibles spread gospel to hard-to-reach groups around the world

Solar-powered audio Bibles spread gospel to hard-to-reach groups around the world

A simple device called the Navigator is revolutionising mission work in some of the remote and hardest-to-reach places on earth. Leading The Way has distributed more than 120,000 of these solar-powered audio Bibles in dozens of languages. For each device distributed, roughly 10 people have the opportunity to hear the gospel.

The Christian organisation says it's an effective tool because it's solar-powered, durable and easy to conceal, which makes it perfect for getting into remote regions with no electricity or radio signals, areas with high illiteracy rates, and closed countries where it is illegal to own a Bible.

After Leading The Way's follow-up team distributed one of their Navigator audio Bibles to Fadhil*, a blind Iraqi refugee, the team was astonished to later discover that he used it to memorize 87 chapters from the Bible. Every day in his modest home in Jordan, Fadhil holds this device in his hand and soaks up the scriptures. He says, "When I got this Navigator, I cried like a baby. I listened from sunrise to sunset. My wife said, 'You didn't have lunch or dinner.' I said, 'I'm having the word of God.'"

Several Leading The Way partners found it extremely humbling to visit Fadhil in his home while he recited scripture after scripture: "It was convicting, because for us we memorise a couple of verses. But he memorised chapters. He just meditates on scriptures day in and day out," says partner David Bottoms. Partner Ron Hughes added: "The vision of Leading The Way through the Navigator is changing hearts, changing minds, and glorifying God on the ground, in a part of the world that is starving for God's love."

One Navigator distribution partner added that he is seeing a remarkable response among Muslims in South Sudan: "The Navigators have been a huge blessing and played an integral part in spreading the good news to Muslim people. With the help of the Navigator, our team led 47 Muslims to Christ."

These 'pocket missionaries' are also helping to pioneer entire church-planting movements in some of the most restricted regions of the world. Erina, a church planter among the travelling community, shares how these devices are helping them to see incredible fruit in planting a new church among the unreached in Albania: "We are starting to see fruit in the unreached Roma community where we have been working for the last two and a half years. This is a completely unreached people group.

"This spring, we did a project for one the poorest families in the community. The father of the family had just died. We were able to share the hope that we have in Jesus with them at this incredibly difficult time, and they were very receptive. We gave the mum an audio Bible because she is illiterate. She loved listening to it. We were able to get the daughter an audio Bible of her own as well. The mother told us, 'I'm so thankful to know God and hear His voice every day through this blessed device.'"

Unreached people in Kosovo are also hearing the gospel through the Navigator. Flora*, a missionary in the region, explains: "We are working with a group of gypsies in Kosovo. They live in shacks and have no electricity at home. They are illiterate and the audio Bibles are the only way for them to hear the word of God. We meet regularly twice a week to discuss what they have heard. This is the first time they are listening to the Bible.

"Before having the Navigators they had to learn the Bible verses by heart because they do not know how to write or read. I can say that in three months they have had the Bible and messages from Leading The Way's founder and president, Dr Michael Youssef, they have learned more than in the three years of working with them trying to teach them the Bible. Thank you for helping us to expand the kingdom of God in this very dark part of the world."

Dr Youssef reflects on the global impact of these solar-powered devices: "From India to Indonesia and across Africa, there are many villages where people will sit around a tree and listen to these Navigators while they hang on a branch. They will worship and bring their non-believing neighbours to sit with them. I'm so thrilled at what God is doing. Many are coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through the Navigator – even in the most desperate, war-torn, and remote areas of this world."

*Names have been changed for their protection.

To find out more visit Leading The Way.

This article has been written by freelance journalist Peter Wooding.