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Taking Audio Bibles To Remote PNG Region

by | Thu, Feb 29 2024

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An audio Bible project is aiming to reach 40,000 people in 50 villages in the remote East Sepik province of northern Papua New Guinea. Bible Society Australia and MegaVoice Australia are working on the project in partnership with the Living Child Inc. charity.

The charity seeks to reduce the maternal and infant death-rate by providing training, visual teaching aids and birthing kits to midwives and village birth attendants working in the Keram River region where women and babies have been dying at an alarming rate. It also seeks to spread the Gospel.

Local villagers had hardly any access to health services until Perth midwife Sara David visited the remote village of Yamen and after listening to the stories of the women and village birth attendants, was deeply moved to make a difference. In March 2013, with the support of family and friends, she started up Living Child Inc. Since then, several volunteer nurses, midwives and first aid trainers have joined her operation to bring new hope to the lives of young families.

Living Child Inc. has been working with the Melanesian Evangelical Churches of Christ (MECOC) to support frontline maternity health workers, as well as provide a boat and motor for transport. Ms. David recalled: “When I first went to one village eleven years ago, the older women came up to me and told me that God had sent me to their village and that they had been praying and asking Him to help them.”

The charity has helped bring God’s Word to villagers in their own language — Tok Pisin pidgin. “Bibles are expensive in PNG, and they can only get them from the town, which is three to five hours drive away. Having an audio Bible helps the people have access to the Word, in their language. I’m excited to see the impact of having an audio Bible in every household,” Sara David explained to the Bible Society which writes that MegaVoice’s audio Bible devices are uniquely suitable to the Open The Bible program.

Ms. David observed that as more local churches receive audio Bibles, those churches grow. Through the work of Living Child Inc. residents of five villages are receiving God’s word in their own language. The goal is to give each of the 1,000 households in these villages access to the audio Bible along with the health training material. MECOC has 125 churches in the Ramu and Keram River areas.

The Bible Society reports that: “Since the program started in the villages, church leaders have observed that the mothers are getting together every week to pray together and that they are attending church. As a result, the men of the villages are following the mothers to church.”

Photo: Bible Society Australia