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A Famine for the Word of God – In School


“The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign LORD, “when I will send a famine through the land – not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.” – Amos 8:11

I received two emails recently from different parts of the world – with very different attitudes toward the word of God.

One of these concerned a mother whose daughters had their Bibles taken from them by school authorities – when they were reading them during “free reading” time. The school officials told them that this was just trash and they should not be reading the Bible at school. The Bibles had pages torn from them and were thrown into the trash.

Guess what country that was in. No, it was not a report from the old Soviet Russia – though they did things like that. In that Atheistic nation, it was common to “trash” the Bible. It was about a recent occurence right here in the good old US of A where freedom of religion and freedom of speech are supposed to be enshrined in our basic law as parts of our First Amendment Rights.

Then, later in the day, I received the following from the Eastern European Mission manager of our distribution center in Donetsk, Ukraine. She forwarded a letter she received from a preacher in the Donetsk Region of Ukraine. He was one of many who assisted in the actual delivery of Bibles to schools in that State-sized region of that country. Notice the difference in his letter and the earlier report.

To EEM

from Bagdasaryan Albert, the preacher of the Slaviansk [Ukraine] Church of Christ.

In November of 2009 I brought the set of Christian literature* to the Slaviansk orphanage #2 and to the orphanage in Nikolaevka.

Also I took the set of literature to the library of the Slaviansk Pedagogic University and conducted a Bible class with the librarians to encourage them to stimulate the interest of the students and teachers to read the Bible.

In the city of Krasny Liman, in the state department of education I conducted the presentation of the materials for learning English through the Bible, and gave them 56 English New Testaments. The official of the department of education asked to bring them 40 sets of World English Institute materials to give them to 40 English teachers to use in their work of teaching English. The World English Institute materials also created interest in Slaviansk. One of the English teachers, very experienced in her profession, worked through these materials herself and assessed them very high. She requested 30 sets of these materials to give to both teachers and students.

In the orphanage of Nikolaevka I have begun regular Bible classes with children of 7-10 years old. Every Saturday the classes begin at 4.30 p.m., and the members of the Church of Slaviansk and Nikolaevka help in them. I brought an additional portion of Children’s Bible to the orphanage. The kids love to read the Bible by themselves.

Also I conduct regular classes in the private school in Slaviansk. Thank you very much for helping me in this very important work of spreading the word of God to those who want to listen in these cities. May God bless your work in this field also,

Albert Bagdasaryan.

*The “Christian Literature” he mentions here included Bible Story books for younger children and Bibles for older children. There are also other “weekly reader” type materials EEM produces for use in the orphanages. I have added the “bold-face” of some important points. I also added [Ukraine]. Otherwise, the letter is just as I received it.

The forwarding note for this letter had this comment from Richard Baggett in the EEM Dallas office:

Did you know we, specifically, have more people that we know of, that want our Bibles and materials?  Brethren are requesting our materials to share with their neighbors, and there are more schools, libraries, camps, etc, etc,  We really are reaching many, many people!

Eastern European Mission, for whom I work part-time as a fund-raiser, has put Bible into the regular K-12 curriculum of five different “states” (Regions) of Russia and Ukraine since 1998, the latest being the Donetsk Region of Ukraine last Spring & Summer. We have invitations to do the same for two additional Regions as soon as we can raise the funds. (Watch for another “Million Dollar Sunday” later this year to fund these requests.)

As Richard said, more and more opportunities are coming our way as people are asking for Bibles for themselves and for friends.

Yet, I have actually had people disparage this great work by saying things like, “Yes, you can give Bibles away – but a lot of them just take the Bible down to the market and sell it.”

To this I reply, “So what? If the person we give it to sells it, the Lord has just paid him to put it into the hands of someone who does want it!” He could not sell it if there were not a buyer who wanted what he had to sell.

Alexander Propochuk (see a post about his work here) first got his hands on a Bible when his wife bought one in the train station from a woman who was selling it because she was hungry. Now through his ministry unnumbered hundreds of people have come to the Lord.

There are people who are hungry for God’s Word – while many of us in the country, not only ignore it, but actually forbid those under their authority to read it.

Will we do what we can to 1) help those who want the Bible to be able to get it and 2) encourage people here to return to reading the Bible seriously? If we do not, the Lord is liable to hold someone accountable.

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