A Plentiful Harvest
Do you remember the moment when you received your first Bible? What did it mean to you, and how did it help you grow in your faith and knowledge of God? Many of us received our first Bible as children—maybe so early that we can’t remember not owning one.
Getting the Bible into the hands of a child can be instrumental in their trusting Christ as Savior, and subsequently their growth in discipleship throughout their lives. But Bibles are difficult to access in regions like Africa, which will approach a population of one billion children in the coming years.1 If these children don’t have access to God’s Word, how are they to come to believe (Rom. 10:14)?
The Future of the Church: Africa
For the church to flourish and the gospel to faithfully pass from one generation to the next, God’s people must invest in the discipleship of young believers around the world:
If we care about the future of the church—the future of the church is in Africa, because the next generation of the church is going to be there—then we ought to help them by providing Bibles, study Bibles, and sound doctrine. We should flood the continent with God’s Word. —Karen Elliott, Executive Director of the Rafiki Foundation
Demand for the most fundamental resource—Bibles—among children is outpacing supply. But getting a copy of God’s Word into the hands of a child has the potential to make an eternal impact:
The importance of a child having access to read a Bible begins with a very basic reason: the only way a child will come to know God is through the Scriptures. Yes, it is helpful for us to tell them Bible stories and give them books offering a biblical theology of the whole Bible, but at the end of the day what they need is the holy, inspired Word of God in their hands. The more we familiarize children not with summarized lessons about the Bible, but with the actual Bible, the better off it will be for them. We don’t want to raise up a generation that is Bible illiterate or gospel illiterate. To avoid this we must start early. —Ken Mbugua, Pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Nairobi, Kenya
For churches and communities in the Global South to flourish spiritually, children need direct access to God’s Word.
We invite you to partner with us in our ongoing effort to distribute one million ESV Bibles around the world. Our focus in Phase 2 is to freely distribute Bibles to children and families throughout the Global South, especially on the continent of Africa. By partnering with the Rafiki Foundation, Awana International, and other organizations serving in the Global South, our goal is to provide the Word of God to 100,000 children who may otherwise not have access to their own Bibles. To resource Phase 2 of this initiative, our goal is to raise $500,000 by June 30, 2023.
Every $50 you give puts Bibles into the hands of ten children. These children represent the next generation of the global church. Would you prayerfully consider a gift to help distribute God’s Word to these young people?
We rejoice that, through the gifts of so many faithful partners, God has provided funding for the initial printing, delivery, and distribution of more than 125,000 Bibles. Pastor German Banda recently received a shipment of 500 ESV Bibles to his village in Lusaka, Zambia. He shared this update:
What a grace from the Lord these Bibles are, and for all these souls to receive the Word of God at no cost to us. Surely, it is our prayer that as they read the Bible a miracle of salvation will manifest itself in many hearts. We would like to express our gratitude for these Bibles. More gatherings have been planned to distribute Bibles, which are distributed after the gospel is shared.
God’s Word is life-giving and powerful. Through the Bible, Christians grow in their understanding of God and salvation and are equipped to share the Good News with others.
Through the Bible, children grow as disciples of Jesus and continue to share this good news with the next generation. Would you partner with us to give children in need the most valuable thing this world affords?
- UN News. “‘Imagine the potential of one billion children;’ UNICEF urges investment as Africa’s youth population surges.” Africa Renewal, October 26, 2017. https://tinyurl.com/3xnayeyh.