When Sue Barnes, Canadian Recordist, was based in Kenya, she travelled to some very remote areas to record the Gospel of Salvation for tribal groups who may otherwise never hear of Christ in their own language. She writes...
"I had the privilege of recording in several languages of Ethiopia. The trip held some new challenges for me, one of which was having to use an interpreter the whole trip, as I could not communicate in Amharic, the main language of Ethiopia. However God gave me some very special Ethiopian Christians to work with. Many of the language groups had no previous recordings and very little teaching material. There were very few Christians among them.
"One of these groups was the DAASANECH. For a few years I have been wanting to do these recordings so it was exciting to see God finally open the door. I travelled with an interpreter by small plane from Addis Ababa to the Omo River where SIM is working. They are helping the people by building windmills along the river to pump water to their crops. Before SIM went there, the people had only one crop of sorghum, but now the river banks are lush and green with many new crops. The Daasanech number 30-40,000. About 90% of them live in Ethiopia and some in Kenya. They are pastoralists and semi-nomadic with traditional animistic beliefs. They believe in one God but Jesus as the Son of God is a more difficult concept for them. They have no awareness of sin and very few are 'born again' Christians.
"God gave us two special young men to work with. They had a good Biblical background and were familiar with many of the stories we were recording which was a real blessing.
"The LRI 'Good News' commentary had been recorded a few years ago. At the house of two Ethiopian evangelists, the people gathered day and night wanting to hear the taped stories from the Bible in their own language, over and over again. We were able to attend a church service where the 'Good News' picture book was being used in connection with a symbol system that had been developed to teach the story of creation. Very few Daasanech are literate and on that morning the evangelists were teaching the people how to write the symbols with a stick in the sand. What a special look on their faces when they got it just like the picture and could explain what it meant. Further Bible teaching has been very limited but next month (May), when the four new tapes which we were able to record (in the Look, Listen and Live series) are ready, they will be able to learn more."
Sue also recorded the commentary for 'The Living Christ' picture series in the BANNA language, and made other recordings in the AWIGNA (which had only one Gospel message recorded in the 1940's), GUMUZ, BENCH, ME'EN, ERBORE and BORANA: Oromo languages.