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The Bible at work

The smiles say it all as Bibles arrive in rural China NEPAL: Hearing about “a different God” BIBLE ADVOCACY: Making the Christian voice count

SUMMER 2013-2014

Sower


Dear friends,

For those who love cricket, summer in Australia is a feast—day after day, night after night—of games to watch, chatter on the radio and news commentary. For those who don’t love cricket, it’s a threemonth-long endurance event! One person’s delight is another person’s shoulder-shrug. It’s the same with Christian ministry. Some people are thrilled to hear about overseas mission, about the Bible reaching into the remote pockets of the world and transforming lives. Others don’t find that so exciting, for whatever reason. But those same people may be over the moon to see Scripture taught in local schools, or hear intelligent Christians on the radio, or read Bible devotions by Australian theologians. We all have our passions. Of course, Christians are huge supporters of the word wherever it goes, but God has also given each of us different passions.

And we need each other. The person who has a heart for youth ministry will urge others to remember how important it is to engage the next generation with the word. The person who is burdened for Indonesia, or Ethiopia, or Suriname will remind the rest of us that there is a world out there that desperately needs the guiding truths of Scripture. In other words, our various passions will “stir up one another

to love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24). In his mercy, God has given us each other as motivational aids, to spur us on and keep our flames of faith flaring! In this issue of Sower, I trust you’ll find one or more stories that really stoke your mission fires and push you on in prayer, support and involvement. We are all in this mission together, and there is so much to do. May I take this opportunity to thank all of our supporters for your generosity and faithfulness throughout 2013, and wish you a joyous and hope-filled Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

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: biblesociety.org.au E: sower@biblesociety.org.au ACN 148 058 306

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BSA Update

Adam Knott & News Ltd

Pope says go ahead Bible Societies from Australia and worldwide met with the Catholic Biblical Federation in Rome to explore ways of getting Bibles into more Catholic homes. UBS Chairman, Dr Rudi Zimmer, showed Pope Francis the May They Be One Bible. He said the Pontiff responded with, “Go ahead” and was pleased about getting families to read the Bible. Also while in Rome, Bible Society Australia’s Damian Fisher met Cardinal George Pell, Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, and David Walker, Bishop of the Broken Bay Diocese, NSW. They discussed ways of pursuing this mission which has the Pope’s support.

RIMS makes the cover

1,000 booklets to ADF

The Sept 7 Weekend Australian featured Bible translation work in the Pitjantjatjara language. It was well-deserved recognition for the Indigenous translators, and for Paul Eckert of Bible Society’s Remote & Indigenous Ministries (RIMS) team, who has worked with them on the project.

Bible Society provided Proverbs for Australian Defence Force (ADF) staff at the International Fleet Review in October. The booklets were given out by the Everyman’s Welfare Service. Commissioner Ken Matthews says this year Bibles have been snapped up fast at ADF bases.

Getting the Word to Rwanda all through 2013 The Stepping Stones childrens’ group at St John’s church in Launceston raised $2000 for the Get The Word Out to Rwanda project. Our year-long focus on literacy and Bible distribution in Rwanda has done much to help the nation rebuild for the future. Thank you kids, and everyone, for the amazing support of this project. Bible Society work just couldn’t happen without you!

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“How could I not thank God every day?” Villagers like Liu Tianlan (right) are overwhelmed when Bible distribution teams visit, bringing the Scriptures

Sherrie Thai

Imagine being without a Bible at home, and having to walk to church so you can hear the word. That’s what Liu Tianlan had to do until age 97 when she finally got to hold her very own Bible. The day she waited in line to receive a Bible, it was plain to see why everyone called her Sister One Tooth. She said, “Why do I smile, even though I have only one tooth? Because I treasure this Bible; how could I not thank God every day?” Christians in rural China wait for the rumble of Bible distribution vans bringing the word to their village church. Thanks to Bible Society donors worldwide, Bibles printed legally at Nanjing’s Amity Printing Company are sent to registered churches. A small

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army of volunteers helps to mark the Bibles with the approved stamp, then packs and delivers these Bibles as quickly as they can to the churches. In the village churches, Christians are waiting. Often distribution teams report that they hear the singing and loud clapping even before they pull up. Church members are overjoyed because in many cases ten or more of them would’ve been sharing one Bible. Many people can’t afford a Bible because it can cost them a day’s wages. “People think China is a superpower,” says Jock Foo of United Bible Societies’ China Partnership. “But the superpower is Shanghai or Beijing. China’s 2010 census shows that 51 per cent


Rural Chinese Christians often have to share one Bible

A van driver happy to take part in distributing Bibles Bibles “to every believer who needs one.” And then there’s you. Thank you so much for setting your hand to the work as well, and helping to finance Bible distribution in China. Already many rural communities are being nourished by God’s word. We know we’ve brought our request to you many times before, but that’s because the need remains great. Only with your commitment can we help the China Partnership supply Bibles to meet demand from rural churches.

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Sherrie Thai

of the population lives in rural areas. An estimated 70 per cent of China’s Christians are in these areas. Many people live in poor conditions and that’s the reality.” Tan Juxiang, 59, spent most of her adult life longing for a Bible she could understand. Her old family Bible was in outdated script. ‘It was very hard to preach because I couldn’t read that Bible,” she says. “With my new Bible, my preaching became more powerful.” The Scriptures are reaching rural China because of God’s people, working together. Besides the Bible distribution vans, individuals like Wang Hai also make it their personal mission to deliver Bibles. He rides his motorbike into remote areas, determined to take


Church grows through literacy

Learning more about the Bible in literacy classes

Sherrie Thai

In rural China, illiteracy often follows poverty. This stops people from examining the Scriptures themselves, if they have a Bible to begin with. Literacy classes in four provinces, made possible by donors like you, are changing that. Using Bible-based literacy materials, people learn to read and take in the Scriptures at the same time—a double blessing. “It would have been very, very challenging to see growth without literacy,” says Meng Zhung village elder Lei Geng Tang. “People can’t remember what they’ve heard in church, and aren’t able to read the Bible during the week. Through literacy, people’s faith takes deeper root. They understand the word now.

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‘I think the literacy class is going to double the speed of church growth. Literacy comes first and then the Bible comes later. It’s pointless to have a Bible if you don’t know how to read.’ Elder Lei Geng Tang, Meng Zhung village

It’s no longer just something that they hear.” Besides teaching God’s truth, the classes help people fend for themselves. “Learning to read builds confidence, helps people with their business and protects them from being cheated by middlemen,” says the British and Foreign Bible Society’s Hazel Southam who visited Shaanxi Province. “This is life-changing stuff!” To help bring this change to many in China, please submit the Donation Form on the back page, visit biblesociety.org.au/china or call 1300 BIBLES (1300 242 537). Donations for literacy work are taxdeductible, but every dollar for Bible distribution is also helping to dramatically change lives in rural China.


Spotlight on supporters

Walking for Bibles, like Mary Jones

Australian supporters retraced part of Mary Jones’ trek in Wales, and raised $20,000 for Bible work in China They walked over hills, fields and streams, and sometimes in the rain, getting a little taste of Mary’s famous walk in 1800. Mary Jones was, of course, the sixteen-year-old Welsh girl who walked 40km to buy a Bible. That determination and need led to the formation of the Bible Society fellowship, working today in 200 countries worldwide. It’s a bit of Bible Society history much loved by staunch supporters. In September, twenty-two of them including Bible Society’s Alan Harris, went on the 16-day “Mary Jones Experience” fundraising tour.

They saw where Mary had lived and gone to church. They also walked a little over half of her 40km trek. “We now have a new appreciation for what she did, and for the way God works in ordinary people to begin amazing things,” says Kaye Simpfendorfer who was on the tour together with mum, Pam Modra. The group collected $20,000 for Bible work in China, a cause known to be dear to Mary Jones’ heart. This was twice the fundraising goal, so kudos to our ‘Mary Joneses’. In a manner of speaking, every Bible Society donor, volunteer,

church representative and staff member today walks in the footsteps of Mary Jones—loving God’s word and wanting to share it too. Over the past few weeks, Bible Society Australia has held Mary Jones teas and lunches nationwide to show our huge appreciation. As the events have been held in church and community halls, guest numbers have been limited. We do however want to thank each and every person, so, as you read this, please know that we’re ever grateful that you have chosen to walk this journey of faith with us.

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Curious Nepalis hear “This audio player is my friend; I always have it with me,” says villager Nawaraj Thakuri. “When I see others just sitting in the sun or gathering somewhere, I start to play the audio message for them. My neighbours also take turns to borrow it, and most of them say it’s really good material which talks about a different God. Five families from the village have accepted the Lord, and there are many more who’ve shown interest in knowing more about Jesus. Thank you so much for this material!” Nepal is a nation new to the gospel. Perched on the southern Himalayan slopes,

Top: Audio player brings the Bible alive for those who can’t read Middle: Armed with gospel kits to take up into the mountains Left: Nepalis intrigued about the God who died to save them

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of a “different God” it’s difficult to traverse, and so the church has existed there for only 50 years. Less than two per cent of the population is Christian. It’s also one of the world’s poorest countries, with a 45 per cent illiteracy rate. For the team from Global Recordings Network (GRN) Nepal, sharing the word isn’t as easy as handing out a tract. Bible Society is working with GRN to help spread God’s word through audio material. Gospel kits have been distributed to churches, pastors and Christians in isolated communities. The kits comprise a hand-cranked cassette player, audio cassettes and Bible stories on picture flip charts. Since 2010, CD, MP3 and DVD formats have also been used, and provided free or at low cost to Christian leaders.

“People were very interested to hear about ‘the foreign religion’ in their own language, and they listened for two hours,” reports Satya Man Baidhya of MargaDarsan Mandali, Sindhupalchok. “One old man said, This sounds a bit different, so we have to listen to it. Some others wanted to take the materials home and let their families listen too, so we gave them cassettes and CDs. Many new people are coming to our church. We’ve baptised six people so far through this audio evangelism. I can only write about what’s happening; pray that one day we’ll get a camera so that I can take photos and show you our activities.” It’s estimated that in 2012, about 250,000 people all across Nepal got to hear the gospel message in their own heart language. In the same year, and after much prayer, GRN was also able to produce

material for three communities so remote there had never been Christians living there at all. Today, in central Nepal, there are 58 children’s clubs which use a picture book series to share the gospel. Many of the children’s family members have also started to go to church. The word of God has also spread across the border, with an entire Tibetan village now professing Christ and going to church. Bible Society Australia is working with Global Recordings Network to continue spreading God’s word throughout Nepal. Through your support, more gospel kits can be distributed to isolated communities. The team is also praying for more field recording and editing equipment, high quality digital cameras and more picture books to be printed. To help make this happen, please use the Donation Form on the back page, phone 1300 BIBLES (1300 242 537) or visit biblesociety.org.au/nepal

Frontierofficial

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What we’ll be doing in 2014 Here are the projects Bible Society Australia will be supporting in the months ahead, with your help:

Overseas

In Australia

Bible Engagement Cambodia: Learning through Listening Pakistan: Beacon in the Darkness (Women’s literacy) Egypt: Children and Adult Post Literacy PNG: Literacy for prisoners & community Rwanda: Fighting against illiteracy in churches China: Literacy programme for Christians

• Assisting with translation work in three Aboriginal languages: Pitjantjatjara, Kunwinjku and Eastern Arrernte.

Bible Distribution Cuba: Bibles to the Catholic Church South Africa: Bibles for prisons and schools China: Scripture resources for youth and children Brazil: Scriptures for the Soccer World Cup Syria: Meeting Scripture needs Gulf: Bibles for children and youth Nicaragua: Giving hope to children with cancer Bible Advocacy China: Biblical Leadership West Balkans: Calling the Harvesters Singapore: Biblical leadership forum for Asia Bible Production China: Bibles for the Millions South Pacific: Production of Scripture materials Bible Translation Vietnam: Three New Testament translations Serbia: Contemporary Translation of the OT Bolivia: Revision of Central Quechua Bible Cote d’Ivoire: Revision of Baoule Bible Maintaining a core presence Keeping the Bible present in Iraq Keeping the Bible present among Arab-Israelis

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• Publishing one New Testament (with OT portions) in Torres Strait Creole (Dedication mid-year). • Making over 300 school presentations across the country for the Scripture in Schools programme. • Giving away more than 50,000 Scripture materials to public school students and chaplains of hospitals, correctional services, Juvenile Justice, emergency services and the Australian Defence Force, as well as to Christian missions like Indigenous ministries.


Devotion

Christ came to save

did, but because he is always true to himself, he won’t. His determination to rescue a people for himself, to gather them eventually around his throne and to shower them with all the blessings that can only come from him, is the great explanation of what happened when Mary fell pregnant and when the Christ was born. Sentimental pictures of Christmas cheer might fire up our imaginations, but they just don’t cut it as an explanation of why this day is special. He came to save. Because we needed to be saved. Because he would not give up on those he came to save. This devotion is by Rev Dr Mark Thompson, Principal of Moore Theological College, Sydney.

Issac Joo

You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21 ESV) It was always about salvation. Not just presence with us, not just joining God and man together in one person, not just making God known more clearly and more fully than ever before — though all of this — but to ‘save his people from their sins’. Without this explanation it’s hard to see how the life, death and resurrection of Jesus is an act of love. Without this explanation it’s hard to see why we should celebrate Christmas. Every birth is special, to be sure. But what makes this one unique is that this was God come to save us from the choices we have made and the pain we have caused. Two things come together to make Christmas necessary. The first is our serious need of being saved. It is not a popular idea today. We are self-made men and women who can chart our own course and settle our own destiny. We believe the hollow promise of some that ‘anyone can change the world’. But it just isn’t true. We don’t all have the opportunity, or the ability, or the desire to do that. And it’s our desire that is the problem—not only that we desire the wrong things, seduced by the lies told all around us, but we do not desire the one who made us, do not desire to know him or to honour him. Caught in a web of guilt, decay and death we cannot get ourselves out. We cannot change ourselves, let alone the world. And we need someone to save us. Yet that alone would not explain Christmas. We could have been left to it. We could have been consigned to the consequences of our own decisions. But Christmas is necessary because God won’t give up on us. No one could blame him if he

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Latin America

Bible teaches women If you’re learning to read, and what you’re reading tells you that male and female are seen as equal in God’s eyes, it starts you thinking. A life-changing Bible-based literacy programme in isolated areas of Latin America is helping women speak out against domestic violence. The Read To Live project in Peru, Equador, Chile and Panama is helping thousands of women each year to read and write. In these male-dominated societies, it’s also helping to break the silence around violence at home, a scourge that affects seven out of ten women.

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Programme participants are taught basic literacy, and then move on to a series of reading comprehension booklets. These contain Bible verses and reflections about gender equality, mutual respect, children’s rights, forgiveness and communication. Many say the programme has improved their family relationships. Others have plucked up the courage to seek help instead of staying silent about abuse at home. Over time, this change in one individual leads to change within the community, as often happens with Bible Society literacy projects worldwide.

Around 70% of Panama’s Ngobe Buglé women are illiterate. The government tried several times to set up literacy programmes in the community but failed. Bible Society Panama however trained 15 Ngobe people as literacy teachers, and their classes (photo below) are well-attended. “Combining literacy and a domestic violence prevention programme was the very best thing that the Bible Society could have done for this community,” says Bricelda Gonzalez from Panama’s Ministry of


n about equality Social Development. “We hope it will continue and expand, so that these high levels of domestic violence become a thing of the past.” “My husband and I are starting to build our marriage afresh,” says Ecuador’s Janeth (below) who’s participating in the programme with her husband. “He has stopped drinking since we studied the booklet which talked about alcoholism and other problems.”

“I used to feel so useless,” says Mauricia (below) in Peru. “I couldn’t check my children’s homework or take on meaningful roles in my community. My husband said if I could learn to read it would change everything. He was right! Now I’m learning to read, and I take my Bible with me when I herd the animals or go into the fields, so that I can practise all the time.”

49-year old Maria, like 200,000 women in Chile, had only attended school for a few years. She enrolled in the Read to Live programme and is now reading more confidently. Pablo Gutierrez from the Peruvian Bible Society says that the literacy programme is helping to deal with the violence that’s “quietly tearing families and communities apart.” Your support can do so much to break the vicious cycle of illiteracy, poverty and violence in indigenous communities of Latin America. If you’d like to set many more families on the path to harmony, please call 1300 BIBLES (1300 242 537), use the Donation Form on the back page, or visit this webpage: biblesociety.org.au/latinamerica

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BSA Diary – SUMMER 2013/2014 DATE 30 November

VENUES Bible Society Adelaide Office, SA

1 Dec

EVENTS & HAPPENINGS Explore Day (Exploring Bible Translation) with Wycliffe Bible Translators Fundraising presentation

5 Dec

Mary Jones “Thank you” lunch

Bible Society Sydney Office, NSW

23 Dec–3 Jan 2014 8–12 Jan 2014

Bible Society offices closed over Christmas/ All states except NT New Year break, reopening 6 Jan 2014 (NT office relocating; details later) Bike for Bibles (BFB) Tassie Trek East Coast, TAS

12–17 Jan

BFB Snowy Mountains Summer Ride

Snowy Mountains, NSW

11–15 Feb

Pitjantjatjara Old Testament HELP Workshop

Bible Society Adelaide Office, SA

28 Feb

BFB Bike & Hike

Burnie, TAS

Feb-March

Launch events for Get The Word Out—China

Feb (dates to be announced): Launceston, Hobart and Ulverstone 1 March: South Australia

Dalby Uniting Church, QLD

For event details please call Bible Society on 1300 BIBLES (1300 242 537)

Great reads for summer Bible Society has launched an online library of Australian C.S. Lewis resources. It celebrates his life and aims to champion his contribution to literature and Christianity for many years to come. The new online library at biblesociety.org.au/cslewis compiles Australian articles, reviews and analyses about C.S. Lewis, and examines his ongoing impact today.

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With the first printing all snapped up, Bible Society has printed more of Roy Williams’ book In God They Trust? The religious beliefs of Australia’s Prime Ministers 19012013. The book was well reviewed by media. Also available as an ebook from Amazon. Other great reads: See page 19.


More Masterclass in 2014 to challenge youth

C Kilby

Dr Michael Frost of Morling College setting the bar at Masterclass 2013

Bible Society’s Masterclass event is aimed at encouraging Christian high school students to become Christian leaders in their school and community. Youth feedback about Masterclass 2013 ranged from “made me understand things I’ve been told” to “need more time to stretch between talks.” We’re taking those on board as we plan for 2014. So if you’re a high school teacher, or if you know someone who is, here are some dates to

pencil in. Together let’s challenge young people to step up to the plate as godly leaders! Dates: NSW–24 July, QLD–17 Sept, South Australia–25 Sept. Speaker: Rev Dr John Dickson on “Why You Can Trust the NT”. Other great speakers in the line-up and the venues will be announced later. If you have questions or would like an alert when more details are in, email: chris. melville@biblesociety.org.au

Worldwide day of prayer for the people of Egypt Political unrest, attacks on churches and Christians … there are many things happening in Egypt to pray for. On Friday 7 March 2014, voices in over 170 countries will be raised in prayer for Egypt over one 24hour period, as World Day of Prayer (WDP) supporters everywhere bring this troubled nation before God. For years, WDP Australia supporters have blessed a Bible Society project with part of the offering taken on that day. The focus for 2014 is Bible Society’s post-literacy

project in Egypt. This follow-up to literacy classes helps those who lose their newly-acquired skills for lack of practice. The 18-24 month

course provides students with lots of opportunity to use their reading and writing skills. The lessons also apply Biblical passages to practical daily issues. The resulting impact is not just new-found ability, but enduring life-change. WDP Australia invites you and your church to get involved in the 2014 Day of Prayer. Please visit worlddayofprayeraustralia.org for detailed information. Ed’s note: In the 2012 Summer Sower issue we inadvertently said that “all collections” from the 2013 WDP events in Australia would go to a Bible Society project. That should have read “part of the collections.” The error is regretted.

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n a i t s i r h C e h t g t n n i u k o a c M e c i vo

Pick up a newspaper or go online to your favourite news source. Find an article, any article, and read it. Now, think about how the Bible relates to that story. What wisdom in the Bible addresses the issues raised in the story? You’ll be hard pressed to find an article that the Bible is silent on; such is the breadth and depth of its wisdom. Today in Australia we live in an increasingly post-Christian culture, where a basic acceptance of the Christian faith is no longer the norm. Bible Society, however, is committed to seeing Christianity become a respected part of the conversation again. We do this through Sophia Think Tank and the Centre for Public Christianity (CPX). In 2012, Bible Society Australia formed a partnership with CPX as it engages the public with a clear, measured and respectful picture of the Christian faith and the way it

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can impact all of life for the better. In 2013, CPX has provided regular comment on television and radio and articles for mainstream news outlets. John Dickson’s appearance on the ABC TV programme Q&A and Simon Smart’s recent book, For God’s Sake, have given national exposure to the Christian message. In the lead up to the Federal Election, Sophia Think Tank’s public forums in Melbourne and Sydney were well attended. They generated lots of interest in what the Bible has to say about politics and civil life. Advocacy work continues to grow with some exciting possibilities ahead. Please partner with Bible Society in this vital ministry, as we work to make the Christian voice count in Australia. Please donate using the Donation Form on the back page, call 1300 BIBLES (1300 242 537) or visit the webpage: biblesociety.org.au/advocacy

Social media exploded after CPX’s John Dickson (above) appeared as a panellist on ABC’s Q&A programme, a tough arena on Australian TV. The topic was “God and atheism.” “I find myself agreeing with the religious guy. Call an ambulance,” Nikki said on Twitter. A Tweet from Joe went, “The world’s most terrifying force has been revealed: a reasonable Christian.”


a i l a r t s u A n i y c a c o v d A e l b i B

CPX’s Simon Smart (above left, image from Channel 7 website) was invited to present the Christian point of view on Channel 7’s Sunrise programme. The ‘Three religions and an atheist debate’ asked panellists a thorny question: “Does religion cause the most conflict?” CPX and Bible Society are committed to making Christianity a respected part of the conversation in Australia, confident that it still has something vital to say about life’s biggest questions.

(above) Dr David Wilson of Sophia Think Tank facilitated a discussion on the state of democracy in Australia. “I appreciated hearing an open discussion on topics that don’t get discussed in the church setting,” says Garth Grant who was there. “Taking subjects to the community doesn’t happen as much these days, but Sophia Think Tank is filling at least part of this void.”

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Bible reading guide

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6:1-14 6:15-7:3 7:73b-8:12 8:13-18 9:1-8, 26-37 13:1-31 January 24February 5 John 4:1-26 4:27-42 4:43-54 5:1-18 5:19-30 5:31-47 6:1-15 6:16-24 6:25-33 6:34-40 6:41-51 6:52-59 6:60-71

Stephen Terry

January 1-12 John 1:1-5 1:6-13 1:14-18 1:19-28 1:29-34 1:35-42 1:43-51 2:1-12 2:13-25 3:1-21 3:22-30 3:31-36 January 13-23 Nehemiah 1:1-11 2:1-10 2:11-20 4:1-23 5:1-19

February 6-15 Deuteronomy 1:1-18 1:19-36 3:18-29 4:1-14 5:1-11 5:12-22 5:23-33 6:1-9 6:10-25 7:1-11 February 16-27 1 Peter 1:1-12 1:13-21 1:22-2:3 2:4-12 2:13-17 2:18-25 3:1-7

3:8-22 4:1-11 4:12-19 5:1-7 5:8-14 February 28-March 12 Deuteronomy 8:1-20 10:12-22 12:1-14 12:29-13:11 14:22–29 15:1-18 16:1-8 16:9-12 16:13-17 16:18-20 18:9-22 19:1-14 24:10-25:4

March 13-23 John 7:1-13 7:14-24 7:25-31 7:32-39 7:40-52 7:53-8:11 8:12-20 8:21-30 8:31-41 8:42-47 8:48-59

4:1-5:1 5:2-6:3 6:4-12 6:13-8:4 8:5-14

The readings in this guide are taken from Series 2 of the Scripture Union Bible March 24-31 reading notes, Song of Solomon Daily Bread. The 1:1-17 whole Bible is 2:1-15 covered in four 2:16-3:11 years.


Great new books Popular authors

The Great Bible Swindle

By Greg Clarke This book is written especially for those who feel they should know something about the Bible but may have been too afraid to ask, put off by the church, or just never got around to it. “If your uncle was to ask questions about the Bible, this is the ideal book to give him.” Hardcover 9780647518656

$19.95

C.S. Lewis and the Body in the Basement

By Kel Richards A fun, new detective novel by Kel Richards, where the sleuth is C.S. Lewis - author of The Chronicles of Narnia. A tale with many twists and turns, and with Kel’s unique Aussie humour. Paperback 9781921202810

The Reason for My Hope By Billy Graham In what could be his final book, Billy Graham presents the core message that has guided his life and calling for more than 70 years. Graham calls the world back to its spiritual priority. Paperback 9780849922046

$14.95

$14.95

Pieces of Eternity

By Michael P. Jensen In this provocative and stimulating collection of pieces from Eternity magazine, Michael Jensen presents an authentically Christian take on the way we live, work and think. Paperback 9780987428653

$24.95

Call 1300 139 179 or visit us at shop.biblesociety.org.au to order

Warehouse Outlet

30 York Road Ingleburn NSW 2565 Minto Business Centre NSW 2566 Ph: 1300 139 179 F: (02) 9829 4685 E: directsales@biblesociety.org.au

Sydney City Bookshop

213 Clarence Street Sydney NSW 2000 Ph: (02) 9262 6355 F: (02) 9262 3611 E: shopnsw@biblesociety.org.au

Adelaide Resource Centre

770 South Road Glandore SA 5037 Ph: (08) 8292 4888 F: (08) 8292 4899 E: adelaide@biblesociety.org.au

Postage Charges Order $0 - $30 $31 - $80 Over $250

Postage $7.50 $9.00

Please contact for correct charge

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UBS prayer points December 2013 – February 2014 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” Matthew 18:19, NIV. 1-7 December Sri Lanka: Please pray for Bible Society Sri Lanka as it launches a special booklet and DVD for the deaf and dumb. The materials feature a glossary of biblical terms in sign language, as well as videos of Christian songs. Pray that this will enable a whole new way of worship. United Kingdom: Please pray for the judging of this year’s The Pitch short film competition. Pray that this competition will inspire a generation of filmmakers to see the Bible as a rich source of inspiration, and that through their art they’ll lead many to faith. 8-14 December El Salvador: Praise God for protecting Bible Society staff and buildings during this time of violence. Pray for new opportunities to make God’s word known, and especially that young people will be motivated to read the Bible. Please pray also for increased Scripture sales. Bangladesh: Please pray for the work among children and young people, as well as for literacy, translation and the Faith Comes By Hearing projects. Pray for funds so that the Bible Society can carry out all its activities. Pray for political stability in Bangladesh around election time. 15-21 December Egypt: Please pray for the Bible Society in Egypt as it starts to rebuild two bookshops burnt in recent riots. Praise God for the generosity of Bible Societies worldwide that have enabled the rebuilding of the bookshops. Greece: Praise God that Bible Society Greece has been allowed to distribute special pocket-sized NTs to those doing compulsory military service. Please pray that the

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Bible Society will have adequate funding to continue this great project, and that those who receive the NTs will have their lives changed. 22-28 December Israel: In the last few years the Bible Society in Israel has reached many young Israelis with the Scriptures. Give thanks for them and the growing body of believers. Dominican Republic: Please pray for the Bible Society as it takes God’s word into violent communities, and also into Sunday Schools. Pray that people will love the Bible and that the country will come to know lasting peace. 29 December-4 January UBS Translation work: Give thanks that there are full Bibles in 500 world languages. However, this comprises less than 10 per cent of the 7,000 languages worldwide. Please continue to pray for UBS and their translation partners, that many more full Bibles will be translated. Nepal: Give thanks for the Audio Scripture distribution project. Since 2006 it has effectively evangelised, educated and engaged non-literate people across Nepal with the gospel through weekly listening groups. 5-11 January Kuwait: Pray for the literacy programme for Egyptian migrant workers in Kuwait. The Bible Society in the Gulf runs this programme in partnership with the Coptic Church in Kuwait. 62 church leaders from the Coptic Church were trained to set up the literacy programme among the migrant communities. Myanmar: Pray for lasting peace and freedom, and that the country won’t return to military dictatorship. Pray that God will bless the Scripture engagement project which aims to impact 9,000 young people. 12-18 January Puerto Rico: Pray for Bible Society Puerto Rico as it seeks to deliver God’s word to the people. Ask that God would bless and protect the staff team, as they work to bring many people into his family.


volunteers to help promote Bible Society work. Micronesia: Please pray for more youth and children to own a Bible. Pray that the Micronesia Partnership will be able to subsidise Bibles and make them more affordable.

France: Pray for the success of The Bible, Heritage of Humanity exhibition for students, and also for young people engaging creatively with the Scriptures through ZeBible, the Alternative Experience. Pray that many will discover God’s word to be a treasure for their lives. 19-25 January China: Praise God for the 60 million Amity-printed Bibles that’ve been distributed within China. Pray for funding so that United Bible Societies’ China Partnership can print and distribute Amity Bibles to meet demand. Cote d’Ivoire: Please pray for the new Bible Society board and for good governance. Ask God to guide the Bible Society as they fundraise for their building project in Abidjan, and as they look for a translation consultant. 26 January-1 February Suriname: Please pray for the Bible Society as it works to motivate youth to read their Bibles. Pray for the national Bible quiz finals that will be televised nationally, that it will create opportunities to talk about the Bible. Cuba: Please pray for the Biblical Commission of Cuba as it supports the ministry of Cuban churches. Pray as they reach out with God’s word to many different groups: prisoners, the young, the elderly and the disabled.

9-15 February Panama: Please ask God to guide the team translating the Bible for the Kuna people of Panama. Pray that the work, when published, will truly bless this community. Please also pray for the audio Scripture ministry and the work among disadvantaged people. Bahrain: The newly refurbished Bible Society Resource Center serves 50 congregations across different language groups, ethnicity and denominations. Please pray for these groups which serve migrant workers of different nationalities. 16-22 February Namibia: Please pray for the Bible Society’s translation work, and the launch of the Dhimba NT. Pray for the success of the Back to the Bible project aimed at youth. Nicaragua: Praise God for the work reaching children and indigenous communities. Please pray that many among the Miskitu people will be able to own a Bible. 23-28 February Mexico: Please pray for an end to the violence in Mexico, and for God to strengthen the Bible Society team as it ministers to Mexicans in this uncertain environment. East Timor: Pray for East Timor on its journey as a new nation. Pray for continued peace, and for God’s word to be a powerful influence shaping this growing nation.

2-8 February Austria: Please pray for Bible Society staff as they meet with churches across Austria, and as they look for more

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UBS Update

Smiles in Nicaragua Bible Society Nicaragua’s Hope and Smiles for Children with Cancer project is aptly-named. Although young Francella (above) lost her battle with cancer not long ago, she’d shared before then how God’s word brought her comfort on her chemotherapy days. “My mother reads the Bible to me and it calms me. It somehow makes me feel less uncomfortable and more peaceful.” Not every story ends like we’d like it to, but for thousands of children with cancer in Nicaragua, the project is literally helping to bring smiles as they enjoy the illustrated Bibles. Do keep these precious young children in your prayers.

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Just at the right time

Active in UBS world

35 years after work began, there is now a full Bible in the Shilluk language. A South Sudanese minister says it’s come at the right time. Many Shilluk people who’d left their lands during the Sudan conflict are now returning to South Sudan (formed in 2011). Schools and communities are free from teaching only in Arabic. For many Shilluk Christians who couldn’t read the Bible in English or in Arabic, it’s a chance to finally know for themselves what the Bible says.

Bible Society Australia (BSA) has established strong links within the UBS fellowship. BSA CEO Greg Clarke is now chair of the UBS Global Literacy affinity group, which looks after the standards for literacy projects worldwide. We’re also part of the Resource Mobilisation group, aimed at optimising communication flow within UBS. BSA also produced a video (above) for World Literacy Day to help Bible Societies fundraise for different literacy projects.

Aiming for 100 Bible translations in 1000 days

There are full Bibles in only 500 of the world’s 7,000 languages. Bible Societies around the world are working on 100 full Bible translations which are close to completion, and which could be finished within the next 1000 days (by end 2015) if funds suffice. These 100 Bibles have the potential to reach over 500 million people worldwide.


Calendars for the New Year Fun-filled and beautiful calendars for children and adults Filled with great illustrations, fun activities, Bible stories, and verses to memorise, the Check This Out! Children’s Calendar will help children instil God’s Word in their hearts. Code: AMVC14M $2.50ea or $15 for a pack of 10 copies

The Words of Wisdom Calendar features verses from the Letters of the New Testament to guide adults in daily godly living, with stunning photography to enjoy God’s creation. Code: AWWC14M $2.50ea or $15 for a pack of 10 copies

Call 1300 139 179 or visit us at shop.biblesociety.org.au to order

Warehouse Outlet

30 York Road Ingleburn NSW 2565 Minto Business Centre NSW 2566 Ph: 1300 139 179 F: (02) 9829 4685 E: directsales@biblesociety.org.au

Sydney City Bookshop

213 Clarence Street Sydney NSW 2000 Ph: (02) 9262 6355 F: (02) 9262 3611 E: shopnsw@biblesociety.org.au

Adelaide Resource Centre

770 South Road Glandore SA 5037 Ph: (08) 8292 4888 F: (08) 8292 4899 E: adelaide@biblesociety.org.au

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Sower Magazine - Summer 2013/14