By the Director of Arab World Media
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105, ESV)
These words were ringing in my ears as we set out on a road trip across one of the Arab world’s most closed countries. The main purpose of our trip was to pray for this nation and to encourage followers of Jesus who live there.
I remember the joy expressed by Nour*, whom we met in a very isolated village. The first thing he wanted to show us was the Bible on his mobile phone. For this man, whose wife and five children don’t know that he follows Jesus, his online Bible is a lifeline and, most possibly, one of his most precious possessions.
Then Nour asked, ‘Do you have a Bible that I can touch?’
As I held one out to him, his hands trembled. He had never before held a Bible. Reading it online had not given him the sense of just how much it contained, how thick it was, or what it felt like to hold. I gained a new appreciation that day of just how important the Bible is to new believers. Not only is it critical to their understanding of the gospel as they move towards making their choice to follow Christ, it is also vitally important as a light on their path as they live their lives in obedience to Jesus. One of the surest ways to lose your faith is to stop reading the Bible.
For his own safety’s sake, Nour was not able to keep the Bible that day, but I thank God that he has access to it online and on his own mobile phone.
In 2015 an astonishing 223,000 people downloaded the Bible from our online ministry website! This illustrates the scale of spiritual hunger and desperation in the hearts of so many! Not surprisingly, given that the Arab world is predominantly an oral culture, the vast majority of these downloaded Bibles were in an audio format. People will be able to put on their headphones anywhere, at any time, in any circumstances, and listen to the Word of God.
It is our prayer that even if they never hold a physical Bible in their hands, they will engage with God’s Word and that it will change their lives forever.
*Name has been changed.