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Sower The Bible at work


Flying the Bible into the outback

RWANDA: Bible-based literacy fights poverty INDONESIA: Learning to read and know the Word PNG: Translations for remote Christian groups 1

Food leads to thought Norio Nomura


Nanette Nicholson

Yosep Sugiarto

I first became interested in Indonesia because of nasi goreng. For those poor souls who don’t know it, nasi goreng is a deluxe version of fried rice, full of superb spices and usually served with a generous fried egg on top! A 2011 online poll by American broadcaster CNN ranked it as the world’s second most delicious dish (just beating sushi and pad thai). I was fortunate enough to eat it as a child, when we visited our relatives who were working in Indonesia as missionaries. Ever since tasting their tucker, I’ve had a special place in my heart for Indonesian culture and the spread of the gospel across its thousands of islands. God uses all of our senses to arouse interest in his mission across the world. In this issue of Sower, you will find out about not only Indonesia, but also Rwanda, our country of special focus in 2013.

We do encourage our supporters to explore the food, language, arts and politics of the countries we work with, hoping that our hearts will be touched by the experience. As we celebrate the differences between cultures, we also come to see the essential similarities of people across the globe. We’re all created in God’s image, and he wants everyone to know the saving name of Jesus and to be part of the family of God. We’re also delighted to unveil our new-look plane, and the renamed Flying Bible Ministries (formerly Flying Bibleman). The name change reflects a broadening of what we do with the plane: we deliver Scriptures across the Top End of Australia, and we also seek to raise support around the country for Bible Society work. Look out for the plane coming to a city or town near you! With ongoing gratitude for your partnership in our mission, Dr Greg Clarke, CEO Bible Society Australia

Bible Society Australia is a not-for-profit interdenominational organisation. It is a member of the United Bible Societies, a fellowship of 146 organisations working in more than 200 countries. Our mission is to achieve the widest possible, effective and meaningful distribution of the Bible; also, to help people interact with it, and to have their hearts lightened by the Bible’s message of unconditional love in Jesus Christ. GPO BOX 9874 In Your Capital City P: 1300 BIBLES (1300 242 537) ISSN 1839-7425 W: E: ACN 148 058 306


BSA Update

Good for second use

Mark Antonysen

New Bible Society ally

Two heads are better than one sums up Bible Society Australia’s new alliance. The Centre for Public Christianity (CPX) now partners with the Bible Society to jointly promote a public understanding of the faith. Bible Society CEO Greg Clarke describes it as a “natural fit” and a further complement to the Bible Society’s public theology network, Sophia Think Tank. Last year, CPX helped contribute to the effectiveness of the Live light in 25 words campaign. CPX remains a separate organisation raising its own funds, but has access to Bible Society support in accounting, marketing and fundraising.

Thanks to supporters in Victoria for the new and second-hand Bibles sent to prisoners and students in Fiji. “We saw pastors jump for joy,” say volunteers Brian and Carolyn LeCouteur (above, left). Please keep sending your used Bibles (complete and in good condition) to Melbourne. For offices in other states, please do call first to see if they are resourced for collection.

Hope, not suicide

The Bible Society’s Sophia Think Tank was involved in a Hope Talks event to discuss the problem of youth suicide. The groups included many young people, and issues such as isolation, exclusion, relationship breakdown and bullying were talked about. Attendees were shown how these issues are all addressed by the Bible, and how relevant the Bible is to modern life.

Supporters to walk in Mary Jones’ footsteps Mary Jones was the young Welsh girl whose 40km walk for a Bible in 1800 led to the birth of the Bible Society. This September, a group of Bible Society supporters will visit England and Wales. Apart from a tour, supporters will have the chance to retrace that famous walk — all, or in part. If you’re interested and would like details, please email (Left: Mary Dewberry of Melbourne dressed as Mary Jones, at a 2012 year-end thank you to Bible Society volunteers.)


Flying Bible Ministries

Fighting the David Curtis is the sixth pilot at the controls of the BXT plane that takes Bibles and Scripture materials to outback Australia. He visits communities and places so remote many Australians wouldn’t have heard of them. Apart from resources, the Bible Society’s Flying Bible Ministries (FBM) also flies ministers and others from Christian organisations to the hinterland. One hour in the air saves three days on the road, allowing David and passengers more time to minister on the ground.


tyranny of distance From the Flying Bibleman’s diary Today I flew translato r Dave Glasgow to M an NT to help the comm unity engage with th ingrida e Scriptures. I then m translated et with a MAF (Miss ion Aviation Fellowship) pilot an d passed him Scriptu re als for the Millingim bi community. I’ll sp materiend the next two days in Ramingi ning, discussing avai lable Bible Society resources wi th MAF staff, and m eeting with people at various lo cations around the community. Walking anywhere in th form always opens up e Bible Society ’s pilot uniconversation. Are yo Bible pilot? Why are u that you visiting? Later I’ll return to Maningrida, where Da vid Glasgow and I wi table of Bibles and re ll sources outside the set up a community centre. From experie nce I know these wi ll sell out quickly, and the kid s always snap up th e free God’s Story for the Outbac k colouring book an d coloured pencils. It’s a real hi ghlight to see their happy faces.

David says that the Flying Bible Ministries are multifaceted, and keep him on his toes. On top of flying Scripture resources, local missionaries and pastors to the interior, the ministry is also a great encouragement to rural and remote Christian communities. David is often asked to preach and also to speak in schools. This air-borne ministry of the Bible Society began in 1968 as the Flying Bibleman. Pioneer pilot Trevor Booth saw the need for an itinerant ministry that would serve WA’s hinterland. His visits were so well received that he knew he had take his vision further, and it soon became a permanent feature of Bible Society work. Today, FBM covers the ‘Top End’ from Broome in the west, throughout all of the Northern Territory, the northern communities of South Australia, Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait. That’s an area of over three million square kilometres, or a staggering forty per cent of Australia’s land mass. There are literally hundreds of small communities dotted throughout this area, difficult to reach by road. The BXT however, can land at almost any bush airstrip. That allows David the Flying Bibleman to go virtually anywhere – anywhere that your support will take both him and his precious cargo of Bibles and resources. Operating a flying ministry in a country as spread out as Australia is crucial. To help communities in the most remote areas stay connected and resourced, please donate online at, call 1300 BIBLES (1300 242 357) or complete and mail the form on the back page of this magazine.


See the new-look aircraft at the Avalon airshow!


The Flying Bible Ministries has a busy year ahead, including touch down at the Avalon Airshow. Be one of the first to see the “new look” FBM Piper 6XT—freshly liveried in the Bible Society’s new branding! FBM will share a display area with the MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) and the Salvation Army, featuring its Flying Padre, David Shrimpton. It’ll be your chance to see first-hand how Christian aviation ministries work together to “conquer the tyranny” of Australia’s vast distances. FBM will also use the opportunity to reach out to the airshow’s expected 200,000 visitors. Copies of The Flyer’s Bible, a Mark’s Gospel with testimonies Flyer’s from Christians in aviation, will be Bible distributed. Here’s an excerpt: “I believe that the whole thing about flying, the whole physics of flying, the freedom and joy that flying brings, can only exist in a world that has been created. It can’t just happen.” Phil Dodd, Royal Flying Doctors Service pilot.


In mid March, FBM will visit Tasmania, allowing Bible Society supporters to view the aircraft and hear more about the ministry. In May, David will fly a group from CWCI (Christian Women Communicating International) on a ministry safari tour. The tIme in between will be spent visiting and encouraging rural and remote communities, delivering the Scriptures and resources to grow their faith. These include audio visual resources for different ages, in English and in various Aboriginal languages. In addition, FBM will share with churches all over the country about the need within Indigenous communities, inviting support in prayer and in kind. The next time you hear a plane flying overhead, please send a quick word up to the Lord for FBM, pilot David Curtis and his family, and for all who are blessed by this aerial ministry. Event: Avalon Airshow Date: March 1 - 3 (Public airshow) Feb 26 - March 1 (Trade exhibition) Venue: Avalon Airport, Geelong VIC Details:


Purity of heart only through Christ

Yarik Mishin

Matt 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” The heart refers to feelings and thoughts, our soul or the essence of our being. The word ‘pure’ comes from the Greek word ‘katharos’ which means ‘cleansed’. Whilst we can cleanse the outside of our lives we can’t cleanse the inside. It’s our internal condition that really matters to God as this affects our eternal condition. Purity of heart can only come through Jesus Christ. It was his life, a complete work of righteousness and pure in every way, that became the perfect sacrifice (payment) for our wages of sin. 1 John 1:7 “…the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin”. To receive a pure heart comes by acknowledging our total inability to fix ourselves from sin, as well as our desperate need for salvation. 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Purity of heart is a work of grace and faith. Eph 2:8 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God”. Purity of heart is a gift that needs to be received by faith, resulting in a clear conscience so we can ‘see’ God, which means ‘perceive, recognize, and experience’. Our part is to engage with this gift by maintaining focus on Jesus through his word, worship, and prayer. As we look to him our perspective is adjusted and our world falls into correct alignment, order and significance. Things like mercy, grace, and forgiveness are heightened, allowing us to see the best in people, their potential and future in God. We start to see them the way that God sees them. Now that’s blessed! This devotion was prepared by Jake Betlem, Missions Director for C3 Church, Oxford Falls Sydney.


The Bible leads For some time now Bible Society has brought to you the story of a nation reeling from a devastating past. Poverty, malnutrition and illiteracy in Rwanda make it one of the world’s least developed countries, and it’s the deep, divisive wound among its people that is the biggest obstacle to progress. It’s almost twenty years since the ethnic conflict that claimed one million lives in one hundred days. While reconciliation work has begun, the need remains as strong as ever. Through your support the Bible Society puts the Bible to work at the core of the issue, helping people to forgive, let go of the past and move forward. The Bible Society helps spread the vital message of repentance and forgiveness through Bible-based literacy classes in prisons, churches and Sunday Schools. As Rwandan children and adults learn to


read, they also learn about forgiveness and love. The project is bearing fruit. That’s clear from the Rwandan government’s request for it to be extended to more children across the country. It is however a long, slow process, and that’s why Bible Society Australia continues to support the project, and is asking you once again to help Get the Word Out in Rwanda. Will you be part of the on-going healing for this nation? Your donation will support the work there: Literacy for Adults and Street Kids Forty-eight per cent of Rwandans are illiterate. They remain trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty, and the Bible remains inaccessible to them. The Bible Society of Rwanda has developed Bible-based primers which use simple language to introduce people to reading.

a people forward Church leaders are trained to teach basic literacy to their own congregation. Working with the Rwandan Ministry of Education, street children too are taught to read and write, opening the door to a brighter future. Kids, Prisons and Bible Ministry With established churches growing, and many new ones opening, there’s a need for more Bibles. Those with little or no reading skills access the word through listening devices like the Proclaimer from the Faith Comes By Hearing programme. The device is used in groups, and this brings whole communities together, learning about forgiveness and reconciliation. The Bible Society is also at work in prisons, providing inmates with Bibles and resources about reconciliation. Many inmates, imprisoned

for genocide-related crimes, are being released back into society. By working with them before release, the Bible Society sees people grow in Christ and in peace, preparing them to live alongside former enemies. The Bible Society is also working to help Sunday Schools desperately in need of qualified teachers and suitable Biblical material for children. There is a lot of work to be done to help this nation heal and move on. Please help Get the Word Out to Rwanda, by calling 1300 BIBLES (1300 242 537), visiting or submitting the form on the back page. Donations to the literacy part of the project are tax deductible.

Hearing God speak

Faith Comes By Hearing (FCBH) is a great course. Listening to the Word of God helps me understan d his word and renew my relationship with him. It has healed my heart. It’s gre at being in the FCBH group . When I’m feeling lonely or angry I can go to the gro up and be supported. They also repaired my house – before, I was worried all the time that it would fall do wn! Rugero Gavdence, 58, wh o lives alone and is blind.


The Bible Society needs $300,000 to Get the Word Out in Rwanda. Fundraising Launch Events have kicked off in VIC and TAS; here are the March events: State Date & Time Venue Adelaide Saturday 2 March Craigmore Christian Centre, Roketown Road, Craigmore From 4.30pm $5.00 per person at the door (cash only) Sydney

Saturday March 9 11am – 2pm Official launch: 12.30pm

5 Byfield Street, North Ryde

Hope to see you there! For further details, or to donate if you can’t attend, please call 1300 BIBLES (1300 242 537) or visit These are the Launch Events, but you can help fundraise in your own way! Bible Society supporters have always come to the fore with creative, resourceful ways to raise funds. To help kickstart ideas, you’ll find suggestions, information and resources you can download at There are Rwandan recipes and craft ideas, children’s activities, and also a short promotional video you can show in church or at school assemblies. Team work gets fantastic results, so do get together with others and work on an exciting approach together! If you like, Bible Society staff can be with you at your church or school to


share about the Rwanda project (or other projects). Please phone 1300 BIBLES (1300 242 537) to make this happen, now or any time of the year - and together, let’s Get The Word Out!

Download these resources online or ask for a pack

Spotlight on supporters

Les Male, agent for the gospel Peeling mounds of potatoes to help send Bibles to Society, hand out leaflets and then take an offering. the world was something Les Male, 75, was happy to Sometimes at the events, people actually ask for the do. Now serving as Church donation plate before we Agent and president of give it out!” Les sees a the Bible Society branch in lot of sacrificial giving. “I Toowoomba QLD, Les first know an eighty-five year helped with the catering old lady who gives fifty at fundraising events. He dollars every fortnight and wife Noreen would buy for the Bible Society.” heaps of potatoes, “and It’s an indicator of just then everyone in the branch how much support there would come peel and cook is for the work of the Bible them! We’d raise up to Society, from others want$1300 in just one night!” ing to help send the Scrip“Nowadays our branch tures around the globe. doesn’t do dinners any And what support does more; new food regulations Les get from the Bible say that we need to have Society office in Brisbane? a qualified chef.” However “We’ve only got to ask!” he they find lots of other ways says with conviction. to fundraise, like Market The Bible Society is very Les and wife Noreen promote Bible Society work Days when they sell craft grateful to Church Agents produced by the branch like Les all across Australia. members. They meet each These volunteers partner month to discuss how best to promote a Bible Society with the Bible Society in its mission of getting God’s project, and to share a time of devotion and fellowship. word into the hearts and lives of people everywhere. Asked about his role as a Bible Society Agent, Les They work closely with the Church Relations team, and says it’s to promote the projects in his own church and pray regularly for the work, and for staff and donors. other churches in the area. “It doesn’t take up a lot of If your church doesn’t have an Agent, and you have a time. You just need to tell others that something’s on.” heart for the work of the Bible Soceity, perhaps you’d Les gets plenty of family and branch support. “My wife consider taking on this vital role? Please help the Bible and daughter help make up leaflets and flyers, and the Society promote its projects and events, so that funds branch members then go around distributing them.” can be raised for Bibles. To know more, please call our “At the events we may show a video from the Bible Church Relations team at 1300 BIBLES (1300 242 537).


Literacy, the key t0 change in


At the start of a literacy class - praying for the lesson, for their families and for a better future. What springs to mind when you think of Indonesia? Soaking up the sun in Bali, or enjoying spicy satay? Perhaps you know a lot about our northern neighbour, or perhaps you don’t but would love to know more. Indonesia is an amazing nation spread over 17,500 islands. It’s the fourth most populous country in the world. While 87 per cent of the population is Muslim, Indonesia also has some of the largest Christian churches, and they’re growing! A prayer meeting held in Jakarta’s sports stadium last year was attended by 100,000 people. At one church in Surabaya, worshippers meet in a massive 35,000 seat facility. God is at work, but challenges remain for Christian ministry. Many of Indonesia’s Christians face extreme poverty and are unable to attend a local school. In Sanggau


district on the western side of Kalimantan (see map), an estimated 17,000 people remain unable to read or write. The Bible Society is stepping out in faith and establishing Bible-based literacy courses in the Sanggau language to help reverse this situation. By teaching literacy through simple Bible passages, participants hear of God’s love, which is made known through Christ. Every participant also receives a Bible when they complete the course.

Eflison (above) only learned to read when he was of college age, but is now determined to get a diploma. This programme has had a positive effect in other parts of the country. Eflison, 20, attended the programme in Dongi-Dongi, Sulawesi, and tells of how it changed his life: “When I started learning how to read for the first time, it was really hard for me. At my age now, I am supposed to be in high school or even college – but there I was, learning about letters and how to read. But it

doesn’t bother me! I just keep on practicing my reading while in church, at home, or even in the garden. Now besides being part of the Bible Society literacy programme, I also attend a government study programme. If I get a diploma, my opportunity of finding a job is opened wider.” You can be a part of these life-changing literacy courses. Your tax-deductible donation will allow the Bible Society to provide Bibles and literacy materials to participants, and also to fund part of the transportation and living allowances of literacy teachers. Please donate to help change the future for many in Indonesia. Please call 1300 BIBLES (1300 242 537), visit or complete and submit the form on the back page.


BSA Diary DATE Mar 1 - 3 Mar 2 - 9 Mar 1 -31 Mar 1

EVENTS & HAPPENINGS Flying Bible Ministries exhibit (Public airshow) Get The Word Out (Rwanda) launch events “Story of Easter from around the World” World Day of Prayer events (ZeBible appeal)

VENUES Avalon Airshow, Geelong VIC Details on page 10 Daily video emails online Details at

Mar 1 (TBC)

Mar 2

Bike For Bibles Burnie Circuit Ride QLD launch of

West Park Oval Track, TAS Ignite Children’s Expo, Rothwell QLD

Mar 16 -17

Weekend Cycling Challenge


Mar 23 - 24 Mar 25 Mar 29 - 31 Mar 31 May 3-5

24 Hour Cycle Challenge “Road to 200” fundraising dinner Bible Society at Easterfest Hymns of Praise event Annual Ladies Only bike ride UBS Day of Prayer events

Adelaide SA Newcastle NSW Toowoomba QLD Redeemer Lutheran, Toowoomba QLD WA Call 1300 BIBLES (1300 242 537) for details

“Life of Jesus” cinema event

Castle Hill, NSW

May 9 May 20

The Australia Big Ride 30/June - 1/Sep 2013 d


7,200 km from Broome to Sydney to raise funds for literacy/domestic violence projects in Latin America, and projects in Australia! Support the riders at

Bike For Bibles’ Big Ride

“Something on a bucket list I want to do!” anything I’d imagined. When the distance is long and you’re so exhausted, it’s only teamwork that gets you there. You learn to rely on everyone else’s wings.” She’s also greatly motivated by the fact that BFB generates funds for Bibles. This time round, BFB is raising money for a Bible Society literacy/domestic violence project in five Latin American countries, as well as projects in Australia. “What a great purpose! It’s wonderful to do this and help someone at the same time,” says Eris. “People are so generous when you explain what it’s for, and because we pay our own way, they know their donation goes to the cause.” Eris rides daily for fitness and does 50 to 100km rides as part of her preparation for The Big Ride. A third of the team will ride the whole distance, while others will do segments - Broome to Perth (2500km), Broome to Esperance (3500km) and Perth to Sydney (4600km). Eris intends to do the whole thing. “I’m really looking forward to this — it’s like something on a bucket list that I really want to do!” For BFB Ride Organiser Jim Blaxland, it will be his fifth trans-Australia ride. Asked how the team will cope with nine weeks of riding, weather extremes and Eris and husband Glenn will ride to help abused women sleeping bags, he answers, “We remember our donors’ generous support each morning as we stumble out of Any bike ride that cuts across four Australian states our sleeping bags and prepare for another day on the deserves its name: The Big Ride. In June, Eris Gillis, saddle. Their desire to help others come to know God her husband Glenn and sixty-five other Bike For Bibles motivates us and eases the pain in our legs. I thank riders and road crew will set off from Broome in WA, our donors, and encourage them to please give generbound for Sydney NSW — a whopping 7,200km away. ously to support our team and their ride for Bibles!” It’s a massive challenge, but Eris is up for it. Her To donate, please call 1300 BIBLES (1300 242 537), first Bike for Bibles (BFB) experience was the 3,000km or visit and follow Cairns to Melbourne ride in 2009. “My bottom had the prompts. You can also mail your support to Bible never been so sore! But the comradeship was beyond Society Australia, GPO Box 9874, In Your Capital City.


Christians in PNG

Like many small, remote communities in Papua New Guinea (PNG), the Gogodala people have been waiting a long time to have the whole Bible in their language. 25,000 Gogodala live across several villages in the Balimo-Aramia River area in PNG’s west. Ninety per cent are Christian. While a Gogodala New Testament is currently available, the language needs to be made more contemporary, and there’s a deep yearning to have the Old Testament books translated as well. With more than 800 languages spoken in some of the most remote communities in the world, PNG presents a unique challenge when it comes to translation work.

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The Motu people who live in and around the capital, Port Moresby, are also still waiting for a full Bible translation. The need is urgent, and an estimated 100,000 Motu speakers would love the privilege of holding and reading the Bible in their own language, just as those in the English speaking world do. The Bible Society is working with local churches to coordinate the translation of the Gogodala and Motu Bibles. The best translation work always gets the local community involved. This caters for language accuracy and cultural nuances, and also gives the community a sense of “ownership ” of the finished product.

long for a full Bible

But local translators cannot work unsupported. They need training, supervision and financial backing if PNG is to see God’s Word translated for the nation. Bible Society translation experts work alongside the local translators, spending years on each project. This process ensures that the Scriptures are faithfully and meaningfully translated into the local languages. Crippling poverty is another obstacle to the work of spreading the word in PNG. Bible translation and distribution in the nation need to be heavily subsidised by the care and giving of people just like you, worldwide. The Bible Society is appealing for financial help to

train, house and transport the translation managers of the Gogodala and Motu Bible projects. Their role is to oversee the projects, ensuring that work proceeds unhindered through all the years it will take to produce the full Bible for the Gogodala and the Motu. Will you partner with us in reaching around 125,000 Papua New Guineans with the full riches of the Bible? To donate please call 1300 BIBLES (1300 242 537), visit or complete and submit the form on the back page. Thank you for your generous giving to help those who long to have the Bible in its entirety, in the language of their heart.

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Bible reading guide khrawlings

April 1-10 Philippians 1.1–11 1.12–30 2.1–4 2.5–11 2.12–18 2.19–30 3.1–11 3.12 – 4.1 4.2–9 4.10–23 April 11-20 Jeremiah 1–7 1.1–19 2.1–13 2.14–25 2.26–37 4.19–31 5.1–13 5.14–31 6.1–15 7.1–15 7.16–27

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April 21-30 Matthew 5,6 5.1–12 5.13–16 5.17–20 5.21–26 5.27–37 5.38–48 6.1–4 6.5–18 6.19–24 6.25–34 May 1-7 Psalms 75–80 75 76 77 78.1–16, 32– 39,56–72 47 79 80

May 8-14 Hosea 1-14 1.1 – 2.1 2.2–23 3.1 – 4.9 6.1 – 7.2 11.1–11 13.1–16 14.1–9 May 15 Acts 2.1–21 May 16-26 Jeremiah 8–23 8.18 – 9.16 9.23 – 10.10 12.1–13 13.1–17 17.1–18 18.1–17 19.1–15 20.1–18 21.1–14 23.1–8 23.9–32

May 27-June 7 Matthew 7–9 7.1–6 7.7–12 7.13–23 7.24–29 8.1–13 8.14–22 8.23–34 9.1–8 9.9–13 9.14–17 9.18–26 9.27–38 June 8-14 Proverbs 17–27 17.1–10 18.6–21 22.17 – 23.9 23.10–28 24.1–22 25.11–28 27.5–17

June 15-19 Psalms 81–85 81 82 83 84 85 June 20-30 Jeremiah 26–39 26.1–24 29.1–9 29.10–14 31.1–22 31.23–40 32.1–15 32.16–29 36.1–32 37.1–21 38.1–28 39.1–18

The readings in this guide are taken from Series 1 of the Scripture Union Bible reading notes, “Daily Bread”. The whole Bible is covered in four years (Series 1 - 4).

UBS Update French youth Bible gets praise

ZeBible, the French youth Bible has found its way to 50,000 young people since 2011. Pope Benedict XVI (still in office at time of printing) received a copy as well from a French Bible Society delegation. He thanked the Bible Society and its partners for taking innovative steps to engage French youth with the Bible. ZeBible uses a youth-oriented Bible translation and social media to help youth discover the Bible in ways familiar to them.

38 volume Braille Bible in Brazil

“When I lost my sight I completely understood what makes someone commit suicide,” says José Valdizio (left). “Then I learnt Braille and started reading the Braille Bible from the Bible Society. It was like having a heart transplant, because God helped me through it.” More than 3,000 sight-impaired Brazilians have signed up for the free Braille Bible programme. They’ll each receive thirty-eight volumes of the Braille Bible in the Portuguese language. That’s a stack two metres high, but immeasurable in terms of the hope it brings to the reader. The Bible Society aims to deliver a complete Braille Bible set to everyone with a visual disability.

Joy for Bible Society in Cameroon

The opening of a new Bible Society office may not draw much attention in societies where things come easily. It was a different story in Cameroon when the Bible Society opened a new office to serve the north-west’s Scripture needs. More than 2,000 people including government officials and traditional chiefs were at the opening in Bamenda. David Hammond, who has overseen the work of Bible Societies across Africa for many years, says it was the most enthusiastic welcome he has ever witnessed. “It was so moving to see them celebrate the arrival of the Bible Society in their community.” Praise God for the expanding UBS fellowship worldwide!


UBS prayer points March – May 2013 “We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.” Colossians 1:3 3-9 March Australia: Please pray for the Bible Society’s efforts to provide free Scripture materials to those who have lost their Bibles due to recent natural disaster. A devotional booklet entitled ‘When Your Whole World Changes’ has also been distributed to individuals and churches. Mali: Fighting between Islamist rebel groups in the north and government troops is intensifying. Please pray for the French Bible Society and the Bible Society of Mali as, together, they provide food and Bibles for hundreds of refugee families. 10-16 March Egypt: Thank God that the Bible Society of Egypt had the opportunity to run three booths at the Cairo International Bookfair last month. Please pray for peace in this nation and that many people might engage with the Bible as a result of the Bible Society’s ministry. Netherlands: Please ask for God’s blessing on the New Generation Fund aimed at reaching young people. Please also pray for the recruitment of new volunteers to help with the work of sharing God’s word. 17-23 March Zimbabwe: Do pray for the translation of the Chikunda Old Testament, and for vital funding for the project. Ask for God’s guidance on plans to open more Bible distribution points, especially in new towns. USA: Please continue to pray for the Bible Society’s efforts to help thousands of people still suffering the effects of Hurricane Sandy. Pray that many people come to know God’s love during this difficult time.


24-30 March Belgium (Flemish): Please pray for the distribution of the modern Gospel of Mark magazine in schools and a Psalms brochure in churches, hospitals and prisons. Guinea: Please pray for funding to launch The Good Samaritan programme in Guinea. The programme is UBS’s flagship HIV ministry, and has helped thousands in more than 20 African countries to understand the HIV virus and to care for those affected by it. 31 March-6 April Costa Rica: Praise God for the transcription of the Dios Habla Holy Bible into Braille. Pray that this contemporary language Braille Bible will help people with visual disabilities to engage afresh with the Scriptures. North Korea: Many North Koreans continue to suffer from shortages of food and energy and are deprived of basic freedoms. Please pray that God’s love and justice will be made known in this nation. 7-13 April Switzerland: Praise God for the effective ministry to prisoners and migrants, and pray that Switzerland will increase its financial support for Bible work. India: India is home to 15 million blind people—nearly half of the world’s blind population. Thank God for the distribution of more than 30,000 Braille Scriptures in India last year, and pray that this work might continue.

China: Thousands of rural Chinese Christians aren’t able to read at all. Please pray for Bible Society literacy classes, that students would be diligent and motivated by the reward of reading the Scripture for themselves.

14-20 April Togo: Please pray for the production and distribution of children’s Scripture materials by the Bible Society to meet a huge need for resources in Sunday Schools and schools across the country. Cameroon: Praise God for the arrival of the first few samples of the new Ewondo New Testament. Please pray that they will bring salvation and fullness of life to the half a million Ewondo-speakers in Cameroon. 21-27 April Cyprus: Thank God for the Bible Society’s ministry to migrants in Cyprus, and for the distribution of the Greek NT to schools. Please pray that the cooperation with the Ministry of Education will continue. Bolivia: Please pray for the Bible Society as it works with social service organisations to help the country’s street children and at-risk children. While social services provide for their physical needs, the Bible Society ensures the children receive spiritual food. 28 April-4 May Kuwait: Sixty-eight per cent of people living in Kuwait are expatriates, many hailing from countries like India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Please pray for the Bible Society of the Gulf as it supports churches reaching out to these expatriates, equipping them with Bibles and DVDs of the Jesus Film.

5-11 May France: The Bible Society works with prison chaplains, developing resources to help prisoners engage with the Bible. Pray that this will bring prisoners new hope. Cambodia: A daily radio programme about the Bible is helping many Cambodians deal with their painful past and learn about the Bible’s message of healing love. Thank God for this unique opportunity for Christians in Cambodia to share their faith with others. 12-18 May Argentina: Do pray for the success of the Bibles for one million homes campaign, encouraging Christians to donate Bibles to those who don’t have one. Ecuador: Give thanks to God for the newly created Bible Society, a process that took three years but is now a reality. Please pray for the translation of the Bible into Quichua Cañar and Quichua Imbabura. 19-25 May Portugal: Thank God for the many opportunities for Bible distribution, advocacy and engagement, mainly through Bible Society exhibitions eKlogia – the Church, the Word, ecology and The Feast of the Bible. Greece: Ongoing financial crises over recent years have led to tough austerity measures. We thank God that despite this, Scripture distribution levels in 2012 remained high, as well as giving to the Bible Society. 26-31 May Angola : Please pray for the ongoing Bible translation work in six Angolan languages, and for the new translation project in the Nyaneka language. Fiji: Thank God for the completion of the first sample copies of the Fijian New Version Bible. Pray that many in the South Pacific will be blessed by this new edition.


Give more than eggs this Easter Bible Society has created a range of low-cost scripture products for you to give away this Easter. Here are just two of these fantastic items. New Life in Jesus - a card featuring a Christian greeting & Bible passage from John 11:25-26. Excellent for outreach with blank spaces for a personal message and a church stamp. only 30c ea or $18/100 + $7.50 for postage Jesus is Alive - a children’s activity leaflet that tells the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection with engaging pictures and activities. Only 30c ea or $22/100 + $7.50 for postage

Call 1300 139 179 for information on our full range


Bible Society Australia Locked Bag 7003 Minto NSW 2566 T. 1300 139 179 F. +61 2 9829 4685 E.


NUMBER 33, FEBRUARY 2013 CIRCULATION 100,000 ISSN 1837-8447

In February’s Eternity Scan the QR code (below) with your mobile camera for Eternity’s latest news.

Colin Buchanan Pied Piper for Jesus


Free Bibles

The cover story is on musicmaker Colin Buchanan, whose songs have been sung by some of Australia’s biggest names, and by Christian children for years. Also featured: child abuse and the churches’ mistakes, and a call to let women preach. If you haven’t signed up yet for the paper, you can read these stories - as well as other daily updates online at But why wait any longer? Sign up at the Bible Society website now for Eternity, Australia’s largest Christian newspaper - free to your church, school, college or Christian bookshop. Email to get started!

Calling Advocates!

For Christian education teachers in public schools If you teach Christian religious education in public schools, the Bible Society wants to support your ministry by providing Bibles for your classes, free of charge. To apply, please contact: Rick George Mobile 0431 682 166

The Bible Society is still recruiting GodSpeak Advocates for 2013! Please pass the word to young go-getters you know who can raise funds for a project, and travel too! Get details from downloadable videos and brochures at or email GodSpeak Coordinator:

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Sower Autumn Edition 2013  

This issue’s cover story is about the newly-renamed Flying Bible Ministries and the vital work of taking Scripture to rural and remote Austr...

Sower Autumn Edition 2013  

This issue’s cover story is about the newly-renamed Flying Bible Ministries and the vital work of taking Scripture to rural and remote Austr...