Dear Friend of Eurasia,
“Why would you wait 2,000 years to tell me this story?” The man from India, who had just heard the gospel for the first time, demanded an answer.
Brokenhearted, the AGWM worker tried to explain that this was the first time he had been able to locate the Indian man’s village, nestled high in the mountains of northern India. He and the rest of his team searched for months to find this village!
Their purpose? To distribute MP3 players containing audio Bibles in the native languages of isolated Indian people groups, giving them their first exposure to the name of Jesus.
The village that had never heard the gospel message is in a region of India that is home to 250,000 people—all Buddhists. Together they form an unreached people group, but they live scattered in small tribes separated by mountain passes.
These destitute, hardworking people tend yak and grow barley in rocky soil, working the land for three seasons out of the year. The people rest only in winter, when frigid temperatures freeze the ground and prevent much outdoor work. Thus, the coldest season of the year is when our teams trek to reach the mountain people.
A team member explains: “Walking on frozen rivers is the only way to reach the villages. If the air gets warmer and water starts flowing, we climb mountainsides, sometimes scaling mountain passes up to 18,000 feet. If you fall off one of the trails, you’re dead. We risk our lives going to these places.”
If the shepherd in Luke 15 left ninety-nine sheep to find the one, surely 250,000 unreached Indian people are worth our every effort!
God has given our teams incredible favor with the Indian people. Recently, one young boy was so excited to receive the gift of an MP3 that he took our team members by the hand and introduced them to all the other villagers, and each family received an MP3!
Most families hang the MP3 in the middle of their mud hut so its words can be heard throughout the house. Our team revisited a village this year and saw a woman with the MP3 tied to her waist as she harvested barley! These $25 MP3 players are solar-powered and military-grade, able to withstand harsh temperatures.
Still, the Indian people face persecution from Buddhists if they express interest in Christianity. Some people reject the MP3 players out of fear, but many more accept. One of the Indian trekking guides is a Buddhist who has been introduced to Jesus through the MP3 audio Bibles. In the trekking off-season, he returns to his village and listens to his MP3 every day.
Another Indian man ran away from a Buddhist monastery to become a believer, but later the monks found him and beat him. Still, he has not given up his conviction to follow Christ, and he remains connected with our teams, trusting the Lord for protection.
One $25 MP3 audio Bible has the power to change the life of a person—or of an entire village!
Our team once walked on a frozen river for days until they found one person—an elderly man. They gave him an MP3, introduced the man to Jesus, and prayed with him. Months later they were able to relocate his village, and they searched for the man. Villagers told them that
he had died only weeks before. His family was so touched that our team trekked that far over dangerous terrain for one person.
The MP3 players also reach cities beyond India’s mountain villages. Lacking infrastructure, these villages do not have schools, so parents send their children to nearby cities for education, and children often do not return because of economic opportunities. Our team was with a family when they sent their son off and gave him an MP3. The team watched as the young boy said goodbye and walked into the distance, all the while listening to the MP3. At a pivotal time, the MP3 player was a voice of guidance in the boy’s life.
As the team was leaving another village, a child, MP3 in hand, ran up to them asking for one more. He was on the verge of tears. Our team asked him why he wanted another. “For my grandfather,” he cried. “He’s never heard this story and he must hear it.”
When I asked a team member on the ground about the urgency of these treks, he answered without hesitation: “This is the most urgent situation ever. The elderly people in these villages are dying without ever hearing the gospel message. They never learned to read, but they can listen, so we give them the MP3 players. Now they know what Name they can cry out for.”
Will you believe with us that the MP3 players can reach hundreds of thousands of India’s mountain people? One $25 MP3 audio Bible can touch an entire village with the gospel message.
Please pray about making a year-end gift that will impact one of India’s unreached people groups for eternity.