Thursday, June 28, 2012
The Adopt-A-Village Strategy
By Dr. Harvey T. Hoekstra,
Special to ASSIST News Service
SAN DIEGO, CA (ANS) -- Using Scriptures on Cassettes in the era before Talking Bibles, my son, Paul Hoekstra, developed a strategy in India that he identified as “Adopt-A- Village.” Confident in the power of the audio Bible itself to communicate effectively, his objective was to get Scripture Listening Devices in the hands of non-Christians in non-reached villages.
The success of his approach was evident in the tremendous number of new believers and churches resulting from the Adopt-A-Village strategy. This demonstrated the power of straight audio Scripture before today’s marvelous digital, listening devices had hit the market.
With the digital Talking Bible now readily available, the Adopt-A-Village method needs to be reinvigorated and implemented, focusing on unreached peoples.
These local Christian leaders or evangelists did this in countless numbers of villages. People were hearing God’s Word by themselves. Occasionally the evangelist visited and interacted with the growing number of people listening along with the person who made that original commitment. By the working of the Holy Spirit, people came to a saving faith in Christ, thousands were baptized and churches were formed.
And please remember you can easily make an on-line donation for this great ministry on the website, www.talkingbibles.org . On their behalf, “Thanks be to God.”
My background story:
I have so many reasons to thank and praise God. I was born Nov. 20, 1920 and, along with five brothers, grew up on the farm in Minnesota. I experienced a ruptured appendix when I was fourteen years of age. I had three major abdominal surgeries and spent forty five days in a small town hospital located upstairs above the pharmacy. God used that experience to lead me to know and to love Christ. It was through that experience that I felt God's call and promised Him that if he spared my life, I would try to become a preacher of the Gospel.
God used a red headed, rash and religious Presbyterian missionary, a guest speaker at our morning chapel one morning, to inspire and call us to serve as missionaries in the Sudan. We sailed for Africa July 2, 1948. I was a Bible translator. From 1963 to 1977, our family served among an unreached people living in a rain forest in SW Ethiopia. During those years the cassette came on the market and we used them extensively. The effectiveness of the cassette to multiply the places where the Gospel was heard and the positive response with many becoming Christians were used of God to shape my mind about our needing to make the translated Scriptures available in audio.
The connection between our use of cassettes and how God led is evident in a paper I delivered at the SIL West Africa Conference in 1982. Its title was, “The Scripture on Cassettes -- Not Just for Readers Anymore.” That was nearly thirty years ago. But now the cassette era is largely past history. Ours is the new information age with microchips, digital technology and solar power enabling us to provide God's Word in audio more effectively and at less cost than we could ever have imagined back then. If you would like to contact me, my e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
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