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October 2018 Newsletter | Katie

October 2018 Newsletter | Katie

“Most people could not see past her wheelchair,” said Katie’s mother.

Katie didn’t grow up having a normal childhood, such as maybe you or I.

As an infant, Katie was diagnosed with spinal meningitis and cerebral palsy.  Before she was ten years old, she needed multiple surgeries for hip reconstruction, followed by rod implants in her back due to severe scoliosis.

Her entire youth was filled with continuous physical and occupational therapy. Yet, it never stopped her from working hard on her school work.  In fact, she went to regular public school and was able to graduate with a high school diploma.

Katie’s mom tells us, “I’ve kept her very close to me all her life and I have been her eyes.  I would read to her almost every day and the things that she loved most, I would read over and over while she memorized them.”

When Katie signed up with the National Library Services’ Talking Book program, they referred her to Aurora Ministries to receive an Audio Bible.

Now in her thirties, Katie grows more and more independent and her mother is unable to read for her like she once did.  The books from the Talking Book program are there to help her learn and the Audio Bible from Aurora Ministries is there for her to play over and over again, just as her mother did, so she can memorize the scriptures that mean so much to her.

Katie is just one of thousands of people that request and receive Audio Bibles from Aurora Ministries each year.  Some are totally blind, others legally blind and unable to read standard print, and others are exactly like Katie in that they suffer from a physical handicap that keeps them from holding and managing the pages of a printed book.

Regardless of the reason or impairment, our ministry is here to make sure that those who need it have access to the greatest book—The Holy Bible—free of charge.

Meeting this challenge is not easy.

This year alone, requests for Audio Bibles are at a new all time high since we discontinued analog cassette tapes and have gone completely digital. Our latest analysis shows requests are up 300% in 2018 compared to this time last year.

This is GREAT NEWS!  It means that people who are unable to read the Bible, need the Bible—they want to hear the Bible—and it’s our purpose and calling to make sure they get it!

However, there is one thing that is keeping us from fulfilling our promise—the cost of production and distribution. But, there’s a solution...it’s people just like you.  People that believe in providing God’s Word in audio form to those that are unable to read for themselves.

While the requests are up, our donations have decreased.  We are asking two simple things from you today. First, partner with us in prayer, to pray that requests continue to increase.  Second, pray that our financial needs are met to be able to send everyone an Audio Bible that needs one.

Maybe you would also prayerfully consider sending a donation today? 
  • Allen Decker
September 2018 Newsletter | Ritah

September 2018 Newsletter | Ritah

Over the past four decades, we’ve built many relationships with missionaries to foreign lands, and in their journeys, they’ve met blind individuals without access to a Bible that was accessible and in their own language.
 
Today I’m going to share a story from Tom Faunce, who is one of those missionaries. Tom has taken our Audio Bibles, in many different languages, to people all over the world.  In some cases, he carried them into countries where it was illegal to have a Bible.
 
If you have been a long time friend of Aurora Ministries, you might remember Tom from February of 2010 when he took Audio Bibles into Haiti after the tragic 7.0 earthquake that devastated most of Haiti.
 
Picture of Ritah.On his recent trip to Uganda, he was introduced to a blind Christian woman named Ritah. While talking with her, she mentioned she’d been praying for many years for a way to read the Bible again.
 
Tom remembered he had brought some of our electronic solar Audio Bible players with him and gave one to her.  Ritah was so thrilled her prayers had been answered.
 
Ritah, who was an artist before she lost her eyesight, has figured out a way to paint by numbering her colors and using texture in her paint so she can feel each and every line in her painting.  She is such an amazing artist, she teaches blind children her technique and runs a painting studio.
 
To show appreciation for her Audio Bible, she painted Tom a picture of Jesus healing a blind woman.  Tom could not accept a gift this amazing and asked her permission to give it to Aurora Ministries.  She was more than happy to agree.
 
Her painting is now on display at our headquarters, a daily reminder that our Audio Bible ministry stretches beyond the borders of the United States and reaches the world with the Word. 
 
It’s not an easy task to do alone—we need the help of those who believe in the life-changing and healing impact God’s Word can have on men, women, and children no matter where they live, what language they speak, or what situation they are in.  God meets them, through His Word, where they are.
 
Will you consider partnering with us to help place a Bible in the hands of those in need? 
 
If you are unable to send financial support, we ask that you pray for this ministryMatthew 18:20 says “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
 
Our tasks may be great, but He is greater!
  • Allen Decker
August 2018 Newsletter | Changing Times

August 2018 Newsletter | Changing Times

In 2010, we wrote an article about the “Changing Times” in our Summer Newsletter. This article talked about how fast technology was changing, especially technology used by the blind and visually-impaired all over the world.

We talked about how many of the experts, at that time, were predicting the end of audio cassette tapes—which became a reality.  Even if you still had a cassette tape today, that was able to withstand the test of time, finding a working cassette player to use it in could be difficult.
 
The National Library Service had just released the new “digital” Talking Book players and was slowly converting everyone’s cassette players to the new digital service.  Many users seemed to be unhappy with the change, but as they got used to the new player, they found it was much easier to manage and listen to their books—especially the Bible.
 
To be honest, this was a difficult time for the ministry. We were still providing cassette Audio Bibles to some and digital Audio Bibles to others.  The process, as well as the cost was overwhelming at times, and we had to put strict limits on the number of digital Audio Bibles we could provide each month. 
 
This limit caused many people, who wanted the new digital Audio Bibles, to have to purchase a blank cartridge from the library service and send it to us so we could put the Audio Bible on it for them.  There were also times when we had to turn people away because we didn’t have the funding available to help everyone. It was heartbreaking to the entire staff.
 
We unfortunately watched other ministries similar to ours also go through struggles of the changing times.  Far too many closed their doors permanently because the financial burden to change was too great.
 
But by His Grace, prayers were answered!  Through the financial support of many of our recipients, their friends, families, churches and even many of the professionals who referred their clients to us, we’ve been able to provide digital Audio Bibles to thousands of people FREE OF CHARGE.
 
In fact, just today alone, our staff and volunteers printed nearly one-hundred digital Audio Bible orders that need to be produced, packed and shipped.
 
Our goal is still to make sure every blind person has an accessible Audio Bible they get to keep and use anytime they want.  We can do this by providing one free digital cartridge to each person.
 
But it’s not over—technology is changing faster than ever!  Whatever technology becomes available which gives blind and print-disabled users the ability to hear and use a Bible, we will keep moving forward to make sure it’s available to them.
 
If you are one of our financial supporters who is helping us keep up with the changing times, THANK YOU!  We couldn’t do this without your partnership.
 
Maybe you have considered partnering with us?  You just might be giving the gift someone desperately needs.  Will you give as generously as you can, on behalf of God’s Word and our blind and visually-impaired brothers and sisters who long to hear it?

Please, prayerfully consider how you might partner with us.

  • Allen Decker
Aurora Ministries - The Cassette Tape Years (video)

Aurora Ministries - The Cassette Tape Years (video)

It's hard to believe it was nearly 10 years ago we switched from analog cassette tapes to digital media.  Go back in time and watch a couple old videos that show how we used to make cassettes in high-volume. 

If your are interested in reading more about our history, visit our about us page.