How much is a Bible worth overseas?

A Sunday School Lesson or Sermon Illustration for your church

On the Chinese Black Market, a Bible costs about 34,000 Yuan ($5,000).

How much is a Bible worth where you live?  Petr Jasek is someone who can personally testify to the value of the Word of God. While being locked in a Sudanese prison cell with members of the Islamic State, a verse he had memorized just before he went into prison helped him to endure the brutal treatment he experienced there.
When he was moved into a safer situation in another prison, a visitor slipped him a copy of the Bible. He had gone for so long without a Bible that he absolutely devoured it! Because the cell did not have electric lights, he could only read it during the daylight hours. Despite this, he read through the whole Bible in three weeks! Click here to hear Petr Jasek’s story.

In China, a Bible costs as much as six month’s wages on the black market.  So our Brothers and Sisters in Christ know the value of this amazing Book we take so much for granted.  Now we see why they are taken apart, the pieces passed around and copied into notebooks!

Here is what happened when a village Chinese church received copies of the Word of God in their own language:

I have never held my Bible close to my heart, with tears in my eyes. I don’t know what it’s like to want a Bible more than anything else in this world.
Is there a more worthwhile way to serve Christ than to bring God’s Word to His people who so desperately want it?

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The Search for Ginger Chicken

ginger

This post was written by Sharon while we were in Chad.

Yesterday, it was getting near to sundown, and we couldn’t find Ginger, our new chicken. She hadn’t touched the cut-up tomatoes we had given her, which is extremely unusual, because she LOVES them. We couldn’t find her anywhere in our yard, and so we started searching. We started to wonder if someone had climbed over the wall and stolen her, but decided that’s not likely, because we would certainly have heard her squawk. Then we were trying to remember the last time we saw her, and no one could remember decisively. I wondered if she escaped when Ashta left, but David insisted she couldn’t have. We checked inside the library, the other part of the yard, everywhere we could think of, but to no avail. I stood near the front gate, between the library and the guardhouse, and started to call her; “Here, chick-chick-chick!”

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More Precious Than Gold

Reflections on the 2013 Gold Rush in Chad and the Darfur

Gold mine workers wait to get their raw gold weighed at a gold shop in the town of Al-Fahir in North Darfur [photo by REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah]

Our family was there in Chad, Africa for the 2013 gold rush.  A few prospectors had secretly found gold on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, and everyone got excited about it.

On the Sudanese side of the gold zone, it was easy to find a job in the mines.  It was dangerous work, but Chad is a country full of desperate people.  The mine owners were easily able to find fathers and sons willing to risk their lives in an attempt to rise out of poverty.

Meanwhile, on the Chadian side, the government gave everyone a few months to stake their claim.  If a fortune seeker found gold after the cutoff date, it would belong to the Chadian government.

A gold mine worker uses a detector at Al-Ibedia locality in the River Nile State, in this July 30, 2013 file picture. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/FilesAs a result, everyone who could rushed up north to join the prospectors!  Normally the road to the village in the Kapka region (where my camel lives) would only see a few vehicles each day. During that time, lots of Land Cruisers would always be passing me, leaving a cloud of dust behind them.

I am far from being a specialist in Mineralogy, but all my friends were coming to me with samples of the rocks they had discovered in their village.  I also ended up becoming the “Go-To” guy for teaching villagers how to use the metal detector their brothers had sent over from the US.

Some of the prospectors were successful in finding gold and of making a fortune.  Most of them were impoverished by the upfront investment.  Once a group of prospectors did strike gold, the struggle wasn’t over.  To succeed, they had to devote themselves to exploiting it before their money ran out, and staying alive long enough to profit from it.

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Packing in the desert during hot season

packed for iriba

This post was written while we were still in Chad, Africa.

I’m “back from being underground”; not in covert operations, but rather, I became swamped with packing! And all this in the middle of Mother’s Day weekend, which I knew better than to ignore and pretend like it wasn’t happening. We had coconut pancakes for breakfast, and were thankful to enjoy fellowship with our friends over lunch… with their huge solar system, complete with COLD WATER from their freezer that runs 24/7!! Then I went out and bought pizzas from Rose du Sable.

Our house has been part home, part storage unit for some time now. So the first step was easy: get all the stuff that is storage out into the courtyard. However, DO NOT put any boxes or wood on the ground, or the termites will get it! I mistakenly put a box on the ground to get something out of a suitcase; by the next morning, the termites had made a nest in the box of Tupperware. I was thankful it wasn’t a box of books, or I would have been in HUGE trouble.

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A missed flight, friends gained, time lost

prayer time en route

This post was written while we were still in Chad, Africa.

I missed my flight back to Abéché! I lost track of time, and no one gave me a ride to catch the flight. Oh well, everyone has to miss at least one flight if they are going to live here. I’ll definitely be ready for next time. So I had to ride in a pickup truck and paid a little extra to get a front seat. I ended up sitting in the market for five hours, which was great for friendship building; but it held up my schedule. I had used up the money I had brought with me, and one of my new friends bought me a soda. Never tasted one better!

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