"If you keep quiet now, help and freedom for the Jews will come from another place. But you and your father’s family will all die. And who knows, maybe you have been chosen to be the queen for such a time as this..” Esther 4:14 ERV
What does it mean to you to serve the Lord? In the book of Esther, when Haman suggested to King Ahasuerus that all the Jews in the Persian Empire be killed, the king did not realize that his own wife, Queen Esther, was a Jew. But in the words of her uncle Mordecai, perhaps this was the time for Esther to serve her people.
God was calling Esther to help the Jewish people. Is God calling you to serve Him in some way? Have you asked Him, “How can I be of service?” The Apostle Paul’s writings are filled with references to service. He even identifies himself as a “servant” in many of his epistles:
By God’s special gift of grace, I became a servant to tell that Good News. He gave me that grace by using his power. Ephesians 3:7 ERV
For thousands of years, believers have heeded this call to service. In fact, Bible League International would not exist had our founders, Bill and Betty Chapman, not answered “Yes!” to God’s call on their lives. God gave Bill a vision to place a Bible in every home that was without one. But everyone who received a Bible had to promise to read God’s Word in return. This year, we are celebrating 80 years of ministry—80 years of a legacy of service to God’s people around the world. And it all started when they simply said, “Yes!” when the Lord called.
As we celebrate our 80th anniversary, it gives me great joy to know that we hold true to the vision God gave to Bill Chapman. We are still engaging people in the Word of God. I saw that for myself once again just a couple of weeks ago when I was in Cairo, Egypt.
I met many Sudanese refugees while I was there. Most of the refugees now living in some of Cairo’s poorest neighborhoods are not Christian; they are either Muslims or follow other traditional religions. They are people in search of hope—and many are finding it through Bible-based Literacy. The hunger and thirst for God’s Word among them is strong.
In one neighborhood, I met a South Sudanese pastor. He leads a church of almost 200 people. They have no church building; instead, he ministers through house gatherings.
I went into one of these homes to meet a group of women and children attending one of the Bible-based Literacy classes in Arabic. For many of the children, it was the first educational experience they’ve had since arriving in Egypt.
I asked the pastor how the literacy program is helping his ministry. He told me, “So many are coming to Christ, and through literacy, people can finally have and read a Bible of their own.” Like so many servants of the under-resourced Church, he too has responded to the call to share God’s Word. He has said “Yes” to God’s call to share His Word with people in search of hope in their lives. People who need the hope of the Gospel.
Today, as we continue to serve under-resourced churches around the world by providing Bibles and training to transform lives, we look ahead to the next 80 years. We move forward in faith, trusting the Lord to transform lives as we continue to engage people in His Word. We look forward to broadening the crowd of witnesses—like Esther, Bill and Betty Chapman, and the Sudanese pastor—who have said “Yes!” to God through their service to others.
This is one of the homes I visited where a Bible-based Literacy class for Sudanese refugees was being held. Though crowded and hot and stuffy inside, everyone there fully took part in the lesson.