I don't remember the feel of my first Bible in my hands, or opening it for the first time. I don't recall my first prayer, the first time I asked God for wisdom, or the first time I bowed my knee in submission to God's written Word.
I've always felt God's presence close to me...never consciously walked a day without an awareness of Him. I've spent a lifetime experiencing His discipline, love, and tender mercies.
I've always known God's love...always known right from wrong.
But what if I didn't?
What if I hadn't grown up in a Bible-saturated country? What if instead of growing up in church, I had grown up in the jungle? What if instead knowing compassion and correction, I had known torture and death? What if instead of having the freedom to be well-educated, I had been forced into slave labor? What if instead of being taught to respect my body and save it for marriage, I had been forced to sell it in order to feed my babies?
What if I had never stepped foot in a country whose very foundation, very fabric, had been woven together based on the principles found in the Word of God?
Imagine with me a moment a young girl who lives in Africa. Her only experience with a loving God is the one who allowed her mom and dad to die and watched while she was raped. She's heard of Him, this Jesus, but not in a language she truly understands, so her knowledge of who He is and what He came to do is limited, and formed more by what she sees around her than any sense of absolute truth.
Her truth hurts. And she doesn't see any hope waiting around the corner to change it.
She could be me.
She could be you. She could be anyone whose eyes have never been opened to the truth of God's Word.
How could she know that it's sin that causes her pain and not God?
How could she know that there's hope waiting in heaven, and joy here on Earth?
How could she know that truth transcends all she sees and feels?
How could she know that forgiveness washes clean and gives new beginnings?
And she won't unless you and I step forward and allow the truth to bother us.
There are more people in the world without a single verse of Scripture in their language than the entire population of the United States. In fact, more people live without a complete Bible in their language than without enough food and clean water combined.
I'm NOT ok with that.
Our young girl above, who has never read the Bible in a language she can understand, is one of 56,000 Vidunda in Tanzania, a people group in Africa with a history of exploitation and abuse.
And you, my friend, can change her life.
YOU can bring the Truth of the Gospel to her people and watch as it opens the eyes of their understanding, literally translating darkness into light.
Good news to the poor...
Binding up the brokenhearted...
Proclaiming freedom for the captives...
Releasing prisoners from darkness...
Proclaiming the year of the Lord's favor...
For the Vidunda people.
This could be the year that our girl receives comfort when she mourns, beauty for the ashes of her life, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair (Isaiah 61).
But it won't happen unless you and I respond. Until those of us who have had the PRIVILEGE of growing up with God's Word take time to really see those who haven't...until we realize the great and marvelous gift we've been given, and the power of God's Word to revolutionize enter civilizations.
Will you see her?
All it takes is $26 a month. As you plan out your 2012, will you sacrifice a new sweater, a night at the movies, or one dinner out a month in order to make sure that she knows God sees her? Will you take this opportunity to bring light into her darkness, and make it possible for her life to intersect for the first time with the Good News of Jesus Christ?
Think it over. Pray about it. But respond.
I have over ten Bibles in my house.
She has none.
(This post is linked up at the Seed Company blog with about 30 others. Head on over to learn more about how OneVerse and the Seed Company are reaching the lost with the truth of God's Word through bloggers like me.)
Come pull up your chair and spend an hour with Stacey Thacker and me (co-authors of Hope for the Weary Mom: Where God Meets You in Your Mess) as we answer your questions about being a weary mom LIVE!.
We're planning to gather around the table with you January 12, 2012 from 9 - 10 PM EST, so please don't miss it!
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- Buy the book on Kindle today (1/4/12) (already have it? Buy a copy to share with a friend. It's less than a buck!)
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*Kitchen Table Talks are an outreach mission of Lamplighters Women's Bible Study
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