The impact of the Bible in an impoverished village in Madagascar

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The following is a story about gratitude. In September, Anton, a Bible League Communication Specialist, had the privilege of visiting the ministry field in Madagascar. In Mahazina, a small rural village, he witnessed a Bible study graduation.

The celebration occurred in a simple, white plastered church where 45 people sat on uncomfortable wooden benches. Their faces bore the traces of the hardships of their day-to-day lives. Madagascar is a country of stunning natural beauty but also of economic stagnation, resulting in massive unemployment and appalling poverty.

I spoke to a lady named Marie (63) who shared that she makes a living by selling vegetables or snacks she cooks. She hardly makes enough to make ends meet. Another graduate, a 50-year-old man named Armand, said he earns a livelihood by looking after someone’s oxen. From a church in this impoverished farming community, you can expect it’s under-resourced in every aspect. And based on what I’ve seen and heard, it truly is.

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The Bible League team strictly registered the Bibles and their recipients. Hand-written attendance lists were carefully compared to the names in the booklets while a young volunteer checked if the participants had answered all the questions. The process took a long time, and the attendees waited patiently for their turn to come forward and receive their Bibles.

Some, like Armand, received Audio Bibles. He explained that he had not attended school because he became an orphan at a young age. “I had to take care of my siblings,” he said.

With the administration done, the celebration continued with vibrant worship. Singing and dancing, accompanied by a traditional drum, the attendees expressed gratitude to the Lord for bringing them His Word. “I’m really happy to have the Audio Bible because it will help me understand more about God,” Armand rejoiced.

“I would like to thank the donors of Bible League and pray that God, who is rich in grace, will bless them!”

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“God’s Word is more than food, more than the most valuable things in my life,” Marie added with a big smile. “I would suffer if I wouldn’t have a Bible.”

Their words warmed my heart, but the best was yet to come. Mahazina’s locals lack any form of luxury. Nevertheless, they ended the meeting with a spontaneous collection for Bible League. From the very little they had, these dear people gathered money to help fund more Bibles for the ministry in Madagascar! “It’s maybe enough for one Bible,” they said.

I felt so humbled that I was speechless.

Mark 12:44 came to life, where Jesus says, “This woman is very poor, but she gave all she had. It was money she needed to live on.”