In one of the classes at one of the high schools, we finished handing out the Bibles just as the kids were going to a break. So I got to talk with Carla and some of her friends. Communication was a little difficult, but at that level of education some of the kids know a little English, so it’s not totally impossible. I had them all read John 3:16 from their new New Testaments. Carla and I spotted each other as we were leaving. She’s the third girl to the left of the pole.
This particular town was one where Bibles were distributed in the school last year. The great need now is for a church and people who can disciple those in whose hearts God has been working. In fact, one of the team leaders said the other day that every town where we've taken God's Word into the schools needs a church. Pray for laborers.by beakennedy
In the morning, I got left behind with the boxes while the rest of the team took them to the classes. It wasn't long before I was surrounded by about 30 kids all curious about the white lady and the boxes. As soon as I told them the boxes were full of Bibles, they all wanted one. It about killed me that I couldn't just crack open a box and start passing them out right there. The hunger in some of their eyes was obvious. I had a good time laughing and cutting up with the kids. One guy told me he was Elvis Presley. Eventually, they all ended up with tracts and began to break up into groups of four or five and sit down to read them.
One boy in particular seemed especially interested in having a Bible. He was in 12th grade and told me his name was Patrick. I quickly asked God to get that kid a Bible somehow along with the group of girls who had sat down right next to the boxes. Later, I did see that Patrick had gotten a Bible and was grateful for that. A bit later he came back and gave me the tract that had just been given to him not too long before with his name and address on the back and a check mark in the box indicating that he had received Christ.
Patrick is one of about 40 or so kids who returned their tracts to one of us while we were still there. Pray that these kids will grow in their faith and pray that they will follow Jesus all the way into eternity.
Update: Someone (not me) actually got a picture of Patrick. That’s him on the end of the bench reading a tract.by beakennedy
As I walked away, I could see she was already reading her new Bible. I went back and asked for her photo and thanked her.by beakennedy
Some of the classes will sing for us when we arrive. At one school, the entire school was gathered together to sing. Brother Paul Sr. then teaches them the song "God is so good." Look for the video sometime in the near future when I can get enough bandwidth to upload it.
I've gotten to share my testimony in a couple of the classes, and that was a blessing.by beakennedy
One more thing that sticks out in my mind from this brief trip. Most of the time I never see the people who clean the hotel room, but this time because I was working my usual schedule I got to speak with "Mary" several times. She seemed to be about my age, but maybe a lot harder life than I've had to deal with. On Sunday, I had a little more chance to talk to her. What she told me in that conversation has lodged in my brain.
The first thing she said was that she knew I would be nice when she saw my Bible in the room. I guess a lot of hotel guests aren't. She told me a couple of stories. But the thing I reallly want to remember about her is what she said next.
She said, "My goal is to learn to read so I can read the Bible." As we talked some more, it was clear that she had placed her faith in Jesus, but now she wanted to be able to read his words for herself. I thought about how saturated we are with Bibles in the churches in this country, and about how little we sometimes value these riches. I thought about how many people there are in the world — and right here in this country — who would love to have a Bible to read or who have set themselves the goal of learning how to read so that they can read the words of God for themselves. And I wondered if this was how education became a thing for the common people. I've read somewhere that where the Gospel has come to an illiterate culture, education isn't far behind.
A week from today I'll have the great privilege of taking God's word to people who can read, but don't have the ready access to Bibles that we do. I'm grateful for the opportunity to share my blessings.
What goal have you set for yourself?by beakennedy