10-language app revolutionizes mission field

Sunday, November 18, 2012
Michael F. Haverluck (OneNewsNow.com)

The free "Gospel Mate" app from Living Waters Publications erases the language barrier for missionaries, says evangelist Ray Comfort.

With the free new GM2:8 app, missionaries will be spending more time on the mission field and less time at the seminary learning foreign languages. Thanks to Living Waters Publications founder, president and CEO Ray Comfort, all it takes is a simple tap on a mobile device, and 10 different languages become immediately accessible to missionaries anywhere across the globe -- allowing them to focus on the message, not the interpretation.

And what does GM2:8 stand for?

Comfort, Ray"GM stands for 'Gospel Mate,' and the 2:8 is a reference to Acts 2:8 [which says], 'And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born?" international evangelist Comfort told OneNewsNow in an exclusive interview, indicating that his app is the answer to the question posed in the Book of Acts. "This is because that's what this free app does; it lets people hear the Gospel of everlasting life, in their own language."

The idea for this one-of-a-kind revolutionary app didn't just pop up out of thin air. Comfort's background and ministry location had as much to do with creating the app as did divine calling and the desire to fill a void.

"I live in Southern California, where it's normal to hear people speaking in many different languages," the director of the popular TV show, The Way of the Master, shared. "I'm originally from New Zealand, and it's sometimes difficult for me to make myself understood, even to English-speaking Americans -- let alone people who don't speak English. Consequently, I have had a difficult time when it came to sharing the Gospel."

One such hard time turned out to be an experience in an unlikely place that Comfort will never forget -- a frustrating and unfruitful encounter that had every indication of lacking divine providence.

"I remember once getting into a taxi to the Los Angeles International airport," the New Zealand native recalled. "I wanted to share the Gospel with the driver, but when I asked if he spoke English, he said that he didn't, and asked if I spoke Spanish. I answered, 'All I know is bueno and pronto!' He heard 'Good and fast!' suddenly put his foot down, and sped all the way to the airport ... and I didn't know how to tell him to slow down."

But Comfort's taxi wasn't the only thing that raced that day, as his mind sped through all the possibilities that could emerge from his discouraging situation.

Caches from the ashes

"That experience epitomized my linguistic frustration, and so I began thinking that there must be a way, in this high-tech age, to communicate the Gospel with people who don't speak English," the evangelist of 40 years recounted. "I knew that missionaries sometimes spend years learning languages before communicating the Gospel -- when there is a sense of urgency. I wanted to shortcut the process, because 150,000 people die every 24 hours."

Out of this revelation came the development stage of the Gospel Mate 2:8 app.

GM2:8 app screenOneNewsNow then asked the international street preacher what languages are now available "on the go" in the app and why he chose those specific ones.

"They are Dutch, English, French, German, Russian, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish Castilian, Spanish Neutral, and Turkish," listed Comfort. "We chose each of these because they are most prevalent. However, we want to someday increase the app to reach every language on the planet."

Comfort went on to explain that the GM2:8 app is much more than an interpretation device, as he highlighted the app's three unique features.

"The first gives you the ability to share the Gospel (without saying a word) with someone whose language you don't speak," said Comfort, author of Hell's Best Kept Secret. "This feature does it in the form of a polite questionnaire. It asks the person if they would like to answer a few quick questions, very gently leads them through the Gospel, and then thanks them for their participation."

The next feature is nothing short of having a teacher and interpreter stuffed conveniently into your pocket on the mission field.

"Then there is a 'Preaching Mate' feature," adds Comfort, who directed the acclaimed 30-minute documentary 180: Changing Hearts and Minds about Life's Hot-button Issues that went viral on YouTube with more than 3.6 million views. "This gives you the ability to either learn the Gospel in ten languages, or allows you to put in an earplug and share it as you hear it in each language."

watching app screenAnd the last feature of the app is like hitting an auto-pilot button

"The third feature is the 'Gospel Presentation,' Comfort continued. "This means you can plug in a speaker to your iPod and open air preach (without opening your mouth) to a group of people you normally couldn't reach in their own language."

Ten and counting: App to keep breaking the language gap

Even though there are thousands of apps out there for virtually everything, there has not been one until now that does the interpretation work for you on the mission field.

"As far as I know, it's unique," the Bellflower, California-based evangelist pointed out. "One wonderful feature is that it's not confined to those who speak English and want to present the Gospel. With the touch of a finger, a Russian person can present the Gospel to someone who speaks Japanese, or a Japanese person can speak to someone who only speaks German. The possibilities are endless."

To get a better idea of what the GM2:8 can do,
view a short video on the app's website

And has this app by Living Waters been tried out on the mission field of America's streets yet? Comfort relayed the reaction from one iPhone user who got his hands on the GM2:8 before its release.

"I've been praying for a solid Japanese Gospel message available electronically," said GM2:8 user Mike, whose last name Comfort did not disclose. "GM2:8 delivers even more than I prayed for. Audio and text make this a very powerful tool to reach the lost. Thank you and praise the Lord!"

But for Comfort, ten languages is just the tip of the iceberg, as he encourages Christians of different tongues to help Living Waters reach the goal of 100 languages on its free app.

"We want to expand our GM2:8 languages," Comfort announces on his app's site. "If you fluently speak any other language (or you know of someone who does), please carefully record the Gospel presentation found at 100languages.com and email it to Living Waters [at volunteer@livingwaters.com]."

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