Reaching the illiterate
Language Recordings UK is part of a worldwide organisation called Global Recordings Network. We have 40 centres around the world and our vision is ‘Telling the story of Jesus in every language’.
We record and distribute recordings on cassette and CD in over 5500 different languages. Our aim is to bring the good news to millions who cannot read and who live in an oral society.
Our mission was started in 1939 by Joy Ridderhof, a young American missionary to Honduras, who began supplying simple gospel messages on records in the heart language of the people group. Soon other missionaries heard about her work and wanted records for their people groups.
Joy and her team started travelling around the world and making recordings in hundreds of languages and sent them out around the world. She used a ‘cardboard record player’ to play them on, that was very easy to send.
The UK base started in the mid 1950s and a printing press was set up to press out the many records needed. Later the mission began using cassettes to distribute the message of God’s love.
A tape player called the ‘messenger’ was developed and this is still used today – in fact, demand for it is more than we can keep up with. It works with a crank handle that advances the cassette mechanically and thereby avoids the problem of batteries.
Kenny McKee comments: ‘When my wife and I were in Papua New Guinea for several years, our greatest thrill was when we entered a remote village and began playing the gospel message on the tape player.
‘Everyone began to smile. They were so excited to hear their own language coming from this box. We couldn’t speak their language and they couldn’t
understand ours, but we were able to share the message of God’s love for them in their language’.
Along with recordings we supply flip charts and booklets. As people listen, they look at pictures of the Bible stories. The story of the Bible and its major themes are presented chronologically. We offer different scripts, each pitched at the sophistication level of the people group.
We work with any supporting group that adheres to an evangelical statement of faith. We also supply Sunday school materials on CDs, including over 350 Bible pictures in colour or for colouring-in.
It is possible to download free from our web site almost all our 5500 recordings from around the world. Presently we are field-testing our new MP3 player and it will be in production soon. This will enable local peoples to have whole Bible translations and other material, including on AIDS awareness and health issues.