December 11, 2018
Telling the Whole Story
My name is Louis Van Nes, and I’m a retired missionary with Wycliffe International.
Wycliffe is focused on Bible translation work, but my wife and I were actually part of a community development initiative in Indonesia for many years. One of my projects was convincing the Indonesian government that the health brochures I developed went side by side with the Bible that was being newly translated. I argued that the Bible supports society by teaching respect of authority and not to lie or steal — all things that were good for society. So we were able to distribute the Bible with the permission of the government.
We were first introduced to Global Recordings Network (GRN) when we were in the Philippines, and met two women who were doing recordings there. We found GRN materials to be a perfect complement to the initial foot work that Wycliffe does with translation.
“The Best Introduction for People New to Scripture”
Another important project for my wife and I has been distributing audio Bibles in native languages in South Mexico. In one area alone, there’s about 120–150 languages spoken. Many of these people do not understand any Spanish. We also started to come across blind people, which added an extra challenge to communicating. So much of what we understand, we understand because we connect with someone’s eyes.
Many of the people we met had already heard of the books of the Bible, but they did not quite understand it and had trouble fitting it all together. Until GRN’s Good News recordings came through.
What we so often take for granted because we have grown up with the Bible is that we know where Matthew fits in, and then Mark, Luke, and John. Unless you grow up with the New Testament, you don’t really know what to look for.
The Good News recordings begin with Genesis and weave the whole story of Jesus together. The GRN script focuses on the book of John, connecting that Jesus is God who created and controls all. The GRN Good News program is the best introduction for people new to Scripture.
Understanding the Whole Picture
One blind woman in Mexico told us, “It’s such a blessing for me to hear the Good News story.” Because she finally realized how the Bible fits together and where it was going right from the start.
Many people start to listen to Matthew because it’s the first book of the New Testament. But for a person trying to make sense out of the Bible, why start with Matthew? Why don’t you start with John and GRN’s Good News?
You have to agree that if we listened to it for the first time today, we most likely wouldn’t get much out of it unless somebody really explains it. GRN’s Good News program does that for those hearing the Bible for the first time.
For them, the GRN Good News program is like a trunk or an opening — an opening page of the whole Scripture, not just focusing on the particulars of Matthew, Mark, or Luke, which can overwhelm you at first.
More than a Recordings Network
It’s no secret what a gift GRN recordings have been to ministries all around the world. But their resources include important visual aids, too.
Just recently, my wife and I visited the GRN office in Temecula to pick up 500 brochures in heavy card stock with all the pictures from the Good News program. These 40 illustrations help set the stage for children and parents alike who are hearing the story of Jesus for the first time. The people who receive these materials can often repeat the story of Jesus just from the pictures.
On our next trip to Mexico, we will deliver these to a church planter and evangelist who trains seven to eight students for a year in evangelism. These students will practice evangelistic outreach using these materials.
The Good News pictures and recordings are also given to other pastors in Mexico to distribute to indigenous workers. The pastors follow up with these workers to support them on their faith journeys.
With your help, we can equip ministries as large as Wycliffe, missionaries on a mission alone, and many Christian initiatives in between. Will you please add Global Recordings Network to your Christmas gift list this year and give generously to help us continue providing audio and visual resources? Thank you for coming alongside us as we work to tell the story of Jesus in every language.