The Importance of Bibles in the World Today

Welcome to our podcast Asked and Answered.” I’m your host Joy Kita and with me in the studio are Ron and Charis Pearce. Welcome guys, thank you for being here. Now my question today, I know that Empower focuses heavily on providing the Word of God, scriptures, around the world to the spiritual hotspots to where it is needed most, so I want to ask you, Charis, are they still vitally important?

Charis- The quick answer is yes. Our top requests from around the world, every country we work in, is always scripture. Bibles, New Testaments, they are always the number one request to share with the mass numbers of people turning to the Lord.

Ron- And I think the reason behind that Joy, is because you’ve got a hunger and they want an authoritative answer to their many, many, many questions. Because they have had other holy books in these countries. In Hinduism there is the scripts and various writings like that, Buddhism has got its books as well which are holy books. Then you’ve got Islam, the Qu’ran, and you’ve got other authoritative writings and those are the ones they have been depending upon. They have been putting their faith in those. Now all of a sudden they hear about another Bible, shall we say another authoritative book. That is what we are talking about now, is what they are after. Answer the questions that we’ve got and make them answer all the questions. That is what the Bible does. It answers all the questions of all people for all of time, on all subjects. That is why it is the all-inclusive book that does not have errors in it, it doesn’t have contradictions, and it’s not an opinion. This is an inspired book and people recognize this. That is why they are coming and wanting to have that book; the Bible. It helps them to explain what’s going on in their lives. One time I was with a brother in Ethiopia, and I call him George Foreman’. I’ve talked about him before. George Foreman just looks like the boxer George Foreman. He’s a wonderful man of God and we have a great relationship. He wanted to have a million Bibles in Ethiopia for all the new believers there. I said, A million?” He said, Well, I brought that number down, I was really going to ask for three million but I’ll bring it down to one million for you because you’re a rookie, Ron.” We were laughing backwards and forwards and then I said, So what do they do with it?” and he said basically this, they are looking for this book so they can feed the incredible amount of hunger that they’ve got in there for truth. And he said, They realize they have only had partial up to now but he says once they get a hold of the Bible, it explains what God is doing in their lives and the changes that have been made.” And he says, It’s more of a diagnosis book, like a doctor looking at you and telling you what’s wrong. Well, the Bible looks inside you and tells you what’s right.” And he said, That’s the big difference that you’ve got between this and the other religions and why everybody wants to get their hands on one.” Every family wants one so that they cannot just put it up on the wall and think, This is our holy book, revere this book, it’s got some magic in it.” It’s not that, it’s the fact that they want to know what the words say. In China, I was told years and years ago by a leader there that had been imprisoned for 22 years, Pastor Lam in Guangzhou, and I’ve stolen over the years his words and I repeat them but I confess I got them from him. He says, We are changing ink and paper into flesh and blood,” and I thought boy, that’s perfect, I’m going to use that one. And that is what it is. They are taking ink and paper, putting that ink and paper into their lives, it goes through their bloodstream and it is actually what they memorize in China, so much, because they want to make sure they are repeating to everyone around, not their words but God’s words. Explaining through God’s own words what the answer to life is all about. That’s why they want it.

“We are changing ink and paper into flesh and blood,”

Charis_​Going back to Ethiopia for a second there’s that story of the man that you saw and he was desperate for a Bible for his family.

Ron- That’s right! What happened was, this was 430 if I remember, I’d have to check my notes, but it was over 400 new believers. They only had one Bible and two New Testaments. You threw this one at me, Charis, I didn’t get a chance to look at my notes for the exact numbers but it was just like that, it was three, I know it was three. So they only had one Bible and two New Testaments for the entire congregation. Well, we were able to take in New Testaments for them and they were being distributed. The truck pulls up and they happened to all be there. They were going to distribute them at church time so they get up there and they only had a hundred. They were handing them out and all of a sudden there was a crush of people at the front of the church where they were handing them out. People were going to get hurt. I referred to it as a Christian riot. They were all pushing forward and everything like that and the pastor gets up there and all the leaders and said, Whoa, whoa, calm down, we’ll get more, don’t worry! So, everybody backed off a little bit, we’ll make sure every family gets at least one.” Okay, so one man kept pushing and the pastor told me he was at the back of the church and he was pushing his way. He was an older gentleman, a grandfather, and he was pushing all the way, pushing people out of the way and they finally had to hold him back and literally wrestle him to the ground. They held him there and the pastor went up to him and said, What’s wrong with you?” And he said, I’ve got to get a copy of that book for my family!” He said, Generations have died in our family without knowing the truth and we know that they are not in heaven with God but they are in hell. We know that.” He said, I will give everything, I will give my life and do whatever it takes to get a copy of God’s Word for my children, my grandchildren, all my relatives. I will do it or I will die!” The pastor said, Don’t worry we will get you a copy of God’s Word.” Well, you can multiply that story over in all my travels around the world, over and over and over again. This is the passionate hunger for Bibles. People don’t understand this here, Joy. They just don’t capture it because we have been spoiled with the fact that we can go and purchase and buy and have various translations of the Bible.

Joy- Well, I know I have several Bibles in my house and I’m not sure that I have ever been that desperate in my life to read the Word of God sadly.

Ron- That’s part of the reason, is the fact that we have grown up with it, we have ample supply. But go to a country where they have been in darkness, as this man said, for generations, forever. And then all of a sudden the light comes. If you lived in darkness and then all of a sudden someone brought a candle in to you and for the first time you saw light, don’t you think you’d want to take a copy of that home? Or a piece of that candle for your children to see? This is light. What they are saying is, this is truth.

I’ve got to get a copy of that book for my family!” He said, Generations have died in our family without knowing the truth and we know that they are not in heaven with God but they are in hell. We know that.”

Joy- I’m going to ask you a numbers question which I know puts you on the spot a little bit but you mentioned years ago he asked for a million copies of the Bible and that is a very large number but to put it into perspective, Ethiopia’s population is always rapidly growing. I think they are at 130 million or more.

Ron- Is it that much? I thought it was around 110 when I checked.

Joy- No, it’s definitely.

Ron-Is it 130 now? Oh my goodness, they are growing so fast!

Joy- They are growing very fast and so how many believers are there?

Ron- It’s hard to say. Let me put it in another way. Millions and millions and millions of people in Ethiopia every year are coming to the Lord.

Joy- So that 1 million request was not…

Ron- Oh no, no, that’s a drop in the bucket you might say, maybe a cup in the bucket, because it is a lot of people now that need the Word of God in that country. So this year we are doing hundreds of thousands, hundreds and hundreds of thousands of copies just for that country alone. Well, let’s go to China. China right now, I remember one leader there, he said to us when I asked how many Bibles they need right now because they are growing probably by a million per month of new believers in China, he was saying right now, beyond a shadow of a doubt, they had a big meeting with a bunch of house church leadership, they are saying we need 40 million right now.

Joy- 40 million! Wow!

Ron- 40 million Bibles right now. That is just to meet the needs of the new Christians, those who have come to know the Lord over the years and never had one, those who have portions of the Word of God, pages of the Word of God. That is the sort of numbers we are dealing with.

Charis- That is not a stockpile, that is just to meet the backlog of needs.

Ron- That’s immediate handing out of every single one. We have got so many stories about this that people think we must be exaggerating. There must be enough there. No, there’s not. You can say, well why don’t they just go out and print them? Well, in some countries they don’t print them because it’s illegal to. In China right now you can’t print Bibles internally. Officially you can’t print Bibles, let’s put it that way. Unofficially, we find ways of printing Bibles within China and that is why we’re doing it the way we do. But there are other countries in the world where they just don’t have the supply and many places, people don’t understand, they can’t afford it. Also, if you want to go to the Bible store in some countries, it’s 450 miles away and you’ve got a horse, you’ve got two legs, you’ve got a mule. Well, it’s a pretty long trek to get there.

Charis- And you can barely make ends meet as it is so to have the money, to have the time to go do that. It just doesn’t work.

Ron- Exactly. And what is so wrong with pulling up with a truck to a church with Bibles that are printed somewhere and brought in to them as a gift and given away to the family. The family, as Charis says, can’t afford it but we can afford it. It’s not that much money. Our most expensive Bible is $3.00 in some countries and New Testaments are $0.75 and so you present that to them. They are not going to become dependent on us. That’s a gift. My thought is this, I do not want to go before the Lord one day and say we had the ability to give Your Word out to people all around the world but we didn’t want to spoil them. Some people say they will honor and cherish it more if they earn it with their own money. What a Western thought. That’s not true. People around the world do not honor something because they paid for it. Sometimes relationship, most of the time, relationship means more than anything else. I’m not going to stand before the Lord and say we didn’t want to spoil the people so we didn’t give them Bibles, we made them buy them. (Sigh) What a day that will be of embarrassment that we did not provide God’s Word to spiritually hungry people.

Charis- Back to George Foreman for a second. I remember sitting there with him when he said he needed a million Bibles and all the joking back and forth suddenly turned to seriousness and he said, People are going to hell without them.” That’s where the urgency comes from.

Ron- Do you remember Charis, we were sitting in that room, that office on those couches. We were having popcorn I think.

Charis- Yup, it was popcorn.

Ron‑I think he shook me twice as we left. He shook me by the shoulders, shook me once and said, They’re dying, they’re dying without Jesus.” He shook me twice and after a wrestler or a boxer shakes you twice you sort of get the drift that this is an important moment in my life and his.

Joy- I feel like oftentimes the request for Bibles can, not necessarily fall on deaf ears, but numb ears and that the people listening today and all of our donors to Empower, that this message of urgency that Bibles are desperately needed, is so important to hear and to not take it lightly. To truly understand that when Empower puts out a request that we need to send Bibles to these countries, that people are dying without them. That’s very urgent.

Ron- That’s right. That’s it.

Joy- Well thank you for answering that question. You guys did it very well. Thanks for listening.

He shook me by the shoulders, shook me once and said, They’re dying, they’re dying without Jesus.” He shook me twice and after a wrestler or a boxer shakes you twice you sort of get the drift that this is an important moment in my life and his.

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