“Why would God let me have brain cancer?”
Nobody asks the hard questions better than children, and 6-year-old Matthew in Egypt is no exception.
Praise God, Matthew survived surgery to remove the cancer and recuperated, but he was left with some very big questions about God’s plan for his life and why it included so much suffering.
Until very recently, answering Matthew’s questions in an age-appropriate way would have been very hard. Twenty years ago, all Arabic books were still required by law to be written in classical Arabic—the language of the Koran from 1,400 years ago.
Imagine opening a children’s Bible with a child you love and reading with them, “God lufode middan-eard swa, dat he seade his ancennedan sunu, dat nan ne forwurthe de on hine gelyfð, ac habbe æfre lif butan ende.” That’s John 3:16 as translated into English by the Venerable Bede around 1,300 years ago. It’s no wonder children’s ministry in Arabic-speaking nations has been such a challenge!
The rise of social media and the relaxing of laws have meant more and more books appearing in colloquial Arabic. And with the help of generous supporters like you, Biblica produced the very first children’s Bible written in today’s colloquial Egyptian Arabic, just for kids like Matthew.
Through a local youth ministry, you gave Matthew one of those Bibles for his very own. Together, Matthew and the youth workers cracked open the bright pages of that brand-new Bible and read stories of Jesus’s miracles and the travels of the disciples. Matthew saw that sometimes, angels rescued the disciples from trouble, but other times they went through suffering for the sake of the Gospel.
In language he could easily understand, Matthew learned that God never wants us to suffer because He loves us. But He is able to transform our suffering as we use our testimony to bless and encourage others.
That was the answer Matthew was looking for. It was clear it went straight to his heart as Matthew picked up a guitar and sang a praise song to God in the language of his heart, “Every time I see your hands—strong and mighty—your power has no limits and your solutions are many.”
Through your generosity, more children like Matthew are finding the answers they need in a Bible they can understand, and “this service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God” (2 Corinthians 9:12, NIV). Thank you!