Lives Forever Changed: Stories of Hope from the Bible Mission
This article was originally posted in our December 2020 Word@Work.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” —John 1:14
More than two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ was born on Christmas day, where he took on human form and lived amongst men for thirty three years before his death on the Cross. The insurmountable love that God has for His people is evidenced by the act of sending Jesus down to earth—knowing full well that he would die to save humanity from their sin (Romans 5:8).
As we give honour and glory to humanity’s Saviour for the precious gift that He has bestowed upon us, we are also called to give as we have received (Matthew 10:8). Burdened by the need to share the Good News, Bible Societies all around the world are working relentlessly to spread the Gospel and the love of Christ—through the provision of the Word, Bible advocacy programmes and meeting the needs of impoverished communities.
In this edition of Word In Action, we bring to you stories and testimonies from Bible Societies all over the world—individuals and communities who have been touched by the Bible Mission.
Located in Central East Africa, Uganda has a population of more than 45 million, of which 30.2% consist of children aged six to 14. In spite of their tender age, many of them have been faced with a myriad of problems, such as neglect, drug abuse, rape and hard labour. Some of them have also become victims of child trafficking. To combat these problems, the Church in Uganda has been developing programmes to bring the Word of God to these children. To increase the reach of their ministry, the Bible Society of Uganda has been working with the local Church to organise Bible advocacy activities like Bible Quizzes and Bible Recitals. Bibles are also given to these children so they may read the Word of God on their own and encounter the love of God in an intimate manner. Armed with the Book of Promises, it is hoped that these children will be better equipped to face life’s challenges.
Another country that has dedicated much of its Bible Mission work to Bible distribution is Bangladesh. In a country where Christians make up only 0.4% of the population, the Bible Society of Bangladesh has been translating the Bible into languages that are understood by the different language groups. To reach the illiterate communities living in remote areas, they are also in the midst of producing audio Bibles, so that even more will be able to hear the Word of God. Thus far, their audio Bibles—available in different languages—have been able to impact about 900 individuals, which would not have been possible without the help of our generous donors and supporters.
Life is full of uncertainties but there is a certainty of hope when we cling on to the Lord and His promises (Jeremiah 29:11). A teacher from Nazareth, Israel discovered this truth through one of the programmes by the Arab-Israeli Bible Society. She was suffering from anxiety and sleeplessness due to worries about all aspects of her life, especially about her children, who were serving in the medical field in these perilous times of the COVID-19 pandemic. She was also constantly fretting about her future and the future of her children, resulting in problems in her relationships with others.
Through the invitation of a friend, she attended a workshop on anxiety conducted by the Arab-Israeli Bible Society. She said, “Participating in the session at the Arab-Israeli Bible Society Centre was beneficial for me. I received a lot of information and tools to deal with my anxiety and concerns besides immediate comfort.” One of the pastors she met at the centre encouraged her to hold on to the teaching and explained to her about God’s acceptance of us, no matter what. Inspired and encouraged, she then committed her life to the Lord. She was also given a version of the New Testament and urged to pray, read the Bible and participate in church services.
This is but one of many testimonies from Israel, the Holy Land. Despite Israel being the birth place of Jesus and the site of many miracles He performed, only two percent of Israel’s population are Christians. As such, there is still much to be done in Israel to further the Bible Mission.
As Paul said in Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Staying true to our mission to make the Word of God known to all peoples, we endeavour to continue being a vessel of blessing to the nations. We would like to invite you to partner with us so that we can reach more countries in need of the Word and of practical help. Visit bible.org.sg/donate to contribute to our cause.