God’s Word proclaimed among oral communities in the South
There is nothing like reading God’s Word, for He tells us about Himself through the pages of the Bible.
For some communities in southern Luzon, they testify that listening to Scriptures is just as powerful and does wonders in changing people’s lives.
Filomeno T. Abistado, 29 years old | Guinanyangan, Quezon | Fisherman
Filomeno is a hardworking man who loves drinking with his buddies. For him, going to church is pointless. Why would he care about other people anyway? If someone slighted him, why should he forgive them?
But when he started attending a Bible Listening Group (BLG) and heard the Bible out loud in Tagalog, he realized his need to change.
A fisherman by trade, Filomeno is grateful for the faithful work of his BLG leader whom he likens to a good fisherman. “He took patience in inviting me, teaching me, and seeing through change in my life.” This BLG leader had gained a good catch, so to speak, in his attendees.
So Filomeno started to attend the BLG regularly. One day, he stood up and told his drinking buddies that he could no longer keep his old lifestyle as it is in conflict with his desire to please God. How indeed could he stay a drunkard if it dishonors Him?
As God continues to transform Filomeno’s heart, others are bound to be blessed by the good fruit. Filomeno noticed that his way of thinking has changed, especially when it comes to forgiving others. He is now convinced that he could forgive people who slight him because God has forgiven him for his many sins.
His neighbors may not know it yet but they will soon see that a lamp has begun to shine in their small community — a life changed for God’s glory.
Mercelyn Napoles, 34 years old | Salcedo Daet, Camarines Norte | Housewife
Mercelyn did not know that listening to Matthew 7:19 would change her life forever. “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
She used to be tactless and often offended her neighbors. Her relationship with her relatives was also very unpleasant. But this Bible passage convicted her and resounded in her being.
She continued attending the BLG and the Gospel of Matthew spoke to her powerfully like never before: “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”
Realizing that her sins were awful and destructive, Mercelyn reached the end of her arrogance. Finding herself broken over her sins, she did what she never imagined she would ever do: she decided to approach the people whom she hurt and ask for their forgiveness.
On this breakthrough of humility in her life, she confesses, “The Proclaimer paved the way for me to hear God’s message on asking forgiveness and being forgiven.”
Mercelyn now lives a fuller, joyful life because she has accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. She has been attending weekly Sundayworship and has been reading her Bible daily. She is now learning from God’s Word at her own time and pace.
As she keeps on walking with God and obeying His Word, she finds also day by day the blessing of a growing relationship with her neighbors and family.
God’s Word is being sown in provinces in the form of Bible Listening Groups who listen to portable audio Bibles called Proclaimers. These Proclaimers are available in our major and minor languages in the Philippines.
Through this ministry of Faith Comes By Hearing, God’s Word is heard near the fields of our hardworking farmers, in remote shores of our islands, and even in simple communities without access to TV or Internet. Pray that in more corners of our country, God’s Word would be heard and impact more and more lives.