2021 Bibles Plus report
Our Bibles Plus packs help to provide holistic care to persecuted believers. In many restricted nations, persecution and poverty go hand in hand. Equipping believers with God’s Word helps them to stand firm in their faith in the midst of trials and suffering.
These 2021 reports from our field workers help to demonstrate the value each pack brings to families. The beneficiaries view these packs as a blessing from God and their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
Through this Bibles Plus project, we are nurturing believers to help them remain strong in the Lord and share their faith with others.
The Bible Plus gifts were distributed in the slums and poor areas in Lahore and surrounding places to people who hunger for the Scriptures but are not able to afford to buy Bibles for themselves.
Many gifts were given to those who were living among Muslims and were treated poorly for being Christians and also to those who were suffering because of the pandemic and were receiving no support because they are Christian.
Rani, pack recipient, shares:
My son is married and has three young children. When I take this package home, everyone will be happy and for the next few weeks, we don’t have to worry about food. The gift of the Bible is very helpful and since we spend plenty of time together, I’ll teach the Bible readings to my grandchildren, and I am sure our family will be blessed from this gift. We are very thankful for this gift as this has not just saved us from going hungry but has also fulfilled our spiritual needs. The Bible is a lifetime gift for my family and one day it will be transferred to my son and grandsons. We will always remember this gift.
Aamir, 37, a textile worker, reports:
The pandemic has badly affected our income and it is difficult to meet our daily expenses because our monthly income has reduced by 50%. Today we have nothing to eat. Thank you to the donors for this timely gift.
Rehana, whose husband died of COVID-19, comments:
I have two young children and my father-in-law is also living with me. He is an old man, and I am the only person who is working but my income is very low. This gift will be very helpful and especially the Bible, as my father-in-law is very fond of reading the Bible. Several pages are missing from his old Bible, and he has asked a few times for a new Bible, but since it is expensive, I was not able to buy him a new one. This new Bible will make him very happy.
We were able to help the isolated mountain area churches in three counties of Yunnan with the Bibles, food and blankets for the winter. It is difficult for the people to obtain Bibles and daily necessities in these areas so the VOM practical support has been so precious for the Christians there.
One lady told us she never imagined that she would have a Bible of her own. She wants to read the Word every day and share it with her daughters. She knows that it is important to raise her children in the light of the Lord’s Word during this dark age in China.
Two ladies who received the packs had already been through difficulties during Mao’s time 40 years ago. Today, they face the second culture revolution in Xi’s time. They told us that the Lord’s Word comforts and encourages them to stand as witnesses for our crucified and resurrected Lord.
In China there are so many poor areas. We hope to reach more Christians in need that even the official Three-Self church doesn’t help. We pray to the Lord to show us the way to serve His people in the land.
Bibles Plus is a great blessing to the needy and suffering believers, especially during this time of the pandemic. The beneficiaries are the suffering churches, particularly in rural and mountainous areas that are difficult to reach. The pastors had been asking us to come to them with these packs, to bless and encourage the church.
These areas are dangerous places with both groups of communist and Muslim rebels, but the Lord protected our long journeys and the deliveries.
We preached the Word of God before each distribution. As the people received the Bibles Plus packs, they were so moved and grateful, believing that God answered their prayers and that God is looking after them. The people were so hungry for the Word of God that some of them kissed the Bibles they received.
Many people praised God in thanksgiving for the packs.
“Praise the Lord, we have rice to cook today!” some of the women said. One lady couldn’t believe she received a mosquito net, the very thing she had been praying for.
We will continue to minister to the needy people. Please pray for the persecuted church and ask for God’s protection. Though the communist and Muslim rebels are a great threat, our victory is in God.
Bibles Plus packages were distributed to congregations of various church denominations (Salvation Army, Pentecostal, other Protestant and Catholic) in villages in Central Sulawesi province. The topography of the areas surrounding the villages is mountainous covered with deep forests. The roads are not in good repair and it’s muddy in the rainy season, bringing regular landslides.
Central Sulawesi is vulnerable to religious conflict and the area is often occupied by the East Indonesia Mujahideen group (a radical Muslim organisation affiliated with ISIS) for combat exercises. This group has been terrorising and brutally killing policemen, Indonesian Army soldiers and innocent villagers, especially Christian farmers since 2012.
The Bibles Plus packages containing Bibles, a wok, frying pan, blankets, rice, sugar, instant noodles and cooking oil provided joy and consolation for each family. They could not have afforded to buy Bibles and they need the Word of God desperately, to stay strong, firm and overcome the struggle and fears which they face almost every day of their lives.
These people are simple Christian farmers; they were very grateful and thankful to the donors. They were surprised by the gifts as they thought no one had any care or concern for them.
Praise God we were kept safe. We were grateful we were escorted free of charge by a local friend, who had worked for the Army Intelligence and knows about the dangers of travelling in the area. He was sent by God to help us so that we could distribute the packages. We rejoice to see many happy faces of villagers who received Bibles Plus packages from VOM Australia. Praised be His name! Thank you VOM.
India has been badly affected by the COVID-19 second wave. The pandemic has shattered the lives of millions of people across the country. Many people died due to lack of medication, adequate medical staff and unavailability of hospital beds. The situation was both pathetic and depressing, as millions of families lost their breadwinners and struggled to survive.
During this pandemic, with the generosity and kindness of VOM, we were able to provide a helping hand for victims and brought life to many needy people in the states of Telangana, Odisha and Chhattisgarh, India.
The essential commodities included groceries, medical kits and Bibles and provided much relief for many families who found themselves in an alarming situation.
Five of the families who received aid through this programme had recently suffered severe persecution. The 48 Hindu families in their village of Lodamila, Kandhamal district of Odisha, banded together to banish these Christians. They are no longer welcome; they were barred from accessing water and prohibited from grazing their cattle. The families left for another area. We were able to provide them with groceries, clothes, bedding, mats, blankets and Bibles.
We appreciate your prayers and support and we extend our gratitude to VOM and its partners for giving financial aid to support these persecuted Christians.
The economic woes in the country are severe and ongoing. Sanctions are having a far-reaching effect and the pandemic has caused major hardships due to loss of employment – many factories are closed. Iranians are suffering in various aspects
of their lives while divorce, depression and drug dependence are on the rise. People are hungry and many are taking pills to help them sleep through the night. Christians continue to suffer discrimination and persecution from both the government and society.
In the midst of this misery, we have brought urgently needed essentials like food, blankets and Bibles. The request for physical Bibles is at an all-time high – people are so open to the Gospel. We can smuggle an endless supply of Bibles into Iran and people are hungry to learn the truth about Jesus! Thank you for these gifts.