Imagine you live in the Middle East. In some countries it is against the law to possess a Bible, and being caught with one could amount to a prison sentence.
If you want to purchase a Bible, you must first have a contact who will share information on which bookstore sells Bibles. Then that person must introduce you to the staff, so they don’t think you’re a government official eager to catch them selling illegal Christian materials. Next, the staff will take you to a back room where the Bibles are likely to be, because they cannot be displayed publicly.
The average North American family has four or more Bibles in their home and easy access to more. Maybe that’s why it can be hard to imagine that millions around the world must go to great lengths to have a Bible of their own.
Are you willing to go such great lengths to own God’s Word? Many of us have no idea what it would be like to live where the Bible is illegal.
WINDS OF CHANGE
But praise be to God, there has been an incredible opportunity to share God’s Word in one gospel-resistant country! One of our colleagues recently shared this exciting story about a Biblica Middle East bookshop:Each one will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land. Isaiah 32:2, NIV
“Despite great personal risk, the manager of one bookshop requested we send as many Scriptures as possible because he recognized a great window of opportunity in his country. This opportunity to bring the gospel into this restricted nation is truly an indication of the winds of change across the Middle East!
“In response, we sent 11,000 Scripture pieces to the bookshop. Usually, we can only get in 30 to 40 pieces at a time, maybe 100 at the most. And the $70,000 to provide the materials and transport them was not in our budget. Where would we get the money? We prayed, and the very next day one of our ministry partners came unannounced to us and said the shipment to the bookshop is fantastic news, and he offered to pay half!
“The next hurdle: by the grace of God we already had all the materials available—but how would we get them across the border? The next day we found a company that had space in their containers, and they were willing to take our shipment with him.
“God created this opportunity. He heard our prayers, and He answered them. Now we pray the materials get into the hands of people who are looking for them.
“Yes, I truly believe the winds of change work in God’s ways and His timing. It is up to Him to reveal Himself and it is up to us to be His instruments. The time is now to obey!”
Biblica establishes bookshops to make Christian materials available in gospel-resistant countries. Because these stores operate “underground,” courageous local believers often risk their lives to staff the stores and provide God’s Word. This year, Biblica will establish bookshops in four countries, with a potential reach of 150,000 people. With your prayer and financial support, these will become self-sustaining after three years as Streams in the Desert.