"For God so loved the WORLD, He gave His only son..." I listened to my pastor pray over some individuals today that were concerned for their position in eternity. He quoted John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." What a phrase. What a verse, a verse that we sometimes are too quick to look over, or say with almost a boastful attitude, or not say at all because we have heard it so much that we have allowed its significant meaning to fade into the background-Bible-knowledge of our minds. This verse is consequential for mankind, especially those whose faith is in Jesus.
Today when I heard this verse it filled my heart. When I was home in the quiet of my living room, children tucked away for a moment of resting, my husband busying himself in our basement, I opened my bible and read this verse again. Overwhelmed by His love for the whole WORLD, I just couldn't help but say with deep passion and gratitude for my Savior 'Oh how He loves us....'
My attention is so focused on the new believers of this world. I, admittedly, have prayed for salvation over friends and family without real belief they would turn to Him. Despite my doubts--God has begun to answer those prayers and bring them into fruition (obviously He is continuously working on prayers while we wait and rest in Him and His Word--but it is not always obvious to us what He is doing while we continue to pray without ceasing).
But a new believer's walk is so incredibly fragile. It was three whole days after I put my faith in Jesus before I opened my bible. Three whole days without opening my bible now seems like an eternity and lethargy on my soul! I just wonder how long infantile Christians go without opening their bible after they have received salvation. And even more so, how long do impoverished in other countries go without the availability of reading or hearing God's Word daily? There are probably more than we know that live an entire life with only their weekly consumption of God's Word on Sundays!
Aside from Church, the blind and visually impaired students at Gatagara have no access to God's Word in their language. Several speak English, but anyone that has learned a second language would agree they are able to, not only understand, but better express themselves in their first language. Reading the bible in a foreign language does not capture the complete understanding for those in Rwanda. Most of them have the bible read to them by someone who has to interpret it for them. If it was me interpreting, I am certain I would skip over so many entire books that are included in the bible, solely because I can barely understand them in my own language!
We at Hope in His Vision, have brainstormed over ideas of providing bibles to these students in their own language. We can't just send bibles in Kinyarwanda because these students read with their hands and learn with their ears, they would need an entire bible written in braille.
There are braille bibles. They are written in English, which was an issue because most students speak little or no English. And these bibles come in separate giant books. I have seen one of John's books of the bible, Hebrews I believe it was, and it was about as big as my entire bible. So he has 66 giant individual spiral bound books of the bible written in braille and also in English. These books cost close to $700 as well. John was blessed to have his gifted to him before he came to America. Even though English is John's second language, he has been beyond grateful for his very own collection of books of the bible. His appreciation for his own bible, available at any time, is endless.
Recently, my sister was blessed to learn about an audio bible called MegaVoice that is a device for the blind to listen to God's Word! They have the bible translated in many different languages included Kinyarwanda! AND, they only cost about $65! They also sell them in bundles of 20 for $35.95 a unit! To learn more about these devices you can visit the MEGAVOICE website here.
There is such a deep blessing when you have your own Word of God to study and read over and listen to and question and dissect. How can you grow as a Christian without the daily dose of the Word of God? Really though, you can't. You become stagnant and complacent.
Hope in His Vision desperately wants to bless these students with God's Word and several of the older students are already Christians. We hope to bless their futures and grow their relationships with God by providing His Word to them, making their audio bibles just as available to them as our bibles are to us. Because God loves those around the entire world, we trust He will provide His Word for them.