T Time: Spiritual conversations For, With and About Women.

Your voice matters

Episode Summary

God treasured the accounts of many women in the Bible and even entrusted the miraculous news of Jesus' resurrection to one. In this episode of T Time, we celebrate the ministry of her.Bible, an audio Bible fully read by a diverse group of women to reach more people with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Episode Notes

God treasured the accounts of many women in the Bible and even entrusted the miraculous news of Jesus' resurrection to one. In this episode of T Time, we celebrate the ministry of her.Bible, an audio Bible fully read by a diverse group of women to reach more people with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

0:09 Twanna introduces episode guest Jenny Steinbach and asks her to share her faith journey. 

3:55 Jenny talks about the beginning stages and the motivation behind creating her.Bible, an audio Bible read entirely by a diverse group of women.

8:32 There have been many benefits people have experienced when hearing the Bible read by different women. Jenny discusses those benefits with Twanna. 

11:59 Sometimes, when God puts something on our hearts, it's difficult knowing how everything will come together. Jenny tells us how God made her vision a reality by bringing readers to her in different ways. 

13:07 Jenny shares the beauty of Jesus choosing to share the news of his resurrection with Mary Magdalen and how this reveals to the world how much God values women. 

16:33 Do men listen to her.Bible? Jenny shares some of her favorite testimonies from the men who listen to her.Bible.

20:15 her.Bible is hoping to partner with others to expand into other languages. Jenny shares how others can join and help with this vision. 

24:39 Jenny closes in prayer. 

Episode Transcription

Twanna Henderson: Welcome to T Time: Spiritual Conversations For, With and About Women. I'm your host, Twanna Henderson and I want to remind you to take a moment and like this podcast and share it with your friends and other women in your life. Well, I'm excited to share today's guests with you. Our guest is Jenny Steinbach. Jenny is the producer of her.Bible, which is an audio Bible in women's voices. Jenny loves helping people connect with God in meaningful ways and has served with CRU, which is an international ministry committed to helping proclaim the gospel throughout the world for more than 35 years. One of the things that Jenny has enjoyed greatly is promoting the film, "Magdalena: through her eyes." Jenny has an awesome testimony and I'm so happy to have her with us on today. Jenny, welcome to T Time.

Jenny Steinbach: Well, thank you so much, Twanna, it's great to meet you and I'm so excited to be able to share my story with the women of Converge and share what God is doing.

Twanna Henderson: Absolutely and we are excited. Women of Converge and women everywhere, actually. I want to start off by just asking you a little bit about your background and your faith journey. Specifically, how you came to know Christ.

Jenny Steinbach: Yes, well, I was raised in a religious family, and went to schooling for that and everything but I realized when I got to college, I went to Ohio State, that I met some Christians involved with CRU and they talked about having a personal relationship with Christ. I had never actually heard that before. But over time, I could really see Jesus in their lives and so, during Lent, I decided to invite Christ into my life, to help me keep my promise, you know, of my, what I wanted to give up for Lent. And that was that turned out to be such a huge change such a great blessing in my life, as I grew in Christ, and got involved in CRU right away and joined some Bible studies and really fell more in love with Jesus. And so it was just fun time, years ago, and then I joined the staff of CRU when I graduated. I had many opportunities to go to some awesome places, to Africa, to show the Jesus film in Brazil, and then also to serve on campuses, and to help win students for Christ and also, you know, serve with the Jesus film project too.

Twanna Henderson: Okay, that is pretty amazing. I mean, just how, you know, it is so good and so awesome when God has these God connections, I like to call them, you know? Where he just, you know, intersects our lives with individuals who share the gospel with us, and, and then us just being at that point, and in that season, where we can hear it, you know, and receive it, and we're open to it. And our lives are just totally changed.

Jenny Steinbach: Yeah, I realized that that time, I had had a lot of disappointments at home, and I was looking for a loving father. And that was a real struggle in my life. And as I could see Jesus in their lives, I realized he was real and that God was real and that He, he could be I could, I felt encouraged to trust him with my life, and that he would receive me as his daughter.

Twanna Henderson: That is awesome. Well, when you think about just your, your faith journey, and you said 35 years with CRU, which is amazing for them, actually, you know, you being introduced to the gospel, you know, through that ministry, and then serving with that ministry. Talk to us about this whole idea of an audio Bible with women's voices and how you got that idea.

Jenny Steinbach: Well, over the years, I had the opportunity to get more in touch with what women were struggling with around the globe, and a lot of that was through the Magdalena film and promoting that in other places. And I realized it really opened my eyes to what women were feeling and also feeling that women were struggling here and I've had my many struggles myself in feeling valued to God. I was driving in Orlando and commuting for one of my jobs, an outreach in the city, and it was a 45 minute drive each way. And I started listening to audio. And I fell in love with audio. And I'm listening to all sorts of great books, great women's voices, great men's voices. And then I, sometimes it would take 90 minutes to get home in the traffic and rain. And I, as I listened to the Bible then too, I noticed that it was only a men's voices. I thought, I'll get more apps. And when I did that, I found that it was the same men's voices. And because I had heard so many great voices, that created a hunger, I noticed a silent space that women's voices were not there in, in the Bible recordings. And I was, again, because I had the opportunity to go to Africa. I went to church on Sunday, and the pastor was speaking he had just been to Ethiopia. And he was sharing the story of this woman who had started an orphanage, and was trusting God now to care for 100 orphans, and he had just been there. And he asked the question, "How has God gifted you and what is the world waiting for you to do?" And I felt like God use that to speak to my heart and say, Jenny, you have the background to create an audio Bible and women's voices and fill that need that you're seeing. And I had a friend who, of course I was, I nearly jumped out of my seat and I was afraid to even tell people but I had one friend who said, Jenny, why don't you think of this like a pregnancy and let God take time and let God speak to you about what he wants us to be. And I felt like all the experiences in my life, were growing up when I felt like I didn't have a voice and thinking about women who are struggling or sex trafficked, or have abuse in their backgrounds, that hearing God's word in a comforting woman's voice, would make a difference based on what was available. And so that became what I felt God was leading. And then also I wanted, I didn't want it just to be my voice. I wanted it to be many voices, and I wanted it to represent the women of the US. So anyway, we what we have is a multi ethnic recording of the Bible, and with women, different women reading different books.

Twanna Henderson: Now, that is just so amazing to me that, you know, first of all, that this idea would just drop into your spirit and that you would, you know, recognize this void. I mean, you know, it's amazing, because a lot of times we don't want to think about the things that are kind of lacking. And the fact that you thought all of these voices are men and you know, wouldn't it be great if some of these voices were women? And then to be able to take that on is such an amazing thing. Talk about why you feel like that this is such a need for women?

Jenny Steinbach: Well, for many reasons. One getting back to the value. We can hear God's word or read God's word and know intellectually that we're valued. But do we feel valued, and what's stopping us from feeling valued, and I feel that our voice being represented, declares our value. So that's one aspect. And globally, women have less opportunities. And even here we struggle, and today is International Women's Day, although I don't know which day this podcast will be released. But women all around the globe experience this struggle of you know, income disparity, opportunity disparity, and unfortunately, that even is a factor in the Christian world. And another thing that I was concerned about is young women because I come from a very large family and I have many nieces and cousins, who are posting many things about themselves on social media. But what if they could only hear God's word in a voice that's old enought to be their grandfather does that, would Christianity feel relevant to them? And so there was this big relevancy factor, because I saw so many of so many young people turning away from God. And so what are some of the missing gaps? And I felt like for young women, if they want to feel valued, if they want to feel like they have a role in God's kingdom, for the future, that their voices need to be represented. And I've also felt that every generation needs to do their part to encourage and build up the women in their, in their generation, and thinking of the ones coming in the future to.

Twanna Henderson: Yeah, I think that is so helpful. And again, just sort of understanding that need. And I love the idea of our voices lending value, you know, to who God says that we are. So with her.Bible, is there like an app or a website? Or what what is it? And what will we find there?

Jenny Steinbach: Yes, so we have the New Living Translation, I wanted modern English, because so many people love taking in content through audio, especially young people. And we have an app and a website, and all the text is, the Bible text is there, and also the audio so you can get it in both places. And one of the fun things on the website is you can see the all the women who are the voices, and you can see their photos and a little bio about them.

Twanna Henderson: Oh. Now how did you find the voices for her that Bible?

Jenny Steinbach: Well, in reality, I felt like it was God leading just like Noah's Ark and bringing people to me. And from meeting people at a, I was at a university gathering and sitting, you know, at a table with who knows was going to sit down and that one of our voices sat down and others heard about the project and came to me, others were recommended. And and, and a lot of it was online searches for for women who love doing Christian work. And so that was one of our values to that these women also be believers who are filled with God's Spirit.

Twanna Henderson: Okay, well, I know I mentioned that you, you know, really enjoy promoting the film, "Magdalena: through our eyes." And speaking of voices, you know, it portrays the voice of a very significant woman in history. Mary Magdalene, talk to us about her voice and what it means to women?

Jenny Steinbach: Yes, of course. There's that film and there's the chosen, which I love and seeing how the Lord rescued her from the demons, but also her incredible sense of God's Spirit or the spiritual realm. You know, when when you look at the disciples and the questions they asked, and the question she asked, I feel that she was understanding more of what was happening while they were vying for position, or when are we going to take over, she understood that this was happening on a spiritual level. And Jesus appeared to her after his resurrection. She was the one she was she, with his mother, was standing at the foot of the cross and, and she was the first one that Jesus appeared to, and when, when she went and told the disciples, again, it's, it's her word. At that time, a woman's testimony wasn't considered valid. But they took action, they realized that her sharing this news was important. And in the Magdalena film also she's narrating the story of Jesus interacting with all the women that we hear about. The woman at the well, the woman healed of bleeding, the woman caught in adultery and what I love about that film is that each woman has this encounter, this face to face encounter with Jesus where he acknowledges their sin but forgives them and encourages them to sin no more. And so I highly recommend people watching that too and actually, it's been available in over 200 languages now.

Twanna Henderson: Wow. You know, I'm so thankful that we serve a God that who who values women and women's voices, you know that Jesus always validated women and understood that our voices were so important. What is producing her.Bible doing for you and your walk with God?

Jenny Steinbach: Well, it's causing a lot of growth because there's so much about our voices. You know, when you think about God speaking, and creating the world, he spoke the world into existence. And for us to speak and share what is really going on in our hearts, it's caused me to be more open, and to have more confidence to share my, my struggles and joys. And growing up, I didn't, I didn't feel like I had a voice. And so I feel like this whole calling from God, and this whole project is part of me. Having a voice and then being all that God has created me to be from the beginning. I just didn't see it. I didn't realize how quiet I was, and that I was holding back.

Twanna Henderson: Yeah, I love that whole idea of just transforming transformation. I'm sure you've had just various responses. How are women responding to what they've been hearing?

Jenny Steinbach: Well, one of the responses I love and has happened over and over is, is like this look of shock. And like scales falling off of their eyes. Like, why haven't we ever had this before? We need this. And so this instant realization that yes, we need this. And so that's a really fun reaction. And then, like, I'll just share the story of Ingrid, who was a working mom, and she's very busy. And she's a nurse, and she has two children. And she's listening as she drives to work. And she is, she is so encouraged to believe who her value is in God. And, and she's a new believer and came to Christ as a result of listening to her.Bible. Yeah. And another young woman in college shared that she needed it and that, it's again, it's that same principle of feeling valued, and that when she heard it and saw it, and then she realized, yes, I really am valued, it gives her courage. And then when I'm struggling, I listen to the book of Ephesians. Because, again, I need courage every step of the way.

Twanna Henderson: Yeah, absolutely. Are there male listeners? And how are men responding?

Jenny Steinbach: Yeah, actually, this one man, when he heard about it, he thought, Well, I'm gonna listen to it first and see what I think. Well, he started in the book of Matthew, and he ended up staying up late into the night to finish listening to the book of Matthew. And he realized that this, this was bringing up new, bringing God's heart up in new ways. And he, he couldn't believe the difference. And one of the things we've sought to do is, even though there are many hard parts in the Scripture, where God is judging, he's judging because of our sin and rebellion, and he still loves us, and it's coming out of a heart of love, and to really communicate that God loves us no matter what. And so he was really feeling that coming through. And also just the aspect of like, thinking about your mother reading scripture to you as a child and that brings back many wonderful memories for those who are raised in Christian homes. And we have, there's this one man in Singapore, and he started sending us a donation and so we emailed him back because we didn't have any communication like how did you find us? What did what do you like? And he said, I love the women's voices and he said, I was getting bored with the men's voices and so anyway, it's just really fun to hear men responding and enjoying it too.

Twanna Henderson: Yeah, and you know, and when you say, you know, it reminds you of your mom reading the Bible or something. It made me think I think I'm gonna download this on my son's iPad. My son has autism, but he has the Bible, Audio Bible on his iPad, but I'm gonna download on this one so it'll kind of resonate with him as me reading scripture to him, because I think that's an excellent thing. And I think he would enjoy it. What languages are represented now?

Jenny Steinbach: So right now we have English only. And so we're almost done. Our goal is to be completely done recording English and have it all available by June of this year. And so about 85% of the Bible is up and available on our app right now, the goal then is to coach women to do their own languages. And one of the things we realize is we really are only capable of English as English speakers. But I can coach women who are bilingual and want to do their own language. And so we've got some conversations going. And we're going to be speaking to I just spoke to Kenya, some women in Kenya a couple of weeks ago, and they're interested and they're considering the process because it is, it's taken me five years and so it's not an easy process. And so I'm, but I'm willing to come alongside and coach them. And we have a young lady in the UK, her name is Katie, and she wants to do this in UK women's voices. So we've been in the coaching process for a year and it's been really fun, she's going to do the NIV in like a women's cockney accent, and she just recorded the book of Philippians. So this is her first book that she's recorded. So I'm excited to week, we kept track of everything we did. And we've created a simple curriculum that we can come alongside and kind of guide people through the process who are interested in doing their own language.

Twanna Henderson: That is amazing. So if there are people who are interested, you know, women who are listening and say, Hey, I think that's something I would enjoy doing, or I think I could do, how would they? How would they get in contact with you?

Jenny Steinbach: Well, they can reach out through our website, or any email to the website comes directly to me or it's jenny.steinbach@cru.org but through the website is the easiest way to make an inquiry and then we'll be happy to follow up on that.

Twanna Henderson: And give us the website again.

Jenny Steinbach: It's www.her.Bible. Now Bible is a domain and it's not.com or.net or.org. Bible is now a domain created by the American Bible Society.

Twanna Henderson: Awesome. Well, that's good to know. Well, definitely, that will be a way then for them to reach out. Well you obviously are a very creative person, Jenny, what's next for Jenny Steinbach?

Jenny Steinbach: Well, I don't really have anything next except to, to promote what we have. And also to coach women in new languages, we have been in communication, so we will be available on Youversion in the future. And so it hasn't happened yet but it will be coming so that more people will have access. And we're also just wanting to provide devotional content to help women grow and to engage them. So we do have a blog that comes out twice a month, and people are welcome to sign up for that on our website. I'm a quilter. And so maybe I'll take some time to quilt after finishing, and a little time to relax.

Twanna Henderson: Yeah, maybe quilt the names of women in the Bible. Well, I'm just so excited about women growing in their faith as a result of hearing women's voices and an audio Bible. As we prepare it to close can I just ask you to pray for our listeners and remind them that their voices matter in God's kingdom?

Jenny Steinbach: Lord, I thank you for this time with Twana and thank you for how you're moving around the globe. And I pray for women who are listening and pray that they will feel their value that and how much you love them, and that you want to use their voices and that you want to lift them up and fill them with your spirit and use them where they are, and, and that you want them to feel how much you love them and grow closer to you and to influence the women around them in their sphere of influence. And I just pray that all this you will do this and that you're this power, the power of your Holy Spirit. In Jesus name.

Twanna Henderson: Amen. Well thank you, Jenny, for your ministry and for your passion. It was really great having you on T Time. And to all of our listeners. I'm Twana Henderson. I look forward to connecting with you the next time. Be blessed of the Lord.