What would life be like if you had a Bible but couldn’t read it?
Maybe you can’t read, and the words are just scribbles on a page.
Maybe you’re blind, and you can’t see the words.
For you, the Bible is so close, yet the precious Word is out of reach.
Though Tadesse is educated and can read Braille, there was no complete Braille Bible in his language. He depended on someone to read to him.
Blind since birth, 29-year-old Tadesse describes listening to his Talking Bible for the last month as, "being afloat in Scripture." He continues to go deeper in those waters by listening every morning for at least an hour, often reinforcing what he has learned by listening to the same section in the evening.
When he can afford classes, Tadesse is a student at a teacher’s college in his hometown, Sebeta, about 30 kilometers outside of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. His love for learning, and sharing what he has learned has deepened since he began serving as a Bible teacher at the Bartimaeus Blind Association and preaching in his local church.
Before he received a Talking Bible, Tadesse was discouraged and frustrated. He desired to know more about the Bible, but he had to wait until someone could read it to him.
Tadesse adds even his ability to read Braille could not help him. He wanted to compare different books of the Bible, especially the Gospels, but there was not a complete Braille Bible available. His Talking Bible finally made it possible for him to have a personal Bible study.
The new Bible teacher emphasizes the importance of the Talking Bible, saying, “Until I received the Talking Bible, I was completely dependent on sighted people to read the Bible for me, and it was very hard to hear the scriptures at a time that was convenient.”
Holding up his Talking Bible, Tadesse says the discouragement has now changed to hope, “I finally have the Bible in my hand, to use at any time—this is something I never thought I could have.”
As a Bible teacher, Tadesse says listening to the Talking Bible over the last month has helped him grow spiritually, but hearing the Word of God for up to two hours a day has also increased his burden for others to learn from the Bible for themselves.
He goes on to explain that Bartimaeus Blind Association is training Tadesse and other Bible teachers to foster Talking Bible listening groups. Each group is led by a visually impaired leader reaching out to people like themselves.
The leadership training equips the Bible teachers to listen systematically to Scripture with their group. The teacher then asks guiding questions about what the group heard and learned.
The ministry estimates there are 1.2 million blind people, and up to 3 million partially blind people in Ethiopia. Forming Talking Bible listening groups has become part of their plan to reach people with impaired vision.
Tadesse recalls when he was eight years old and a friend shared the good news of Jesus Christ with him. He realized he needed Jesus and surrendered his life to Him. For the last 21 years he has prayed to know more about the Word of God, but never expected to have access like he has now with the Talking Bible.
With a smile Tadesse says, “This is why I thank God for making His Talking Bible available for the blind community and for the people that have made it possible.”
Your support sends God’s Word to the blind so that they can learn and grow, transforming their experience from frustration to freedom! Your support gives non-readers the same access to the Word of God that you enjoy.