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TELIPOK – “The launching of the Kadazan Audible Bible today is a significant event in the life of the Church in Kota Kinabalu.”
Apostolic Nuncio to Malaysia Archbishop Joseph Marino said this in a speech prior to launching the Kadazan Audio Bible in conjunction with the 17th Archdiocesan Kaamatan celebration hosted by Holy Family Church here on 2 May 2016.
Witnessing the auspicious event before the dismissal of the Holy Mass, were the religious and faithful from all over the archdiocese besides the three parishes of St Catherine Inanam, Good Shepherd Manggatal, and Holy Family Telipok; invited guests from the Sabah Council of Churches, Louis Rose from Faith Comes By Hearing International (USA), and Anthony Ng and committee members of Full Gospel Businessmen Malaysia. The Mass was presided by Archbishop John Wong, concelebrated by Archbishop Joseph Marino, Archbishop Emeritus John Lee, a good number of clergy from across the archdiocese, and assisted by Deacon Joshua Liew.
“With this audible instrument, for sure, more people will have access to the Bible, which is the source of the stories of our faith and relates the history of salvation. It is the source of our life as a Church that goes out of self to encounter the world and to be missionaries,” said Archbishop Marino.
Referring to Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation “Joy of the Gospel,” the nuncio explained that the entire proclamation of Jesus comes ‘from the heart of the Gospel’ (n 34). “Only by proclaiming and speaking ‘from the heart of the Gospel’ will we be able to announce that which is of primary importance,” said Marino.
The nuncio added “… the primary reason for evangelising is the love of Jesus which we have received, the experience of salvation which urges us to ever greater love of him. What kind of love would not feel the need to speak of the beloved, to point him out, to make him known?” (n 264)
The nuncio concluded his thoughts by recalling the faithful to the message of mercy, precisely what we are celebrating during this Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, “We are discovering that God’s mercy has touched me first and as a result we must show that mercy to others. Yes, the mercy of God is the very heartbeat of the Gospel and the Christian message.”
Archbishop Marino congratulated all who played a vital role in realising this important work, especially Archbishop John Wong under whose pastoral guidance it took place.
How it all started
In April 2014 Anthony Ng from the Full Gospel Businessmen Fellowship Malaysia informed Dr Pauline Wong that there is a world-wide ministry called Faith Comes By Hearing which brings the Word of God to people all over the world who lack the resources to own the Bible or can’t read or live in a country that restricts access to the Bible through the media.
Ng revealed that Bible recording has been done in more than 977 languages and spoken by 5.7 billion people. He also mentioned that currently in Malaysia they are doing some recording in the native languages of some tribes.
Dr Wong discovered that the New testament in Bahasa Malaysia, Bahasa Indonesia, Iban and Mandarin had already been recorded and in use, but none was recorded in Kadazan and Dusun.
Providentially Louis Rose from Faith Comes By Hearing International (FCBH) was around to coordinate recording, and arrangement was made to hand over the printed Kadazan version of the Bible. Back in the States, Louis and his team managed to script it and would be presented by 30 different characters.
The audio Bible, which is dramatised, brings its listeners into situations in the stories and makes them as real as possible. Over 10,000 texts, from the Gospels to Revelation, were recorded with the help of 30 selected people. The tedious and painstaking exercise took about one and half years to complete. The recorded texts would be edited and compiled with background sound effects by FCBH in USA before it could be uploaded for use, hopefully by September this year for the Kadazan version.
Realising that it was an opportune moment to have the Dusun version done as well, Dr Wong managed to gather resources to do the recording. Though launched at the same time, the Dusun recording was finally started on 17 Apr 2015, and hopefully would be completed at the end of this year.
The implication of these recordings is enormous. No matter where you are in the world, as long as you have internet facilities or smartphone or other devices that can download, you can access the audio Bible in the language of your choice. The website is www.bible.is. Once it is stored electronically this recording will stay for many generations to come. – CS