Can you imagine living as a Christian without a Bible? Think about it. When you want to know more about Jesus, or want to grow spiritually in your walk with Him, what book would you go to? The Bible of course!
Timothy, a Gospel for Asia national missionary, met Mahabala and his wife, Nitara, during an outreach.
They recently had received Christ as their Savior, but they were not able to get a Bible in their own language and had no one to help them grow spiritually. They were even more discouraged when Mahabala's parents kicked them out of the family home because of their new faith.
To encourage them, Timothy gave them a Bible published by GFA Bible Society. They were so delighted to receive the Word of God that they faithfully read it every day. They also began to attend worship services. As a result, their fellowship with Him increased day by day, and they became strong in their faith.
Then their commitment to Christ was severely tested. After kicking them out of his home, Mahabala's father used his influence to get his son fired. With the loss of Mahabala's salary, the couple began selling their jewelry to pay the rent. In their culture, this was the last step before turning to begging.
But Mahabala's father made an offer: If they would reject Jesus and return to their old religion, he would give them 400,000 rupees-the equivalent of 18 months of Mahabala's previous salary. When Mahabala didn't respond, his father increased his offer to 1 million and later to 2 million rupees. Yet Mahabala and Nitara decided to hold firm in their faith, even if it meant living in poverty.
You see, they had learned from their new Bible that their true riches were stored up in heaven and that following Christ was worth more than gaining the whole world.
Only God's Word has that kind of power. And there is nothing closer to the heart of God than giving His Word to new believers like Mahabala and Nitara—and to those who do not yet know of the God who loves them so much that He sent His Son to die in their place.
Many in Asia do not have a Bible; therefore, they have no guide in their spiritual walks with the Lord and no way of sharing His word with others.
You value the fact that you have your own Bible.
In fact, you likely have several copies. But you also know that just owning copies of the Scriptures is no guarantee of good Bible study habits.
In fact, someone once observed, "Either your Bible is falling apart and your life is OK; or your Bible looks OK and your life is falling apart."
Jesus Himself testified that following God's Word is a matter of life and death: "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4).
Indeed, the Bible is the only book in the universe that tells us how our sins can be forgiven and the name we must call upon for salvation. It is our light in darkness, our comfort in sorrow and our guide in following Christ; it is our courage, strength and everything we will ever need to safely reach our Father's home.
If the Bible is all this, what then is the fate of more than 99 percent of Asia's 3 billion people who have no access to God's Word?
And what about the thousands of new believers in Asia who are desperately waiting to receive the Scriptures in their own language? No doubt, their spiritual growth, maturity and steadfastness are directly linked to their access to the Bible. In fact, the very survival, stability, effectiveness and future of the emerging Church depend on whether its members become firmly grounded in God's Word.
We at Gospel for Asia long to flood the mission fields of Asia with the Word of God. If that is the cry of your heart as well, I pray that you will join with us to make it happen while there is still time. Thank you for sharing the Scriptures with the lost men, women and children of Asia.
On behalf of those who hunger for the Word,
Founder & President