I recently received in the mail a certain device called a Proclaimer. It is an electronic device manufactured by Faith Comes By Hearing, an organization dedicated to making God’s Word available in audio form to all the peoples of the world.
I did not buy the device—I had been corresponding with them about the upcoming release of their scripture recording in Western Huasteca Nahuatl (NHW), and when they offered to send me a Proclaimer with this new recording on it, how could I refuse?
The Proclaimer, though made in China of relatively cheap plastic, seems to be a sturdy device. It is designed to play scripture recordings to large groups of people, and is equipped with a solar panel and hand crank to charge the battery when AC electricity is not available. I can see how this would be useful, especially in remote villages such as some I have visited in Mexico.
Although the Proclaimer works well, I am not entirely happy with the recording. It is a dramatized recording of the New Testament, and while this does add some interest to it, they took it upon themselves to add background music to many parts of the recording where there is an extended monologue, as well as in the epistles. It seems distracting to me, and turned up too loud in places.
However, I have made good use of it in my studies of the Nahuatl language. At my present level I can understand words and occasionally sentences, and already I have learned some nuances of pronunciation from listening to the recording. I own a printed Bible of the same translation (only one exists in this language), and I have read as I listen. As I advance, I hope to be able to use this less and less, and improve my listening comprehension.
I feel a bit selfish using the Proclaimer for my own use when it was designed for native speakers who cannot read, but I may yet take it to Mexico someday. The folks at Faith Comes By Hearing have not yet made the recording available on the website, so when they do I will be able to download and use that instead of the Proclaimer.