“This is amazing!” said Dante. “I am hearing [these] stories for the first time. I believe they are for me, too.”
Dante, whose parents named him for a Hindu god, grew up in a village that rejected Jesus and his message of salvation. But when Christians working at a recording studio in that Asian region needed help, they found Dante.
The team was ready to record Bible stories in the dialect of Dante’s people, but in this mostly non-reading community, they lacked speakers who could narrate the script. They hired Dante, a solid reader with a pleasant voice, to fill several roles in the Open Bible recordings. The Open Bible is a series of 50 stories spanning from Creation to the anticipated second coming of Christ. The audio recordings introduce Scripture to an oral culture where the Bible is available only in the national language, which is not the dialect this community understands easily.
But the Scripture stories began to reach Dante’s heart even before they were recorded.
Father, the eyes of your people from of old longed for your salvation and the fulfillment of your promise. Thanks be to you that I live in the day where your salvation is freely offered and your promises have come true in Christ! Help me to understand the implications of what Jesus has done. It is seemingly simple to understand, yet the more I study the gospel the wider its reach seems, and the deeper its depths. Thank you for the gift of your salvation. How beautiful were the feet of Jesus when he came publishing good news! His beauty was not in his appearance. He was despised by men and beaten beyond recognition. He was well-acquainted with grief and sorrow. He was killed on my behalf and on behalf of everyone who has lived before or since. The weight of all our sins was laid on him. He bore that weight without uttering a word. He did not try to get out of what was coming, and so he was killed. Brutally murdered by being nailed to a cross and hung to die. And all of this was your will, Lord. It was your will to crush him. But you knew that through his grief there would be much rejoicing when he came back to life and became the once-for-all sacrificial atonement your children needed. Through his righteousness now many are made righteous, including me.