I count it an enormous privilege to be able to travel to areas in the world where the Scottish Bible Society is supporting the local Bible Society. The memorable thing is not the work but rather the people doing the work. People committed to serving God in an environment where Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, or Animism may be the religion of choice and where things are never easy – working with the poor, dealing with memories of genocide and war, remembering and working through times of famine and disasters, dealing with people, politicians, civil servants who follow another religion.

It is puzzling to those of us who have such easy access to the Bible as to why the Bible should be so important in the midst of their poverty and suffering, however, we live in such an affluent society in contrast to their poverty.

When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you – a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant – then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
Deut 6:10-12

A visit to areas such as Cambodia or Ethiopia are stark reminders that we, in the West, live in a very rich part of the world and are in real danger of forgetting the Lord.

I know I need to get back to doing more reading of the most precious book and start to listen more carefully to the God who has blessed us so abundantly with these good things!

Pete Chirnside
Church Partnership Manager