by Jerry Kingery
|In the dark of night, the African death squad came
for P.T. He was in the cold prison awaiting execution
because one Saturday night someone at work told him his
wife was at home having an affair. He ran as fast as he
could and in a fit of rage, he pulled a gun and shot them
both dead. He "started to take to his heels,"
but was grabbed and held for the police. His sentence was
death and the wait began.
One Sunday a minister came and handed out some small Bible Foundation Scripture portions. P.T. read over and over the passage with the words, "The Son of man has power on earth to forgive sins," and he wept through the night. God delivered him from eternal death and he was ready for the death squad. In the darkness of one night, a big, black truck arrived and the condemned were taken out. P.T. stood watching as one by one they went onto the truck. He was the last and as his turn came he saw there was no room for him. He was sent back to bed and told they would get him the next time. The truck disappeared into the dark. The next day a cable came, changing P.T.'s sentence from death to life in prison.
He reflected on his wicked past and recent developments and praised God for deliverance. God had gotten his attention and he strongly wanted a Bible, so he wrote to Bible Foundation and requested one. The Bible was sent and within a few weeks he wrote expressing great appreciation. He said, however, that there were over 200 Christians there, and the one Bible did not go very far. He asked if more could be sent. Over time many were sent and letters came back asking for more. He said more people--even guards--were becoming Christians, and they needed more. He said prisoners were being released and they would take the Bibles with them so more were needed. He said other prisons found out about it and they wanted Bibles also. One day a letter arrived from someone who had been a prisoner there, saying he was now an evangelist and needed Bibles for his ministry.
Of the thousands of letters received begging for Bibles, many tug at the heart. Young Muslims write that they've become Christians and families disown them. Christians are beaten; Christian schools and churches are destroyed; many people are killed. In the midst of it all, believers grow strong and continue to spread the gospel, but the overriding plea is for more Bibles. A refugee from Mozambique wrote there are 1,975 Christians in their church, but they lack Bibles. One writer said, "We are displaced and most of us are refugees here in Uganda. We have lost almost all necessary materials for our personal use and the Lord's work, due to the civil war in the Sudan. There is GREAT NEED of Bibles among the displaced people. Kindly we beg more used Bibles."
The need for English Bibles is unending. There are over 100 countries today that use English and it is now taught in most countries. Anyone who is interested can get involved, and technology is making it easier. The Lord continues to expand the large network of individuals, organizations, churches and multinational ministries, and Scripture continually goes to hungry hearts.
Jerry Kingery is founder and president of Bible Foundation, based in Newberg, Oregon. For information on helping, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.bf.org/bibledrive.