I have long known that Bibles aren’t readily available in many parts of the world. I have read accounts of believers who’ve prayed years for a copy of the Bible. This decade, people have been willing to die for owning a Bible or passing a Bible to someone seeking for truth. See some of these links:
- “U.S. Warns China on Bible-Smuggling Case” by Patrick Goodenough, Baptist Press
- “Smuggling Debate” by Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra, Christianity Today
- Bibles Unbound, a ministry of Voice of the Martyrs
- “Christian Persecution Washed Away by Living Waters” by Bible League International
People are willing to die for Bibles, and I have a shelf full of them. I personally have more Bibles that I don’t use than there are people in my household! I am grieved.
January 3. I pulled four Bibles off the shelf that I immediately knew I didn’t need. I also removed a nonfiction book on prayer. It was an excellent book, but I have gleaned what I can, and it will be more useful in someone else’s hands.
I searched online for ministries that would get Bibles into the hands of people who truly want them. Glad Tidings India collects used English Bibles and evangelical Christian books. They sell these at low cost to people in India, which has a large population of English speakers and English learners. This money is then used to provide Bibles in native languages. Any proceeds from native-language Bibles fund church planting, vacation Bible schools, and literacy classes. My old Bible can do all that? Why is it collecting dust on my bookshelf? I thought.
I contacted the organization to ask about donating materials, as well as to check if a particular Bible of mine was in good enough condition to donate.
If you want to participate, see AdvanceGlobalLiterature.com, the site for Glad Tidings India’s sister organization, which oversees collection of used books and Bibles.
January 4. I pulled more Christian books off the shelf, most of them in very good condition. One of these books was God’s Story. It’s a summary of the Bible with daily readings for one year for young readers. I had two copies, which I didn’t realize because the other had a different title. I was tempted to keep the best copy for our household. But I did not. God has been dealing with me in other areas of my life about giving Him the best, not the leftovers. It’s such a little thing, but I thought He would happy if I gave away the better copy.
I also wrote a check to Bible League. Not everyone can afford to buy a Bible, and not everyone can read English. I still felt sick about all my books and Bibles I haven’t been using.
January 7. I packaged up the Bibles and Christian literature I will be sharing with India.
People are willing to die for Bibles, and even after I’ve removed some from my shelf, I still have several. It isn’t right.