“I want you to come to my house,” he said. I think it was the third time he had asked me. I was a little apprehensive to leave the meetings the other times. This time seemed to fit the schedule better. The young man of about 12 had got permission from his teacher to skip school in order to attend the pastors training seminars. He was very egger to learn but had to look over my shoulder at the Bible I was using, because he didn’t have his own and all three of the loaner bibles at the church were in use.
Because of his eagerness to learn and my connection with him it seemed right to give him one of the Bibles I had brought with me from the US. I had just finished writing his name and an inscription on the inside cover when he made his request again, “I want you to come see my house.”
Shadrick’s father doesn’t have a job. He hunts and sells bush meat in order to support his family. Their house is a small structure made of sticks and mud, with a dirt floor. It’s night time and the family has one small battery powered LED light, and a radio. Two of the children who I thought were Shadrick’s close friends turned out to be his siblings. He has five all together. His father is impressed with the Bible I gave him. He tells Shadrick to be careful with it or someone might run off with it.
I couldn’t understand why, if stealing bibles was so common, anyone would buy a used Bible. Wouldn’t it be obvious with Bibles being in such scarcity that no one would sell their old Bible but give it a Christian sister or brother in their church? Christians should not buy goods that they reasonably suspect are stolen. But that is not the main thing on my mind. I realized this family only has one Bible, the one that I just gave to their middle son. I do not have enough Bibles to give them anymore. Had I realized how big the family was before I might have given the Bible to their father for the family to share. All I can hope is that it doesn’t get stolen and that Shadrick does share it with his family so they can all be blessed by the hearing of God’s word.
The need for bibles is great all over Liberia, especially the more rural areas like where Shadrick lives in Grand Gedeh County. Bibles are one thing I am told, that the Foreign Mission of the ALCA is always in need of funds for. Their Bible found in constantly depleted because the need is so great! T
his story from Liberia is just a snapshot of that need! (email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to donate for Bibles)
Picture is of Shadrick with his Bible and at least 3 of his 5 siblings.