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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This is Sarah

sarah again

For those of you who read the Faris newsletter, this is Sarah. For those who have just learned about DSM, this is the oldest daughter of the founder of the aforesaid ministry.

Why am I writing the posts now? The short answer: I work here. The long answer: I graduated from high school, and, once I discovered that I needed to wait about going to college, the DSM board of directors hired me to take on some of my father’s work, to give him more time to do language work.

Facts about Sarah

little SarahNow don’t get me wrong; I love writing and look forward to creating these posts for you. Because I took two English courses during my senior year of high school, I gained a college credit for Language and Composition. I also enjoy reading books and composing essays in my spare time.

Over a span of thirteen years, I have intermittently lived overseas. Thus, I have acquired a plethora of idiosyncrasies, such as extreme verbosity, or using a lot of words. However, I will do my best to keep things interesting and  somewhat logical.

As a fourth or fifth generation Christian, I have practically heard the Word of God since birth. Also, you could say that my parents raised me in church. Some people might think that such a situation is enough to make them a Christian; however, that notion is incorrect. You can’t get to heaven by hitching a ride with your parents: you have to accept Jesus for yourself, like I have.

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Catching up, and transitions in our journey

life in abeche

Thank you for walking with me and my family as we served in Chad, Africa. You have kept up with our adventures through this, my Desert Voices blog.  Thank you for allowing me to vent my frustrations, share my joys, and dream of a better future for Africa.

The journey continues

unloading time on the journey

We are now based in Maine, but we haven’t finished the journey yet.  With permission, we travel back and forth between continents to continue to serve in the ministry of language development.

Last year around April 29th, I went back to Chad for a month and a week.  There, I got to visit the village where my camel lives, and caught up with friends.  I also became arrested; long story… but it turned out fine in the end.  Anyway, after finishing my visit out east, I returned to N’Djaména, ate Royal Chicken, and headed to Kenya for the first time.

One week later, two Boko Haram suicide bombers killed themselves at the Commissariat Central of N’Djaména. Their death was followed by other bombers, one at the Central Market, and others in a small village around Lake Chad.

Life has definitely changed in Chad, but our task, and our calling, has not.  We have a Message of Hope, and are not afraid to tell it.  More importantly, as difficult as life was for my Chadian family and friends under normal circumstances, this

terrible twist of terrorism has increased the level of anxiety and fear on the streets.  For the sake of our friends we left, please keep praying for Chad, and for the end of Boko Haram in Nigeria.

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Withdrawal of resources, unlimited grace

Worn ATM (Source: wikimedia)

This post was written while we were in Chad.

We are struggling lately with the basics here at the orphanage. I go to the bank a few times on the weekend for a withdrawal our monthly rent from the ATM. However the dispenser is either down or turned off. We have to wait on this issue before we make a withdrawal of money for our regular living expenses. Now we are starting to draw from our savings. It is the beginning of the month, so the typical rush on the bank is happening now.

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One-man Christmas rush, Abéché-style!

Water barrel

This post was written while we were in Chad.

We didn’t have running water in the house on Tuesday and Wednesday, but were glad that the water was running from the hose outside. This allowed us to fill the barrel outside, and transport the water into the barrel in the house. Because of the water problems we are facing, I tooksink cleaned by man the catch-all off of the bathroom sink and stuffed the sewer line with toilet paper. Then I put a bucket under the sink to catch the water that goes in there. This saves us a little extra water to flush the toilet during the day.

At first, I was busy waiting at an office and preparing some paperwork. As a result, I met the man I needed to meet, two minutes before the office closed! Often, you make these sacrifices without knowing if your efforts will be worth it or not; we are always thankful when the work we put into something is useful for the task before us!

However, all that time preparing for that moment, and the time waiting at the office, was time I could have used to do some last-minute Christmas shopping. So this afternoon, I did my very best to make one final push to find Christmas presents for the girls that would be there from early morning in Christmas eve.

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