Life Without a Bible
It is hard for most of us to understand—how can a believer live, grow, and share the Gospel with others without a Bible?
But many do—too many, and that’s an important part of Bible League International’s ministry today.
Instead of just reciting the statistics that 1-in-5 Christians throughout the world don’t have their own Bible, and how the poorest believers in many countries have to share one or two Bibles in their church, I’d like to tell you the story of a man named Lablab who lives in the province of Davao in southern Mindanao, the Philippines. It takes a two-hour flight from Manila, then a three hour drive up into the mountains until the dirt road ends, followed by an eight-hour hike to reach the village where Lablab lives in the Ata tribal village.
“I was one of the first people here that God’s Word reached,” he says excitedly, “and as soon as I heard the Gospel in a Project Philip Bible study, I believed.” He quickly adds, “But I had no way of going deeper, I didn’t have a Bible, and I didn’t know how to tell others about my new faith.”
And this is how the Project Philip ministry works, and works so well, reaching people who don’t have, can’t afford, or never imagined what it would be like to understand and believe God’s Word.
A Philip (a Project Philip Bible study leader) is trained and equipped to share God’s Word using a readable booklet—usually based on the Gospel of John. As a small Bible study group works its way through the questions about what they are reading in God’s Word, many begin to understand the Gospel. That’s what happened to Lablab, “I listened, I asked questions, and I learned,” and he adds, “and that’s when I trusted Jesus Christ as my Savior.”
When the Project Philip Bible study has run its course, everyone who completes the study receives a Bible of their own, in their language, to have, read, take home, and hopefully continue to study in another Project Philip Bible study on discipleship and new life in Jesus Christ.
From these Project Philip Bible studies, lives are transformed, families are reached with the hope of the Gospel, struggling schools are rescued, and new churches are planted. Each and every one is a testimony to the power of God’s Word.
I can’t begin to tell you how many photographs we receive from these Project Philip Bible study graduations—from all over the world and from the poorest places you can imagine. With a new Bible in their hands, they pose, smiling brightly, overjoyed to finally have their own Bible. Hundreds and hundreds of photographs of thousands and thousands of people who have received the gift of God’s Word—all because of your generosity.
Today, Lablab is a new Philip and a pastor of a new church leading Project Philip Bible studies in his remote village. And he is eager to add, “To get us the Bibles the people need, it takes hours of hiking, and the help of someone who sees that God’s Word can change me and everyone who believes in this village.” I’m happy to tell Lablab that you are the reason they have God’s Word.
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