The Canadian Bible Society, along with 146 national Bible Societies around the world, has been working diligently to bring the Bible to every man, woman and child since 1904. And yet it’s hard to believe that there are thousands of people still waiting to receive their own copy of the Holy Scriptures. But with the help of many supporters in every corner of the globe, along with the dedication of hard working staff and the leading of the Holy Spirit, this past year we saw that number reduced by millions.
When the Bible is placed into waiting hands, or given to someone who is in need of encouraging words, the impact on their heart can be life-changing as these stories illustrate…
When H’Ngoih Ten Thong Goi was five years old, her parents were murdered and she became a slave to a neighbouring tribe in Vietnam. When Pastor Kun from another tribe heard what had happened to the little girl, he rescued her and took her into his home. She stayed with them for two years then moved back to her home village with one of her aunts. This move ended the young girl’s short education because she had to work in her aunt’s fields all day.
Several years later, Pastor Kun brought her a Bible, not in her own language of Bunong (because this was not available), but in his own language – Rade. At first, she was disappointed but to her surprise, and to the shock of those around her, the young girl found that she was able to read and understand it. “I couldn’t believe it – it was truly a miracle!” recalls Ms H’Ngoih, who is now 64. “I read that Bible over and over again. Our God is so good!”
“I never saw the Bible when I was young,” Rev. Ainap Tao told the gathering at the launch of the Revised Wa Bible in Myanmar. “Every Sunday my pastor would recite and preach on a Scripture passage but we never actually saw a Bible. Scriptures were forbidden in those days. Today, from the bottom of my heart, I praise God for the Bible in my own language.” Rev. Ainap Tao’s words were greeted with heartfelt applause by the thousands of Wa Christians.
Currently there are around 6,000 prisoners in Haiti. They live in harsh and overcrowded conditions. They are forced to sleep in shifts because there’s not enough space for them all to lie down at the same time. Determined to make God’s Word available to all, the Bible Society distributes Bibles to prisoners. “It was a day of great joy when we received our Bibles,” writes J.E. “We discovered in the Bible that God loves everyone. Many of us have already changed our behaviour. We read the Bible every day and it’s helping us to live together like brothers.”
Millions more people now have a Bible and millions more now have a New Testament compared to a year ago. These figures are included in the summary below, the authoritative guide to worldwide Scripture distribution by the United Bible Societies.
[Source: Canadian Bible Society]