Pakistan has experienced a drought of God’s Word… but it is soon about to rain!
China stops exports of bibles to the country. Pakistan turns away imports of Bibles from South Korea. Urdu is Pakistan’s national language, but the Urdu version used in India is antiquated and has several errors in vocabulary and grammar. Yet our church planting partners in Pakistan urgently request more Bibles. How is God answering their prayer? He is doing something that has never been done before in history: Pakistani Christians themselves, spearheaded by FMI, are producing Scripture in traditional print and versatile digital formats inside the country!
After teams of translators verified the accuracy for a new easy-to-read Urdu printing of the Bible, the next challenges were finding a publisher in the country (where 97.5% of the population is Muslim) who would be willing to print the Bible, and then also finding a supplier who could provide ultra-thin paper to keep Bibles as lightweight and compact as possible. When there has been little to no local demand for such paper previously, finding a supplier was truly providential.
Even though the upcoming print version of the Bible is designed to be easy to read, audio versions of Scriptural content are still needed in a country in which large swaths of the population are illiterate. Officially, less than 60% of the population over the age of 15 years old are literate. However, it must be understood that literacy in Pakistan is only defined as the ability to read and write one’s own name; that certainly does not mean someone can read or comprehend a paragraph. So, FMI has a solid track record of providing Scripture in a variety of audio formats. Mico-SD cards about the size of a fingernail provide personal access to the Bible in a variety of languages through the privacy of a listener’s phone and earbuds. FMI has also recorded Scriptures on CD which include testimonies of Pakistani Christians and answers to frequently asked questions about Christianity. In recent weeks, we have concluded the studio recording for a year’s worth of daily devotional content complete with a musical background and sound effects, with story arcs using a variety of vocal actors, to be uploaded to dedicated hand-held mp3 devices.
These projects have only undertaken because of extraordinary partnerships -first of all, with organizations like The Bible League International and Keys for Kids, and secondly, with those who support FMI’s ministry financially and prayerfully.