In September, guests gathered for our annual dinner, an evening including a reception and silent auction, followed by dinner with keynote speaker Bob Goff.
During the reception, guests were able to take photos with Bob Goff, as well as get his autograph. Many brought their copies of Bob’s book, “Love Does,” to have signed. Guests also visited booths where they could listen to the audio recordings produced by Spoken and our indigenous partners that are used in cultures across the world. Auction items included jewelry, a Green Egg, various art pieces, and tickets to various attractions around Dallas.
At the start of the dinner, President and CEO Ed Weaver welcomed guests, recalling the announcement at last year’s dinner that we would be making a name change from T4 Global to Spoken Worldwide. He spoke of the great need across the world to reach people who do not read and that some 4 billion people across the world do not read.
Ed referenced John 3:16, that God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son so that we may have eternal life. “So if we want to be like God, we must so love the world – go to the hard places, where the name of Jesus is not known or accepted and share the love of God with them, so they have a chance to know Him through Jesus Christ – even though they can’t read.”
Ray Neu, Director of Orality Coaching, challenged guests to the idiom game. The idioms on the card for guests were from cultures around the world. They were phrases translated into English, and guests were challenged to figure out what they mean. The game showed how just because something is translated into your language doesn’t mean it makes sense, which is why it’s so important to translate Bible stories into a context that’s understandable for individual cultures.
Bob Goff’s keynote address focused on the importance of love as an action, not just a feeling. “Doing” love is Bob’s passion in life and the theme of his New York Times bestseller Love Does, which is also the name of his human rights organization. He encouraged guests to really dive into things they’re involved in.
“You will see more the more you dive in,” Bob said.
Bob specifically urged guests to dive into being more involved with Spoken, sharing that he wanted people to hear the voice of God in a way they will understand.
Ed closed the dinner by sharing stories of communication barriers that Spoken is trying to break. For example, he spoke of non-believers in Nepal who listened to Spoken’s audio recordings and say “We thought you Christians just wanted to convert us. We did had no idea that you loved us! Only a truly good God would encourage his people to do that. Please tell us about Him!”
He spoke of an African man who hadn’t become a Christian because he couldn’t read. He emphasized that Spoken’s “laser focus” is on bringing the gospel to illiterate communities, loving “the least of these,” and showing them that God loves them regardless of their ability to read. And it’s only through trust in God that this staff will fulfill this mission.
A special thanks to our 2017 event sponsors and donors, 89.7 WAY-FM and Chick-fil-a.
If you were unable to attend the dinner, but would like to make a donation, click here.
To view photos from the event, click here.