The Talk Place - Alex Shaw

Blogs with inside information and personal opinions from GRN members around the world

Promotion encouragements

Alex Shaw - Wednesday 20 July 2016

We do not only have opportunities to share about the ministry of GRN in churches but also in other group meetings. At one home in the middle of the week our hosts had invited a number of friends to come for lunch and to hear about the ministry of GRN.
After the presentation and chatting over lunch one man came and was asking many questions about the work and how God is using it to spread the Gospel to the least reached people groups of the world. Then he asked this question, which I could not really answer, "I have been interested in mission work for a long time. I have been praying for many missionaries and missions. How come I have never heard of this vital, marvelous ministry until today?" He was a man in his early 80s. He asked then and there to have his name added to the mailing list to receive the GRN publications, "Every Language" and the prayer sheet "Rejoice."
May I encourage you to receive these publications by email. Just get in touch with GRN at our email address You can also receive the prayer item for the day of the GRN Mobile Phone Prayer App, "Pray". You can have this come up on your phone each day around the time you normally have your devotions. Thanks for your encouragement and prayers.

Promotion encouragements

Alex Shaw - Wednesday 20 July 2016

I want to give thanks to the Lord for going before Sybil and I on our recent GRN promotion trip to Queensland. It was a real encouragement to meet a man from Iran who was able to help us with a review of the recordings in his language. He was quite excited to hear it and that it was so good and clear in its presentation of the Gospel message.
At another meeting it was good to meet a man who was one of the first staff members of the mission way back in the early 50s and he is still praying for and supporting the ministry of GRN.

Unexpected request:

Alex Shaw - Wednesday 11 May 2016

From Margaret:
After getting to Yirrkala in Arnhemland, I found that my plans to return to Elcho were to be changed. I had a number of Yolŋu ring to see if I could continue travelling on to Ramingining for the quarterly Church Area meetings on last weekend. So without going home to unpack, I stayed for the half an hour stop at Elcho Island’s airport, before MAF was carrying me on further westward to Ramingining. The focussed of the meetings was to be about the Bible translation work. Representatives came to the meetings from all of the Yolŋu Uniting churches of north East Arnhem. One of the ladies representing the Yirrkala church was Vanessa, a 'MAF wife’. Her husband is a aircraft engineer, from PNG. The meetings were full of reconnection times for me, so when I sat with Vanessa, there was much to share, but what she said startled me… "I have come to this meeting so you could tell me about 5fish! Have been so blessed to see my PNG dialect/language with these Bible stories, but I can also find my husbands language on it! I can’t wait to get home to share it with him!"

Now primarily, my volunteer time in Sydney with GRN was to work on Yolŋu languages, but I was surprised to see the LORD has been blessing many others, far beyond what I had expected!

A 5fish Tamil story

Alex Shaw - Wednesday 11 May 2016

From Margaret:
At Caloundra, I met up with some old friends for a couple of days holidays. One friend is married to a Sri Lankan Tamil, and you can guess what... as the conversation swung around to what I had been doing in Sydney, … out came the mobile phones and the 5fish app. Together we searched for Tamil as an example, and my friend's husband was delighted. (Now to say he was delighted is something very special, as he has been getting confused about what to believe. Only last year he admitted to me that he thought he was an atheist!) Well he acknowledged that reading the Tamil scriptures just hasn't worked for him, but after sampling one of the recordings on 5fish, he said that listening to these stories on 5fish was something he was looking forward to!

Mandarin 5fish

Alex Shaw - Wednesday 11 May 2016

From Margaret:
Holly and daughter Candy(~7y old) a small Mandarin family attending CKB church for the past 8 months.
Holly is very happy being a part of this same church where her daughter is loving the children’s program. Candy has made friends and no longer feels a stranger there. Her mum came to Australia to do HR work for a Chinese Company in Sydney. We sat together in the second session of the weekend's Easter Church Conference. I was so encouraged by a previous response after the first session, that I jumped straight in to talk with Holly about her home, country and language. I asked her if she had a Mandarin Bible and found she was already familiar with the various mobile apps for reading Mandarin scriptures. Then I asked her if she had heard of 5fish. She quickly pulled out her mobile and asked me to show her how it worked. Her mobile had a better connection than mine, so we went from there to download the app and trial out Mandarin. There were so many Chinese varieties, that initially she went to listen to a Chinese Mandarin dialect that wasn’t hers. She laughed and said: "I don’t understand this language!" We returned to find the ‘nest of Mandarin’ dialect options under ‘M’ (rather than ‘C’ for Chinese) and she was amazed at the range. She just about lept out of the chair with excitement to find her own dialect there. She downloaded a sample and shared how this could really fill a need in sharing the Bible Stories with her daughter Candy.

5fish for a Nepali

Alex Shaw - Wednesday 11 May 2016

From Margaret:
A Young Nepali women living near Arncliffe, Sydney, has been going to a small local CKB church since December.
I joined this same church for their Easter celebrations, to find this young woman sitting beside me. She was alone and expressed after the service that she was not finding it easy in Australia, but happy to be at church. She is looking for spiritual encouragement. I asked her if she had any Nepali scriptures and suggested she could try getting them on her mobile phone. She quickly pulled it out and we set her up together with 5fish. She was ecstatic to find her own Nepali dialect there! I felt like I had offered her a family friend in this new land, that can share the gospel with her through 5fish. She was also keen to get Nepali text on her mobile too.

Service to Churches

Alex Shaw - Wednesday 16 March 2016

This is the text of an email received recently.

"Unexpectedly I was asked to give a testimony at the youth group in our church. It occurred to me that there could be an opportunity to challenge them to be involved in cross cultural evangelism. I thought of the 5fish cards as an easy way for them to begin.
As for me I like to use those sort of things when I meet with people on my train travels into the city.
In this way, GRN is meeting the needs of the churches - giving something back to the churches - a tool that they can use in cross cultural outreach. It is a highly commendable gift.
Well done GRN.

In Bangladesh

Alex Shaw - Tuesday 23 February 2016

A friend sent this message. "In Bangladesh we are sharing with tribal groups, Bawm and some others. They want to express their thanks for the 5fish programs. They remember you when many years ago you gave them the handwind player. They had lost connection to the recordings but now with 5fish they have found it again. We are demonstrating the 5fish in the local Christian school and encouraging them to use the device. I thought you should know how they love these recordings."

Filling up with Fuel

Alex Shaw - Monday 08 February 2016

The other day I was purchasing petrol. When I went to pay I noticed the name on the attendents badge was a name I had not heard before so I asked about its origin. He said that it was Turkish but he was Egyptian and had never been to Turkey.

My next question was, which language do you speak. He said it was Coptic Arabic. Looking on the 5fish app we found Arabic Egyptian with reference to it being colloquial Arabic. So I downloaded it to my phone and played it. A big smile broke over his face with the explanation, "That's it, that's my language." I asked him if he had a mobile phone to which he responded that he did so I gave him a 5fish calling card and showed him that he could go to the APP store and download the app and then the recording to his phone.

His next comment was interesting. Still with his big grin and excitement in his voice he said, "You have been a very good friend to me today. I look forward to seeing you next time."