The transforming power of God’s word should never be under-estimated.
That was brought home to mission workers at a Middle East education centre, when they gave out children’s Bibles, written in Arabic, to their students. One child from each of the school’s 27 families, almost all of whom are refugees, was handed a Bible and told to take it home.
But the next day, one of those very Bibles was seen lying on a boy’s desk and the staff were worried it had been forgotten or, worse still, rejected by his parents.
One of the teachers explained: “Walking past the classroom just before our morning chapel, I saw the Bible on his desk and thought he must have left it there instead of taking it home.
“Then I realised that was impossible because we had gift-wrapped them and the children had left with them still wrapped, so it had to have been brought back.
“That made me wonder if he was returning it because the parents did not want him to have it.
“The teacher in his first lesson asked him why he’d brought it back and he was a little embarrassed to answer, knowing that other children were listening.
“But as he started to explain that he and his mum had spent all evening reading it and that he wanted to continue reading it at break time, the rest of the class were excited to share how they had read it with their parents and loved it too.”
All 27 families with children at the school have been given a Bible. Each of those families is visited weekly and the feedback about the Bibles has been hugely positive.
One of the fathers even picked up on the Old Testament story of Joseph and applied it to his own life.
The boy who brought his Bible back to school has a younger brother and a baby sister, all of whom live with their mother while their father works away.
Their passion for the Bible, shared by all those at the school, is a powerful testimony to the ability of the word of God to transform lives and bring hope, even in the most difficult circumstances.
That the Bible stories would continue to impact children and their families in the Middle East.
For teachers to have wisdom and grace as they discuss the Bible with refugee families.
For God to raise up more Christian teachers to work in the Middle East.