Has there been a time in your life you heard about a book and you wanted to read it? You have to wait for it though because it hasn’t come out yet or maybe you don’t have the money to buy it. Maybe the author just announced they were writing it, and you know that the second you get that book that you will open it and begin to read it for everything it’s worth?
There have been a few books like that over the years for me. Chasing God and What Women Fear by Angie Smith are a couple that stick out in my mind from the past couple years.
But what about the Bible? What if you lived in a place where you went to church every Sunday, but you never had a Bible? And getting a Bible would take an act of God?
While talking to our small group in Rwanda one of the young men mentioned that he wanted a Bible so that he could read the word of God. I didn’t realize how much that statement would mean to me until a few hours later when we were listening to the lesson. Part of the lesson was about growing spiritually by being in God’s word. I turned to our interpreter and asked him if they even had Bibles. No. The lesson continued saying that if they didn’t have Bibles that they could get them from their church. So again, I asked if the churches have Bibles to give these kids? No.
Now you have to understand, we were ministering to children who lived in villages with dirt roads. Bibles are not easy to come by. The churches don’t just have a stock pile of Bibles like some of our churches do here.
I felt the hopelessness in that moment. In a way we were unintentionally sharing something that probably felt impossible to these young kids. They wanted Bibles and we were encouraging them to read Bibles that they didn’t have and couldn’t get.
It bothered me. It bothered me that they didn’t have Bibles. And it bothered me that they wanted them so bad. As we sat together in our next small group, the children asked how they could spiritually grow if they didn’t have Bibles. I cried as I apologized to them that they didn’t have Bibles. I told them that when they were in church, to listen carefully to what the pastors said, I told them to surround themselves with Christian friends who could encourage them, and I told them that when they did get a Bible, to read it and to soak it up for all it is worth.
I couldn’t stop thinking about how we could get these children Bibles by the time we left. But that would be impossible. Yet, as I was thinking this, the person from World Relief who was in charge of our team was already researching how to get these children Bibles by the time we left in two days.
One of the things that I tend to think about when I am leaving someone is What can I leave this person with? and in these moments I knew that the best thing we could leave these children with was the Word of God in their langauge.
And that is what happened. The Bibles arrived the next morning, and that night we were able to present the Bibles to the children in our groups right after dinner. To say that they were happy is an understatement. There were shouts of joy, prayers of thanksgiving, and testimonies of some praying for God to bring them Bibles and He did as He promised He would.
(click the link below to watch them right after they received their Bibles)https://thepathifollow.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/img_5796.mov
I have given Bibles to many people over the past few years. I love it when they read it, and can feel God’s love in the pages. I will always remember one girl said to me as she had the Bible in her hands “This belongs to me”. And there is something special about a group of 50 children all receiving their first Bible at the same time, because the truth in those pages belong to them.
It didn’t take long for them to begin opening the pages and reading His truth. It was really like they were receiving the best gift they could ever receive, and they knew it.
What if you lived in a place where you went to church every Sunday, but receiving a Bible would take an act of God? Would you desire it? Would you pray for it? Would you wait in anticipation to be able to open His word and let His truth allow you to grow?
This Book contains life. These moments got me thinking if I truly desire to read His word? These children knew the preciousness of the truth of God’s word. Do I? Do I treasure His word like they were? Do I desire to know the depth of knowledge in this Book that belongs to me, that was written for me?
I think these are questions we all should consider, as we realize that the Bible isn’t as accessible in other parts of the world as it is here.
I want to challenge you with two things. First, ask for the desire to crave His word more. And secondly, always look for those who may need a Bible and be ready to give one away. It is truly the best gift you can give someone.