“I saved up the money I earned selling vegetables and bought one. Now I go to sleep every night with it playing on my chest,” Naomi told translator Mack Graham about the power of the AudiBible in her language. She smiled as she continued, “We listen to it as a family. It has changed us so that we no longer gossip, speak evil of others, or steal.”
Naomi’s adult daughter has also experienced the impact of the audio players, which contain the New Testament in her heart language, Kandawo. After her husband left her, Felicia assumed the responsibility of feeding, clothing, and educating their two grade-school children. She testified, “I face worries, heavy problems, and insults, but the AudiBible told me that if I humble myself under God’s mighty hand he will lift me up. So I came to the Lord and he lightened my load and gave me joy.” Later Felicia broke into tears, begging Mack to understand how much God’s word in the AudiBible has changed her life.
Mack heard these testimonies when hiking with his co-translators through the villages scattered along the Jimi River selling the audio players. The team started at the upper part of the river, and by the time they arrived at the people living along the lower section, they had completely sold out. Disappointed, the people admonished them, “On your next trip, start at the lower end of the river and go upstream so we can have the first opportunity to buy them.”
The AudiBible is piguing the interest of the Kandawo speakers and preparing the way for the arrival of the printed New Testament in April 2015. Its completion is the result of faithfulness in translation through more than thirty years of trials, struggles and very limited interest on the part of the people. Yet Mack and his wife Doris are hopeful that a time of refreshing is now coming. Doris explained, “The AudiBible is wetting the ground, making the soil soft so that they will be ready to receive the written word when it comes.”
(Kandawo names have been changed.)