Thank you so much for supporting us during these challenging days.
Your prayers really keep us going. And we are humbled by the generosity of our supporters who have helped support Bible ministry in Scotland and in some of the poorest places around the world.
Since our last appeal I wanted to update you about some of our colleagues who, despite huge challenges, are still working hard to carry out their ministry. As you can imagine, this is so desperately needed amidst the devastating impact of the coronavirus.
I told you about the work of the ‘Bread of Life’ project that we are supporting in Peru. This reaches out to children who are malnourished, providing food, Bibles, and Christian support. The communities they serve do not have running water and they have no access to local health care.
Many remote villages have been locked down and quarantined, with no one allowed in or out.
However, rather than abandon these villages, the Bible Society of Peru sought, and was granted, a special license to visit with food and Scripture. They were overjoyed when the license was granted.
We praise God for continued ministry in these remote areas of Peru. They need our prayers and practical support to sustain this emotional and physically demanding work.
From Uganda, Simon Peter Mukhama, General Secretary, tells us that current circumstances have meant that staff numbers have had to be reduced to just a few people. Income from churches is down to zero, and Bible sales have suffered dramatically. With literally no income, this means that the majority of staff have had to take a 4-month unpaid leave break.
Simon Peter says, “We are still trying to work and minister. We have joined hands with the government to promote Audio Scripture listening, Trauma Healing and Braille Scriptures for the Blind.
“We have also supported many of the clergy, who now have no income, with food parcels. We are also developing new ways of ministering and fundraising through digital technology”.
Please pray for Simon Peter and his team as they struggle to maintain Bible ministry during this pandemic with very little in the way of financial resources.
Despite the difficulties of lockdown, the hunger for God’s Word has continued to grow in Cuba. The Bible Commission (the name for the Bible Society in Cuba) has risen to this challenge.
Alain Montana, General Secretary, says, “People are finding that the closeness of God’s Word makes distancing more bearable. The Word always produces fruit, bringing joy and hope in the midst of life’s problems”.
They are carefully, and safely, continuing with pastoral visits and deliveries of Bibles as well as helping to meet other specific needs.
Please pray for their continued safety as they seek to meet that hunger for God’s Word.
In many countries, there is no government bail-out or staff furlough scheme. Many of our sister societies are struggling to pay their staff and their rent.
There is a real concern that, without help, some Bible Societies in some of the poorest countries may have to close their doors and no longer be able to provide Scripture.
Your help is urgently needed to stop that happening. A central fund has been created to support struggling Bible Societies, and we have committed to supporting this. Please add your support today.
Hama Yaye, Executive Secretary, Bible Society in Niger, says, “The truth is, we cannot cope. Our Society is not used to digital communications. My feet swell in my shoes every night, my back and shoulders hurt, I can’t concentrate my thoughts, and sometimes I forget I haven’t eaten. If at least we knew the end, we could endure, but the suspense is hard for us. We have two people in the office, but no Bibles are sold. People are surviving only. We have no economic reserves. If it lasts longer, things will be very difficult.”
In Mozambique, not only are they burdened by the pandemic, but Islamist extremists are exploiting the situation to wreak even more havoc in villages in the north.
Valente Tomas Tseco, Executive Secretary, Bible Society in Mozambique, sent this message: “Greetings from Maputo, Mozambique. Life has changed since the devastation of the coronavirus in the world. We’ve had internet failures almost constantly, and our country is in a state of emergency. Our Bible sales have dropped drastically, and we are not sure what our future will be. We are hardly able to pay monthly salaries. We still have political challenges and ISIS invades villages and districts day by day. Stay blessed, Valente.”
Your help is vital to help keep Bible work alive in the poorest nations.
Together, if we can raise the funds for financially struggling Bible Societies around the world to at least pay staff and the rent, then we can help them to continue desperately needed Bible ministry.
I am aware that the current situation we find ourselves in has caused some people here in Scotland to suffer financial hardship. If you are not able to donate, please do pray for our colleagues around the world. Your prayers really do make a difference.
Your partnership and generosity in this work is essential as together we seek to build Christ’s kingdom during these hugely challenging times. Now, as much as ever, people need the Bible.
May you know God’s reassuring presence with you at all times.