Bibles for Believers Fund

A Rickshaw Driver’s Dreams


Heaven’s Family-supported national missionary Pastor Prince, at left, equipping Pastor Thanish with Bibles for his congregation in Northern India

Dear Friends,

Ram operates a rickshaw taxi service in Northern India to support his family. Two years ago, he began having dreams of “a beautiful man and his face often shines with marvelous light. This man call [my] name with much love.” Neither Ram nor his wife understood what the dreams meant.

One day Ram noticed two of his passengers holding a newspaper with the face of Jesus being used in a company’s Christmas greetings ad. This is the man who comes to my dream, he thought, and asked the couple who it was. Jesus, they said, the God of the Christians. This was the first time he had ever heard of Christians or of Jesus. Unable to forget his dreams nor the face in the newspaper, Ram spent the next 3 months asking friends and people in his village if they knew anything about Him. None could help Ram.

A short time later a Christian man named Thanish and his wife were traveling from a nearby village to pray for a family, and happened to be riding in Ram’s rickshaw. As had become his custom with his passengers, Ram showed them the newspaper clipping with Jesus’ picture, and asked whether they knew anything about Him.

Thanish and his wife knew Him, they said, much to Ram’s delight. After they spoke to him about Jesus, Ram invited them to his home where they prayed for his family. Ram immediately began attending their prayer meetings and visited the home of Thanish and his wife to ask more questions.

And it just so happened that a shipment of Bibles provided through Heaven’s Family’s Bibles for Believers Fund had just arrived, so he gave Ram a copy (photo below). Ram said, “I will keep this Bible with me every time and…I will read it and share with others the stories.” Some of those others will no doubt be the 7 family members he now brings with him to church.


Pastor Thanish presents a new Bible to Ram, a rickshaw driver

Many new believers like Ram are waiting for a Bible. Many of us take for granted the value of owning a copy of God’s Word because we have many copies in our homes and we have so many ways to access it digitally. For poor parts of India and in many other countries, however, providing Bibles to Christians is comparable to food donations to the starving. Thank you for your part in feeding Ram and his family with the Bread of Life!

Blessings,

Peter Wray
Director, Bibles for Believers Fund


A 12-year old resident of Nairobi’s Mathare slum

Mathare is Nairobi’s second-largest slum, whose half-million cramped residents live on the lowest rung of Kenya’s economic ladder. Heaven’s Family is working there because our partner, amazing American missionary Glenn Roseberry, and some Kenyan brothers with whom he works, have planted 12 house churches there. We’ve been helping Glenn’s poor house church saints with Bibles (from our Bibles for Believers Fund) and small business grants (from our Christian Widows Fund). They have been, among other things, manufacturing soap, sewing school uniforms, and selling soap. A few of Glenn’s Kenyan brothers also run a Christian primary school in Mathare that serves 400 children.

There is no way to fully describe the living conditions in Mathare or the depth of residents’ poverty. You have to walk among the rusted tin shacks and smell the pervasive stench from open sewage and rotting garbage. My photos actually make Mathare look much better than it is. Nevertheless, below are a few shots of our visit this afternoon along with some explanatory captions.


David


A hill-side view of typical Mathare family dwellings, of which there could easily be as many as 30 in this photo


Mathare has some streets, but mostly consists of very narrow dirt alleys


The primary building materials in Mathare are tree branches and rusting metal sheets


This photo shows the exterior of the primary school administrated by some of Glenn Roseberry’s Kenyan Christian brothers. Each grade has 2 textbooks per subject, one for the teacher and one for the entire grade of children. Team member CJ McDaniel, who directs our Education Fund, hopes to fund more.


This is an interior shot of one of about 8 classrooms at the primary school, all stuffed with children. There is no ventilation. It was actually this dark inside the classrooms, as the only illumination came from soda bottle skylights (see next photo).


A water-filled soda bottle, partially suspended through a hole in a tin roof, is a rather ingenious means of inexpensive illumination


Another typical view in Mathare, this one along the Mathare River


The children of Mathare are as happy as any kids in the world, seemingly oblivious to their poverty


Another little Mathare resident


This is a Christian sister whom Heaven’s Family helped through our Christian Widows Fund by providing her with a wheeled cart from which to sell her goods, and with which she can secure her goods from thieves at night.


Our joy-filled friend, missionary Glenn Roseberry, with Pamela, a Mathare resident who formerly brewed alcohol for profit, but who abandoned her trade to follow Jesus. Through a grant from Heaven’s Family, she and another sister named Maria now run a thriving business in Mathare selling fish.


Pamela and Maria’s tasty French cuisine, Poissons sur le Journal (Fish on Newspaper)

New Missionaries in Malawi


New Bible School graduates in Malawi, holding Bibles provided by Heaven’s Family, as they dedicate themselves to taking the Word to their villages

Dear Friends,

Smiles are plentiful as a new graduating class finishes their Bible training at King Fisher Bible Training Center in Malalwi! Charles Mithowe, the director, reports that this graduating class brings the number of new workers sent out to the harvest to be over 400! (For more information, see my article in our December 2011 magazine, titled Fishing for the King)

These new missionaries are using Bibles provided by Heaven’s Family’s Bibles For Believers Fund. Many are too poor to afford their own Bible. As a result of their ministries, many are being saved in remote areas, and new house churches are being planted. Most new believers are also unable to afford their own Bibles.

Now King Fisher Bible Training Center is ready to train a new class of young men and women to spread the gospel of Christ. Bibles in their language of Chichewa are needed for the new students and for new believers in the young house churches. Please pray for those who are just starting their training and for the graduates now out on the mission field.

In His service,

Patti Samuels
Director, Bibles for Believers Fund

Dear Friends,

I want to give you a quick report about one way that gifts to the Bibles for Believers Fund are making a real difference. Here are some details from my recent trip to Africa.

Placing Bibles into the hands of believers who have never owned one before is always exciting. While in Rwanda, Africa, however, I wasn’t quite prepared for the blessing I was to receive as I gave out a new kind of Bible I brought along with me this time—Bibles called Proclaimers.

Proclaimers are audio Bibles housed in brick-sized plastic boxes and powered by a built-in solar panel, hand crank, or electrical wall outlet. One Proclaimer can be heard by dozens of people at once, making them ideal for those who cannot read—like many parts of rural Africa.

Audio Bibles in Africa Changing Lives

I discovered another group that really appreciate these new Bibles—the blind. Thank the Lord that I happened to have one with me when I visited Kabuga, Rwanda. There I met with 12 families in a blind community. Surprise and delight flashed across their faces as they realized what I was giving them. They insisted on “seeing” this blessed box by passing it around for all to feel!

Blind believers in Rwanda receive Proclamer Bible
These believers in Rwanda, Africa can now “see the light” in a new way

I was overjoyed to be a part of sharing the Living Word with these precious brothers and sisters in Christ in Africa. Your love and faithfulness made this blessing possible. Thank you.

In Christ,

Chuck King

P.S. Please forward this email to your friends who love the Word of God!

A reward for learning how to read: her very own Bible

We started our day by giving away twelve new bicycles to church-planting pastors, courtesy of gifts to the Mobilize a Minister Fund. All twelve church planters had been pre-screened months ago, and they had been anxiously waiting for this day. None had ever owned a bicycle in their lives, and none could afford the $100 price tag. All have testimonies of planting churches, which until today, they’ve been doing by foot or by riding a mini-bus or on the back of someone’s bicycle taxi. They told us that now they could go faster and further and be more fruitful for the kingdom.

As always, I felt unworthy to wash their feet, much less be the one who gave them bicycles. When we said goodbye, some would be bicycling as many as twenty miles to return to their homes. One of them is sixty-three years old. How I wish they could all be sponsored through our National Missionaries Support Program.

Their bicycles will not only help them take the gospel further and faster, but can also provide them with a source of income

Church-planter Francis Wamalwa, age 65. He fled Uganda during Idi Amin’s reign of terror, and has since been evangelizing and planting churches in the mountains of the Kenya/Uganda border. He was thrilled to own his own bicycle for the first time in his life.

Just after that, Becky met with a Christian widow named Philigona Wafula, in order to give her $525 from the Widows Fund that will help her start a sewing business. When her husband died eleven years ago, his brother confiscated her land, house and possessions, a story we’re getting used to hearing in Kenya. She was left destitute with three children. She barely survived by doing odd jobs.

Caring friends paid for Philigona to go to a tailoring school, but she could not afford what she needed to start a business. So she’ll be using her grant from the Widow’s Fund to purchase two treadle sewing machines (one for an employee), fabric and materials, and to pay the initial rent on a small place for her business. Philigona had been pre-screened months before with the help of her pastor, a Heaven’s Family-sponsored national missionary named John Omondi, who was with her when she met with Becky.

John also brought with him another widow named Judith from one of his house churches, with whom Becky met to explain the screening process. She cried when Becky gave her $75 to pay the school fees for her high-school age son, who had to drop out of school six weeks earlier because of lack of finances.

Widow Philigona, with her pastor, HF-sponsored national missionary John Omondi, in the background

Another Christian widow whom we visited today named Beatrice Masakhwe. She has worked very hard to start a tree-seedling business, and by saving her profits, she was able to purchase the cow in the background. She is requesting a business-expansion loan of $1,000 so that she can grow more seedlings, as she is facing more demand than she has supply.

Later in the morning, we attended a graduation ceremony for about twenty-five adult believers who had just completed a one-year course in a local church where they learned how to read. Each was given a Bible, paid for from our Bibles for Believers Fund. In fact, an association of house churches in Louisiana had recently given the $300 that was used to provide those Bibles, and they did it just before New Orleans won the Super Bowl. (Let that be a lesson to Christians in other U.S. cities.) Four portraits of happy Bible recipients follow.

Becky and I spent the afternoon traversing Kwanza District by car with another Heaven’s Family-sponsored national missionary, Erick Situmah, who has been planting house churches. We visited four of the seven he has planted in Kwanza, and at each one, saints were waiting for us. It was so special for us to fellowship with them inside typical rural African homes made of cow chips and clay. Most are just two rooms.

The house church concept is really catching on in East Africa, and it certainly is speeding the multiplication of disciples. Erick was introduced to the idea by reading The Disciple-Making Minister.

Greetings from your family in Kenya! The first house church that we visited today.

The second house church we visited this afternoon

At the fourth house church that we visited, Becky noticed a little boy who had something wrong with his eyes (see photo below). He was able to see, but limitedly. We asked Erick to take him to the local hospital first thing on Monday, assuring him that if that little boy could be helped medically, we would take care of it (through the Critical Medical Needs Fund). I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to have the resources immediately available when we encounter these kinds of needs. Can you imagine being the parent of such a little boy and being helpless to seek any medical intervention because you are so poor?

The highlight of the day was dinner with about ten pastors who gathered to share with us their appreciation for all that Heaven’s Family has done for them and how their lives and ministries have been dramatically changed through studying The Disciple-Making Minister. Several confessed how their former motives had been wrong, as they secretly longed for recognition and big churches. One of them, the former “bishop” Noah Mulati, told us that he had been promoted from “bishop” to “brother” since reading TDMM, and has since planted many churches. Some of the pastors told us stories of how they have distributed thousands of copies of TDMM to pastors across eleven East African nations.

Those ten pastors estimated that they have planted close to 120 house churches in Kenya in the past three years, not counting those they’ve planted in surrounding nations. It was humbling to listen to them, and I want to pass on to you their thanks, as you are the ones who have made these blessings possible through your gifts to the Books for Pastors Fund and the General Fund of Heaven’s Family.

Tomorrow is another full day of visiting more projects before we fly back to Nairobi and then off to Tanzania. — David

Myanmar Bibles

Dear Friends,

We recently received some encouraging testimonies from several people in Myanmar (all of whom live in the region where Cyclone Nargis made landfall) who were blessed to receive their own copies of the Myanmar Bible as the result of contributions to the Bibles for Believers Fund. The first testimony is especially moving as it is from an older woman who had been Buddhist her entire life until one of our partners put a Myanmar Bible in her hands. We hope you are blessed as we share them with you.

Burmese Christian with Bible
Khin Myat

My name is Khin Myat of Bawing village and I was a Buddhist. There are some Christians in our village, but I never made fellowship or friends with Christians. I knew nothing about Christianity or Jesus before. When Nargis destroyed all the houses on May 3, 2008, everyone was so upset and disappointed. No food, no extra clothes and no shelters. We were like animals having nothing.

After the next two or three days later, some people rushed to our village. They were strangers to the villages. And they comforted us, talked to us with big smiling faces and encouraged us with great words. And they gave us rice, water, clothes, roofing sheets of plastic and some medicines. They really loved us! They have great sympathy for us! Since then, I was wondering and thinking about who they were, why did they love us so much! Many things ran into my heart. They gave us supports in respective of race or religion, equally as us. One of my friends told me that, “These people came from a very far place, they are Christians, Jesus is their God.”

Since then, I had a burning desire to know about Jesus and Christianity. Then I approached a Christian and asked him everything what I wanted to know. He explained me many things and finally he told me this: “If you really want to know about Jesus, please read the Christian Holy Bible.” That is a big problem for me. No Myanmar Bible is left in our village, no money for buying it, and no where to go to get. At that very time some people from the Ministry came our village again and this time they gave us the most precious and the most I need–that is the Christian Holy Bible.

Since then, I studied it carefully and now I know who is Jesus – and I am now His child. I had accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior.

I Thank God.

myanmar bible
Naw Phaw Shi

My name is Naw Phaw Shi of Taphian village. In the time of Nargis on May 3, 2008, I lost all my possess things. Nothing was left. Among many properties that were lost, losing the Holy Bible made me most grieved, it was the greatest loss for me. While I was very sad praying for a new Myanmar Bible, the angel of the Lord sent workers to our village. Oh how precious is the gift that I received from them- THE HOLY BIBLE! It gave me strength, happiness and hope. The most precious heritage for me!

bilbes in myanmar
Ma Ma Win and Tun Tun

My name is Ma Ma Win (pictured left) from Simma Village. I was just a new Christian and I did not trust the Lord whole heartedly. But when Nargis beated me, then I cried out to the Lord to help me. While I am so discouraged and disappointed, I received a beautiful Bible from Love in Action Ministry. I read it continuously for one week with prayers. At last, the Lord answered my prayer and then I received joy and peace to the Lord. Now I am very happy, as being a child of God. Jesus is now my personal friend of mine and I have no fear any more, even Nargis can’t beat me again.”

“My name is Miss Tun Tun (pictured right) of Apyauk Village from the Irrawaddy region. I never heard about Jesus or Christianity. One day, I received a Bible and a tract from Love in Action Ministry and I read it. It caught me so deeply and I read it for ten days non-stop. One day some thing happened in my heart which is so strange for me. I went to my best friend Sister Ma Ma Win for a bible discussion, which really touched me. It was about the prodigal son. When the days went by, at last, I came to know that I am no longer a prodigal daughter. Because now I am a daughter of King of kings and Lord of lords. Jesus cleanses me of all my sins. So I must receive Jesus faithfully unto death. The world may hate me, punish me, but I will never turn back.

On behalf of these and others like them, thank you so much.

In Christ,

Emily

Director, Bibles for Believers Fund

Purchase Bibles for believersin Myanmar and other needy countries around the world.

Dear Friends,

I wanted to share with you some uplifting news that recently came to us from China. We’ve been funding an indigenous ministry that smuggles Bibles and other Christian literature into China for distribution within networks of house churches. That ministry receives letters of thanks that are smuggled back to them. Below is an example of one of those letters that was recently received, along with the English translation.

TRANSLATION:

I first greet you all in Christ. I already heard of your evangelism project early on. Now I live in Chang Lin village of Yunnan Province. After I read the Tortured For Christ, my spirit was so strengthened and I learned how to look upon God and how communism still worked against the thoughts of God, which made me to hate it more. From that day on, I began to attend the meetings in the house church and later served there, witnessing God’s wonderful deeds. I encountered Jesus at 1 April 2000. Thereafter I often delivered the bibles for you. With man that is impossible, but not with God; is anything too hard for God? There are more and more Chinese people coming to know Jesus, so please pray for our leaders in China. I pray that all Chinese people can know God, for China was so-called “the Divine Land.” I hope the implication of this name can be realized.

On behalf of Chinese believers, thanks so much.

Emily Growden
Director Bibles for Believers  Fund

You too can have a part in getting Bibles to some very thankful Chinese recipients! Learn how you can provide Bibles for Chinese believers.