About Waha

We are a non-profit on a mission to empower people everywhere to become disciples who multiply disciples among the unchurched and unreached.

About Waha

Our Story

Waha was birthed on the "front lines" by a cross-cultural church planting team working in the Middle East, North Africa (MENA) region. Our team's vision from the very beginning was to use media and technology to accelerate the process of catalyzing Disciple Making Movements (DMM). This is our story.

It all started with a Bible smuggling operation

In the trunk of my car, I (Jared) had 80 Bibles stuffed in a suitcase, covered by a small layer of clothes. I was entering a predominantly Muslim country.

“Anything in here I should know about?” The border agent asked.

While I nervously shook my head, the agent started to pull each suitcase out for a thorough inspection.

Utter panic filled my chest as the agent reached for the Bible-stuffed suitcase. I would surely be black-listed from entering the country if the agent discovered the contraband.

The agent unzipped the suitcase and reached his arm all the way in.

In my panic, I had an idea. “Officer, I'm so sorry! I do have something.” Looking guilty, I pulled out a rack of pork ribs and held it in front of the officer.

“I’m so sorry! Is this allowed? Please take it!”

Repulsed by the forbidden meat, the officer quickly withdrew his hand and gave me the nastiest look of disgust I’ve ever seen.

“No, no, that is alright. Just go!” the officer said, in a huff. I left the border inspection, whispered a quick thank you to the Lord, and felt my heart beating as if I had just ran a foot race.

We had generated a Bible shortage

All of this happened because we had figured out a pretty simple tactic to find Muslims curious about Jesus or the Bible. We would spend a small amount of money on Facebook ads and curious Muslims enter into a marketing "funnel" where they slowly learned about Jesus.

Hundreds of people responded to the ads, wanting a Bible of their own, and thousands more used our content to do a deep-dive into who Jesus was.

All because of Facebook. Sounds pretty cool, right?

Courtesy of https://themarriagecourse.org/alpha

Then we turned off the ads

However, nearly getting caught smuggling 80 Bibles kicked off an intense season of prayer and reflection.

Was what we were doing actually leading to disciples being made and multiplying?

Were groups of seekers reading the Bible together or just lone individuals? Did they even know how to read the Bible or where to start?

And did the local believers who were following up with these seekers actually understand how to make disciples that multiply?

We had two main problems:

  • We were having a hard time getting seekers and new believers to feel confident that they could facilitate a Discovery Bible Study and understand that there was a simple process they could follow to discover God.

  • The local believers we were working with didn't really understand what Discovery Bible Studies (DBS) were or the bigger-picture strategy behind DBS, called Disciple Making Movements.

We needed a better tool to...

Make facilitating a Discovery Bible Study as simple as pressing a button

We heard of a movement in South Asia with hundreds of churches that were using a simple, solar-powered audio player that facilitated a group Discovery Bible Study by just pressing a button. The format took the pressure off of facilitators needing to memorize what discussion questions to ask, which Scripture passage to use, and even the requirement of being able to read.

Local disciple makers would find people interested in reading the Bible, and instead of giving them a Bible to read by themselves, the disciple makers would empower those seekers with this solar-powered device.

We decided to model Waha after this pattern, but instead of a solar-powered device (although we eventually added that functionality!), we put Waha on iOS and Android.

We needed a better tool to...

Train local believers in Disciple Making Movements (DMM)

In 2019, our local church hosted something called the Marriage Course.

My (Jeff) wife and I were eager to improve our marriage, so we signed up!

Our pastor and his wife had been married for over 30 years, so we were excited to learn from them.

When we showed up for the course at their house, we took out our Bibles and journals, ready to learn.

But instead of our pastor pulling out a podium and teaching, he rolled out a cart with a TV on it.

He then sat in the back of the room, grabbed the remote, and pressed play.

The 7-week Marriage Course was fantastic; it had times of teaching followed by pauses for discussion or activities. And we realized something powerful.... anyone could facilitate the Marriage Course. Even a single person! All they had to do was gather a group of people and press play on the course.

We decided to model the Waha Disciple Making Course after this pattern. The Waha Disciple Making Course is a 9-week training that equips you and your friends, family, or small group with Biblical vision for why and how to make disciples. Then, as a community, you're guided through implementing disciple making together.


Image Credit: Alpha USA

We needed a better tool to...

Make everything multi-language

We decided to make an app despite having zero experience building apps.

So, we needed to hire a programmer.

The problem was that we didn't have any money to pay for a programmer.

Since the country we live in has multiple languages anyway, we developed the Waha Discovery Bible Study app and Waha Disciple Making Course with translation in mind.

Then, we invited our colleagues in other nations to put their target languages on the platform and invited them to help us crowdfund the project.

Waha launched to the iOS and Android app stores back in November 2020, debuting with English and Saudi Arabic.

Today, Waha is used by 33,000+ disciple makers in over 190 countries across 20 languages!

Waha remains free to use and is made available to more people in more languages through the generous support of people like you.

About

Our team

Waha is a team of cross-cultural disciple makers and tech enthusiasts.

Jared
Co-Founder | CEO
Jeff
Co-Founder | Chief Product Officer
Trent
Lead Developer
Adam
Head of Mobilization
Zach
Asia Coordinator
Josh
Head of Localization
Jun-Ho
Director of Growth
Jared
Co-Founder | Chief Executive Officer
Jeff
Co-Founder | Chief Product Officer
Trent
Lead Developer
Josh
Localization Director
Adam
Director of International Mobilization
Jun-Ho
Director of Growth
Zach
Asia Regional Coordinator
Daniel
Europe Regional Coordinator