Saturday, January 25, 2014

Bible Story Book

"Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah; so he asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” The man replied, “How can I, when there is no one to instruct me?”  Acts 8: 29-30

Nasrin is well educated and desired to have a Bible in her language. It was a joy to give her one.  How I wish every Muslim woman was like Nasrin but that is not the case.

Have you ever felt frustrated that your Muslim friend can not read in her own language and has a low level of proficiency in reading English?  You wish you could speak her language but you can’t. There seem to be so many linguistic limitations for both of you.  Even when you share stories orally in your language with her they don’t go as far as you desire.  You want her to be able to read and go back repeatedly to refresh her memory of what you have told her. You wonder how you can help her to read the Word of God for herself.  Well, take hope! There is an excellent resource.

Eleven year old Haneen from Afghanistan was bored during Ramadan. Her mom insisted she learn how to read the Qur’an in Arabic on-line even though she couldn’t understand Arabic.  “I’ve gotten through the first two pages but it’s not my kind of reading,” she said. “Well, I have a book you might be interested in, Haneen,” I replied, and took The Young Reader’s Bible out of my purse. She looked through it and said, “This is more my type of book and I think my mom would like it, too.”

Afsana is a single mom who is struggling with learning English. “Why don’t we practice reading English with this book?” I suggested and showed her The Young Reader’s Bible.  We began with the creation story. It was just her level of English proficiency. She especially loves the pictures depicting Eastern culture.  She reads it to her son.

Khalida had never heard anything about Christianity. Even though she was educated in her homeland and could read her language easily I wasn’t sure if she would accept a Bible in her language in the beginning so we would read through The Young Reader’s Bible(click). I was in no rush as we went from the beginning of the book to the end, reading through one story a week which took over a year to get through. After she would read a story I would ask her to retell it to me and then we went over specific truths. Finally when her fears were dissipated she was ready for a Bible in her language. Now she has put the Bible story book aside and reads from the Bible in her mother tongue. But it was the Bible story book that whetted her appetite and one day she decided to give her allegiance to Jesus Christ.

 I have discovered that The Young Reader’s Bible is an ideal book to start with for women and children like Haneen and her mom, Afsana and her son, and Khalida.

Dear heavenly Father, You always find a way for every Muslim woman and child to hear and understand the Truth.  You don’t want anyone excluded from hearing.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.