"God-Pods" Baptized in the Nile
by Claire Meckler, Sudan
17 June 2008
When the goods were being unloaded from the dugout canoe, the box inadvertently got dropped into the shallow waters along the banks of the White Nile. This precious cargo was being transported from the U.S. to Thiangrial, a village in southern Sudan.
The contents of the box had been eagerly anticipated: forty “God-Pods” (palm-size solar powered MegaVoice MP3 players). But had this accidental immersion ruined all the delicate electronics? We could see bubbles of river water seeping into the inner circuits and worried that God’s audio Word in the Dinka language would end in soggy saga.
We prayed as we hurriedly peeled away the wet carton, wiped each player, and set them in the sun to dry. Gradually, over a few days time, the 100° F heat evaporated the lurking moisture. In the meantime, as villagers visited our compound, they were curious as to these little black pods scattered in the sunshine. “What are they?” “When can we listen?” “How do you turn them on?”
God's Word Blesses Many
When each player was tested, sound came forth! Praise God for protecting His Word from damage and answering prayer by using the negative incident to stimulate positive interest. The ‘baptism’ became a blessing!
Many have delighted in hearing sermons and songs in their own Dinka dialect. Students at our SIM Basic Education Learning Center initiated holding the MP3 player to a megaphone to amplify and enable the message to be heard by folks at home in their huts. Old men have been seen sitting solemnly under a tree, taking to heart the words of Scripture spoken from the plastic ‘pod’. Women, children, teens, and elders alike are singing melodies memorized from repeated listening.
One day while we were with a group of young people, the "God-Pod" was playing, and suddenly someone exclaimed, “I know that voice! The man speaking is my relative!” As it turns out, that man is now a commissioner in the town of Melut and a part-time pastor.
Meeting the Man Behind the Voice
On our next trip to Melut, we stopped in the government office to meet and greet him. We presented the player to him as a thank-you gift for his ministry of the Bible among the people in our area. We were thinking that perhaps he had recorded the message recently in a studio with the organization that produces the solar players. But, no, he was totally surprised and unaware of this tool God was using.
At first his countenance was serious, then a smile of pensive remembrance crossed his face as he listened to his own Bible teaching, hearing his voice give a message spoken in 1980—28 years ago! What an encouragement and blessing to know that seeds of Truth planted so long ago continue to spread today in ways so wondrously orchestrated by God.