Pastor Kala is a part time professor, a well-known apologist for the Christian faith, and is able to discuss the Bible fluently in multiple Indian languages. He is also the only literate person among the more than 500 people making up the three churches he pastors in cities on India’s Bay of Bengal.
The people in Pastor Kala’s churches belong to a low caste and earn their living as fishermen. Two years ago, the community received 75 Talking Bibles. Pastor Kala admits his education did not prepare him for the church growth that resulted. He says, “The Talking Bible allows us to reach people that otherwise we could not reach with the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
According to Pastor Kala, Talking Bibles has become a reliable source of truth for the people who are not able to read for themselves. “These people do not trust the idol worship they grew up with,” he explains, “but they have been told so many lies about Jesus Christ they will not follow Him because they believe He is a foreign god.”
When he plays the Talking Bible for the fishermen and their families, it opens their hearts. “We search where groups of unbelievers are gathered—I simply play the Talking Bible for them. They want to hear more,” Pastor Kala observes.
When the Telugu people hear the Word of God in their own language, they trust the authority of the Talking Bible. Pastor Kala says, “They desire to discuss what they are learning, especially about who Jesus Christ is.” Standing among fishermen who came to faith when they heard a Talking Bible, the pastor continues, “Once they begin to ask questions, we also ask them if they want to begin a listening group. Most of them will leave behind their idol worship and become followers of Jesus Christ.”
As the unbelievers turn from idol worship, the pastor organizes the listening groups into cell groups. These are based around listening through the Talking Bible so that the people can grow in their faith. Pastor Kala says the cell groups usually grow and split into more groups.
While the pastor says he originally thought of the Talking Bibles as tools for outreach among the illiterate, he adds that his Talking Bible has also been a great tool for his own growth. As he travels between his three churches, he uses earphones to listen to the Word of God. This helps him to identify with the people he ministers to.
Pastor Kala says he uses a Talking Bible to show his students the importance of hearing God’s Word as a new way of studying, and a way of bringing Jesus Christ to people who cannot read. He is praying for more Talking Bibles to grow and multiply the listening groups with the help of a new generation of pastors.