It’s hot outside, stifling inside. It starts to rain. As sweat drips in your eyes the sound of the raindrops on the tin roof becomes a thundering crescendo.
And work stops for the day.
That is, if the work is recording the translated New Testament and you’re an LBT missionary working in less than ideal conditions.
Scripture recordings are often done on site in make-shift recording booths. Sound-proofing is minimal at best. Mattresses and foam may be utilized. Not only rain, but roosters, cow bells, barking dogs, and squeaky chairs can interrupt the recording.
So why attempt to record in these circumstances?
The goal of audio Scripture is to provide people with a recording that accurately and meaningfully communicates God’s message. That can only be done if the recording is created using their heart language. And who can better give voice to the many Biblical figures – Jesus, Peter, Paul – with the correct pronunciation, inflection, and emotion than speakers of that language?
Since such speakers are found within the communities where the language is prevalent, recordings are often made in out-of-the way places.
That’s not to say the audio recordings are unprofessional. Quite the opposite. Missionaries with training in vernacular media organize and oversee the project. This includes auditioning readers, recording the parts, re-recording when errors are found, organizing and assembling the chapters, and seeing the project through to final approval.
All of this requires the involvement of the local community – those who read the various parts, those who review completed portions, those who help set up the equipment, others who provide meals or chase noisy chickens away.
Audio Scripture is a powerful way to share God’s Word, especially among those who cannot – and may never learn – to read. Thanks to the commitment, innovation, and perseverance of all involved, more and more people are able to hear Scripture as read by those who understand and speak their language clearly and naturally. Rain, roosters, and cow bells are but temporary distractions.
To learn more about LBT’s audio projects and the impact of audio Scripture, visit Acts 2:11.