As you travel through the hills of Wao, Lanao del Sur, a municipality in the Philippines, you’ll notice the name of Jesus on things. It’s on the motorized tricycles, on the side of buildings. You’ll see things like “God Bless Us” or “Jesus Loves You” written all over. It seems like a Christian community.
But it’s not. While people here know about Jesus, most do not really know Him.
“It’s just a word from their lips, but it’s far from their hearts,” says Rey, a pastor from the island of Mindanao. The Filipino people are religious and spiritual, but most don’t have a true relationship with Jesus Christ. In fact, of the 110 million people in the nation, only 10 percent are Bible-believing Christians. And of that, many aren’t actively practicing.
Most here do not have their own copy of a Bible. In some communities, there are no Bibles. And where there are Bibles, people aren’t interested in studying them because they think they know all they need to know. That’s a devastating mindset.
“When you talk about Jesus with people they say, ‘Oh, I already know Jesus, I know Jesus,’” Rey says. “Because of that, they will not seriously get engaged into a conversation with you.”
It’s discouraging. Especially when pastors like Rey don’t have the Bibles or Bible study materials to help teach the truth.
But there is hope here. When pastors do get to share the truth, they see the enthusiasm in their communities. When people begin reading the Bible, they start coming to Bible studies, coming to church. They start craving the Word of God.
“I know, deep in my heart, we are now on the right track,” he tells us. “Bible League supporters are really pushing to have these Bibles even in the countryside. Because of that, I think that number of Christians will rise up drastically in the next five years.”
“What you are doing is really for the propagation of the Word of God,” Rey closes. “Nothing is more powerful than that.”
Drastically is such an encouraging word! Through providing Bibles there will most likely be a drastic increase in the number of Bible-believing people across an entire nation. Praise the Lord!