Hi, I’m Tom Johnson, the Spiritual Development Manager/Missiologist for MH4H and a Reformed Church in America career missionary. My responsibilities are to assist the spiritual component of Many Hand’s transformational activities in Haiti.

One aspect to my work is that I focus on how we can we get biblical content into the hands of Haitians, including those that are illiterate or semi-illiterate. In the Pignon area, where MH4H works, close to 80% of the people we serve are functionally illiterate—meaning they can’t or prefer not to read. Thus, printed Bibles can only be used by a minority of people there. So how will they encounter the Word of God if they can’t read?

Just like in the U.S., cellphones are common sights in Haiti. In the Pignon area, MH4H staff estimate that between 50-60% of the households contain at least one cellphone. While you may run across almost any kind of model, generally, the cellphones in Haiti are feature phones or smartphones that use the Android operating system and are made in China or India. This means that most phones in Haiti have media players, including music and video players—just like yours in the U.S.

Stop and think about the above fact: the majority of Haitian households have a handheld audio or video player in their home. Haitians prefer to get their information through audio or by watching videos. How can we share biblical truth through these methods?

We need to deliver digital Christian content to Haitians that they can watch on their phones. This can be audio recordings of the Scriptures or the Jesus film, but it can also be Creole praise videos that you can find on YouTube, it can be a teaching series on Christian family life by a respected Haitian pastor that was videoed with someone’s cellphone camera—the possibilities are endless. Go to YouTube and search out “Haitian Creole” and see that thousands of videos in that language exist with hundreds being added daily.

The next question is, “How do you get digital content to the Haitian cellphones?” There are many possible answers, but we’re experimenting with Lighstream Pocket wifi devices that are made by a missionary support organization for this exact purpose. These are essentially external memory drives that can share their entire content through its private wi-fi network. No need to have cellular data or to look for a non-existant free wifi hotspot in Haiti. No need for 2 phones to pair-up through Bluetooth, infra-red or AirDrop. Anyone can connect to the device by use their cellphone’s wifi.

We are very excited to see how we could implement these devices to enable the sharing of the Gospel in the communities we work in. These Pocket wifi units are small enough that our Spiritual Shepherds can carry them on their persons as they visit Haitian homes and communities. Wherever they go, they can share Gospel music, teaching and biblical content through wifi transfer! This content can be viewed or listened to by the entire household! This is a tool that can build both relationship with Christ and with others!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *