Lemar Zacharias was proud to be able to read his Bible in Amharic, his country’s main language. Sometimes he even read the Amharic Bible aloud in the village church, but he couldn’t understand very much of it.
“Before we had the Talking Bible in my own language I read the Amharic Bible, but I could not understand it all,” says the 25-year-old Lemar. “I also realized my wife who is a non-reader and no one around me had ever heard what God has said to us in our own Majangir language, so I was sad.”
In 2010 Lamar received a Talking Bible in his mother tongue of Majangir, and Lemar’s pride changed to brokenness for the 35,000 to 40,000 mostly illiterate Majangir people in the region. In the rural villages of southwest Ethiopia, literacy is estimated to be below 10 percent.
According to Lemar, most of the people of his village prefer and understand Majangir much better than Amharic, which is mostly used as a trade language. He explains, “This Talking Bible has made all Majangir able to receive revelation from God.” Lemar says he gains more by listening in his mother tongue than by reading in Amharic.
Lemar and his wife usually listen to the Talking Bible with their children and then talk about what they heard. Often they invite neighbors to listen with them. Lemar says they often listen late into the evening and end with prayer.
He and the listeners have learned how to live as Jesus desires even if their culture has different views. For example, marriage is an issue with the Majang because men are allowed to have more than one wife.
“I’ve learned everyone should only have his own wife, so I have stayed with mine and never touched another woman because that would be wrong according to what Jesus said,” says Lemar.
As much as he has seen change in himself and in the adults that hear the Talking Bible, the father of four said his he is most excited that his children, ages two to six, are learning about Jesus Christ at a young age as they regularly hear the Talking Bible played in their home.
It is a good thing that his children are learning to honor their mother and father, but he understands that the most important news they will ever hear is that Jesus is the only way to eternal life. “My children have heard that Jesus invites children to come to Him. They know He loves them,” says Lemar.
It is almost impossible for most of the people in Lemar’s area to have access to the words of the Bible without our help. Everything is in place for Talking Bibles to go into many villages in Africa under the care and supervision of someone like Lemar. All we need is for everyone reading this to give a Talking Bible for one village, for one life to eternity.