A helping hand, a kind word, and a friendly smile: that’s Rauvarai.
When Alex and Lois Vincent lived in Suwaira Village from the late 1950’s onward, they made many friends among the Tairora people. One of these was Rauvarai, who they knew for the last 15 years of their time in Suwaira. They were impressed by his perseverance in walking uphill though he needed a cane to navigate the uneven road. He usually arrived with an agenda, such as asking a question about a Bible passage so he could understand it more clearly before teaching it to others.
Sadly, in 1997, Rauvarai incurred an illness that left him permanently blind. Even though he cannot see any longer, he trusts God and continues teaching to the children in his community. He enjoys listening to preaching, but cannot read God’s Word for himself.
In early September, he and his daughter came to the Ukarumpa Training Centre to join hundreds of others in celebrating the dedication of the Tairora AudiBible. Now God’s Word in audio format is available to all Tairora speakers. The raised circles on the front of the audio player make it easy for Rauvarai to manipulate. His wrinkled fingers quickly find the button for turning on the recording of the Tairora Scriptures, forwarding to a new chapter or book of the Bible, or playing one of the Tairora Scripture songs that are also on the AudiBible.
Rauvarai no longer needs to ask others to read God’s Word for him. His face alight with a smile, he exclaimed, “Now the children and I can listen together to God’s Word being read aloud on the AudiBible!”
When Alex and Lois said goodbye to their village friends for the last time before retiring in the US, Rauvarai gave them a verse of assurance: “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and will carry you; I will sustain you and rescue you” (Isaiah 46:4). Every day Alex, Lois, and Rauvarai find this promise to be true.