Frederick turned the pages of his new study Bible with great reverence. To his delight, the study Bible held more than just text. It also contained numerous illustrations and charts.
“The pictures and maps in the study Bible help [me] understand the text,” he said, pointing to the pictures of the tabernacle and temple.
Frederick is a youth pastor, and the truths he’s discovering inside the Bible’s pages will go a long way in sharing the message of God’s love with his students — and growing his own faith.
While those of us living in America have unlimited access to commentaries, studies, and a number of different Bible translations, many others around the world do not have that luxury.
But thanks to generous donors, Frederick and a group of other Rwandan church planters and pastors are now equipped with new study Bibles to help them better share God’s Word with their communities.
For the first time, these pastors are able to study the Word of God thoroughly.
Pacifique is another one of the pastors who received a study Bible. He is a church planter in the northern part of the country. While he is very passionate about studying Scripture, he is even more passionate about using what he has learned to help others.
“With the study Bible, I can make better sermons,” he said. “The people will learn more about Jesus!”
It is easy to understand why these pastors are so excited. Rwanda has a complicated and violent history. More than 20 years have passed since genocide ripped the nation in two; and now, the message of God’s love found in the Bible is restoring people’s hope and mending decades-old wounds.
Pastors and church planters like Pacifique and Frederick believe in the power of God’s Word to change people’s hearts and to change their nation. And the study Bibles they received allow them to understand the Word more deeply and explain its truths to others.
Maurice and Jean Bosco are also both pastors; specifically, they are youth leaders who are eager to share a message of hope and love with a new generation of Rwandans. To them, these new study Bibles are the most precious tools they own.
“The study Bible helps me to explain the Word of God better to young people in my church,” Maurice said.
“[It helps us] teach young people about God’s love,” Jean Bosco added.
But many others in Rwanda and around the world have still never learned of God’s love because they don’t have access to Bibles.
Places like Rwanda, North Korea, and China remain “Bible deserts” — places where God’s Word is illegal, scarce, or both.
That’s why we, as the global body of Christ, need to continue working toward getting Bibles into the hands of all our brothers and sisters around the world … and people who are still searching for the Truth, too!
When Christians in Bible deserts receive their very own copy of God’s Word, it brings incredible joy! They dance. Many weep. And almost all of them hug the Bible to their chest or kiss the cover reverently.
The Bible — which we often take for granted — is so precious to these people because it is so rare in their countries.
And when Bibles get into the hands of pastors and church planters, they make an even greater impact. The preachers who received Bibles in Rwanda will share its message with everyone they meet, touching countless lives with the Gospel!
As Christmas approaches, you’re likely to see many articles claiming they have the definitive list of “2018’s greatest gifts.” But as Frederick and Pacifique would be quick to tell you, God’s Word is the greatest gift of all.
Emily Towns writes for World Help, a Christian humanitarian organization serving the physical and spiritual needs of people in impoverished communities around the world. To learn more about World Help’s work distributing Bibles, click here.