Bible Society Initiative in Madagascar Making Impact

A Scripture mission initiative of the United Bible Societies (UBS) has made a huge impact on their work in Madagascar, according to the General Secretary of the Malagasy Bible Society.

“For one thing it meant we could acquire and distribute more Bibles than ever before – not that we have reached our potential: on average we distribute 90,000 Bibles per year and we still have the potential to distribute at least 150,000,” Marc Rakoto said of UBS’s Opportunity 21 (O-21) initiative.

According to UBS, the projects contained within O-21 originate from "ground level." National Bible Societies working in partnership with the Church and other agencies determine the types of projects most suitable for O-21. The selection and development of all projects in the O-21 initiative are given “rigorous attention.”

The O-21 projects are also designed to help create new capacity for developmental Bible Societies leading the way to future growth. The desire is to create a vast array of projects that are integrated into the fabric of the UBS fellowship – evidenced not only by the Scripture distribution and development projects but also by the capital projects training programs translation programs fundraising efforts and other components of O-21.

In Madagascar, one O-21-funded project was the building and equipping of a television studio and recording facilities in Bible House. According to UBS the General Secretary showed great enthusiasm as he described the developments this has made possible.

“We are now producing our own magazine program for television, which is aired weekly and another program – which also goes out weekly – in partnership with Scripture Union,” Rakoto said.

“Our radio program is broadcast by at least 31 different radio stations all over the country and that is making an impact. Furthermore, we are producing our own products on audio cassette that use Scripture to comfort and console people in their different life situations.”

So just as O-21 coordinators hope, O-21 in Madagascar is brining “the power and promise of God's Word to an increasingly post-modern, post-literate, spiritually searching and needy world."