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by Christine Platt, CEO Australia
Tough and courageous with a great love for God and their neighbours! It is a great privilege to serve alongside so many of our GRN workers who often make me feel soft.
My brothers in a nation with few Christians regularly set out in their vehicle laden with GRN flipcharts, tracts and Bibles, CDs and DVDs in the local dialects. They drive for hours on terrible roads and often find themselves walking and carrying the materials for hours once the road ends.
When they arrive, they construct their display tent and distribute Good News to the people in their own dialects at the church or Christian festival they are visiting. They will often sleep on the ground in the display tent and eat with the people they are visiting. They take the opportunity to share their faith with the people. They evaluate the recordings to check their quality and the fitness of the message. They ask questions to see if there are other dialects spoken in the area that need recordings.
The guys get excited when they discover an unknown dialect and delight to learn more of the linguistic and cultural diversity of their country. They seek out potential language helpers to assist them in selecting scripts, doing the translation work and speaking in the recordings.
As they evaluate the recordings they might discover that the speaker is not a native speaker of the language or has used words foreign to the language and have to decide if it is necessary to redo the recording. They might be reassured that the recording is good and message relevant. Research and evaluation like this are ongoing and vital to providing good quality recordings that introduce people to Jesus Christ.
While they are on the road the team visits different churches and missionaries. They are not fussy. They will provide GRN resources to all Christian denominations and organisations. Christian workers are generally overjoyed to receive resources they can use in their evangelism and teaching.
Due to political instability we have been unable to provide training to the recordists in this country for several years. Recently we sent Graham, a technical support person, to provide training and help to sort out problems with their equipment. Despite protests in the city, transport strikes, and power and internet outages, Graham has trained the recordists in the use of a new recorder and sorted out several technical problems. We are thankful to have achieved this after many years of trying.
This is a nation where recordings must be voice disguised to protect the speaker. It is a place where those who respond to the Gospel with repentance and faith can find themselves ostracised by their family and community - if not in danger of their lives. Yet my brothers in this place so love the Lord Jesus and so love their neighbours that they are willing to suffer much discomfort and even to risk their lives in order to bring Good News to the lost. "How beautiful are the feet of him who brings good news" (Romans 10:15).