2014 October 20
Dear friends and family,
We would like to share a brief summary of our audio evangelism project for those of you who have recently joined our newsletter list.
Most of us come from a literate culture, a culture where most people know how to read and write. If we want to know more about something, we buy a book on the topic or borrow one from the library. Or we just do an Internet search and then read all about it. We read. We study. We encourage others to read and study.
As Seventh-day Adventists, we believe some things that are different from what the majority of others believe. When asked about our beliefs, we often encourage people to read the Bible for themselves and to research what the Bible says. The Bible is our authority, not what one person or what one church teaches.
But now imagine living in a country where around 65%-75% of the population cannot read or write their own language! Most of the people who read and write are in the bigger cities, leaving a higher percentage of illiterate people in the rural areas. If you wanted to know more about something, how would you research it out if you couldn't read? If the preacher preached a sermon and you had a question, how would you verify the truth of his message if you couldn't read the Bible?
Of course, the best solution is to learn how to read. But since most people do not learn how to read, they necessarily rely on what others say and teach as truth. A book is easy to leave with somebody, but it does not speak. To somebody who does not know how to read, a book is of no more value than a brick. That is, unless somebody else can read to them.
One part of Desert Tree Ministry is to try to share the Word of God with the illiterate. We have collected audio of the New Testament from the Internet and various other sources and have distributed them on little solar-powered mp3 players. So far, we have distributed around 60 of them. They are extremely popular and are often passed around and used and used until they are literally worn out.
Recently God has provided enough donations to purchase about 100 solar mp3 players (around $30 each). We just got the first shipment of these new and improved models and plan to begin distributing them soon. See the pictures attached to this email for an example of what they look like. Dozens of people want these players, and we get requests for them all the time. We simply have no way to supply all the demand.
Our solution for now is to stock our library with enough mp3 players to loan out on a rotating basis, one week at a time. That way even if there are not enough players to go around, a person on the list can borrow one at least every two or three weeks. (Read more about our library in the next newsletter.)
Unfortunately, due to our busy schedule, we have not yet begun recording Bible stories for use with the players. But we hope to do that soon so that children and adults can have more access to God's Word. Please pray that God will provide a good reader or two who can read and speak French fluently.
Of course, it is impossible to buy an mp3 player for every person who cannot read. But God's Word is making a real and practical difference among the few who do have access to a player. If you are interested in helping those who cannot read to hear the Word of God in their language, consider making a donation toward this project. Here are a few of the needs:
additional solar mp3 players ($30 each)
5 solar speakers for larger crowds ($26 each)
pay for Bible story readers ($3/day)
If you would like to help with a donation by check or money order, make
it payable to: Outpost Centers International
For: OCI's work at Desert Tree Ministry
and send it to the following address:
Outpost Centers International
5132 Layton Lane
Apison, TN 37302
Or, you may donate online through Outpost Centers International at http://www.outpostcenters.org/donate. Remember to mark your donation online "OCI's work at Desert Tree Ministry" Thank you!
In His service,
Jonathan and Melody and Gideon Dietrich