MegaVoice International, a company that manufactures advanced outdoor, solar-powered audio players, is committed to the gospel mission. So the company’s reps were happy to emphasize these technological “missionaries” at their booth in the exhibit hall of the 2023 Adventist Laymen’s Services and Industries (ASi) Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, United States, in early August.
The devices, which include a solar panel on the back, can be loaded with the audio Bible in hundreds of languages, along with sermons, Bible studies and more. Some models can be used as radio sets, and others include a slot for a memory card that allows for adding additional content.
Depending on the model, the versatile, multi-content units, commonly known as “godpods,” come fully loaded not only with audio players but also with up to 4GB of internal memory, onboard speakers, 3.5-milimeter audio jack, an internal Lithium-ion battery, and a lanyard hole.
The company, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is producing thousands of devices every month that sell to various Christian ministries, including Adventist World Radio (AWR).
“We send Adventist World Radio 10,000 godpods every three or four months,” Darrel Templeton, MegaVoice vice-president of strategic partnerships, shared. “And we know that every one of those devices is impacting, conservatively speaking, an average of 35 to 40 people.
These devices have proved to be invaluable in rural, isolated areas where power is non-existent or intermittent, company officers said, and also in areas with restrictions to the free exercise of the Christian faith. “They can reach places where no other device or method is allowed,” they said. “And they are doing precisely that, sharing the gospel in countries and regions we are not even free to acknowledge.”
The company also creates recordings of the Bible. People interested in their services can use a MegaVoice Audio Cloud search engine to find out options available and then contact the company to request they upload the content into the devices. “Our team can load any number of players with up to 800 hours of audio content,” a company representative said.
Templeton explained that the company has recording studios in India, South Africa, and Israel. MegaVoice International is also happy to call itself the inventor of the first audio Bible and the inventor of the first solar-powered audio Bible in the late 1980s, “Ten years before the iPod,” he emphasized.
For the Deaf and the Blind
The company also invented the Envision Bible, the first Bible for the deaf. “The deaf are the largest unreached people group in [the United States],” Templeton said. “Fewer than 2 percent of deaf people go to a church of any kind. There are fewer Christians among the deaf, percentage-wise, than Christians in China, in India, in most countries of Africa. So it’s so critical that the church to do a better job at reaching the deaf.”
The family Bible–sized box of the Bible for the deaf includes a screen on which a person can search and watch any book, chapter, or verse of the Bible interpreted into sign language. “For the first time, a deaf person can ‘listen’ to their own Bible,” Templeton said.
MegaVoice also works with Christian Record Services for the Blind. The blind are offered audio players with content they can listen to, Templeton said. “A blind man just stopped by our booth earlier today, showed us one of our devices, and told us, ‘Look what Christian Record Services for the Blind gave me!’” he said.
Mission in the Neighborhood
“We want all the churches to know that these tools are available because every church has probably someone who has a learning disability, someone who is getting older, and perhaps finding it harder to read a Bible. This is a way in which they can engage in God’s Word in their own language.”
At the same time, it is a missionary device, Templeton explained. “Every church has people in their neighborhoods — Hispanics, from the Philippines, or Indonesia, or some place in Africa — and we can help [church members] to minister to their neighbors in their own language, because we have the Bible available in all those languages.”
MegaVoice International is an independent corporation and not operated by the corporate Seventh-day Adventist Church.