Albuquerque, NM (PressExposure) October 09, 2009 -- For Immediate Release Tens of thousands died in the fighting, and many more thousands fled in search of peace. Now, hundreds of thousands survive in refugee camps not far from the places they once called home.
After 26 years of bitter civil war in Sri Lanka, this island nation's militarized minority, the Tamil Tigers, laid down their weapons. This transition has opened the door for the Good News to come into areas once cut-off from the world.
"Conditions in Sri Lanka are difficult right now - closed roads, unsanitary living conditions and lack of resources," said Doug Harstine, Faith Comes By Hearing regional manager.
"There is great need, especially for food. Relief organizations and Faith Comes By Hearing partners, like the Ceylon Bible Society, are assessing which regions have the most damage," said Harstine. "The rebel-held areas, which were once closed and heavily guarded, will be open again soon."
During this time of rebuilding comes a rebuilding of faith.
"The people are ready for the message of hope that comes from God's Word," he said. "We're working with the Ceylon Bible Society to distribute Audio Bibles in those refugee camps."
Harstine said Faith Comes By Hearing is expanding their impact in the region by forming a new outreach team and sending out a recording team.
"Our new Faith Comes By Hearing outreach team is made up of Ceylon Bible Society staff. These dedicated believers will go into these areas and camps, come alongside churches and ministries and start Audio Bible listening groups," said Harstine.
As people hear God's Word, they are discipled and transformed; they respond by planting churches.
"The recording team will re-record the Tamil Audio Bible using indigenous voices," said Harstine. "The current recording was voiced by Indians because of the lack of access to the Tamil region. Now, the Word of God will be in their dialect, and Tamil people will be more open to the Scriptures."
After finishing the Tamil New Testament, this team will record other languages in South Asia.
Faith Comes By Hearing, the world's foremost Audio Bible ministry, records and uses Audio Bibles to disciple the world's poor and illiterate people. Their mission is to record the New Testament in 2,000 languages and to start two million Bible listening groups by 2016 to reach the 50% of the world who cannot read and are poor. Faith Comes By Hearing now has 439 Audio Scripture recordings in 371 languages.