As you read this, representatives from the Ivory Coast, Cuba, Syria, Haiti, the Seychelles and Ukraine Bible Societies are joining members of more than 100 other Bible Societies in Sydney for the Roundtable Exchange, to together develop ministry initiatives and share fellowship, expertise and experience.
The Roundtable Exchange is the largest annual United Bible Societies event, where the UBS community decides which projects they will support in the coming year. At last year’s Roundtable Exchange, Bible Society Australia committed to supporting the Esther Project, a programme run by Bible Society of Cameroon to help single mothers and victims of sexual exploitation heal from their trauma. In Cameroon, UNICEF estimates that about 20 per cent of girls aged 15-19 are raped or sexually abused, although some other estimates put the number as high as 40 per cent.
The programme includes psychological counselling and training in bead-making, soap-making and bag-making, along with Bible study and prayer.
Leonie*, raped repeatedly by her uncles when she was just a young child, arrived at the project fearing that God couldn’t accept her as she was. “One of the good news I got from there was that God accepts us the way we are,” she says. “And I was assured. I felt relieved and free from bondage, captivity and trauma. The Bible transformed me. The Bible is my life. It’s everything I need for better living – I can’t do any more without it.”
“Each of my colleagues here for the Roundtable Exchange has on their heart a family or community which needs the Bible.” – Greg Clarke
The Esther Project in Cameroon is just one of 800 projects the United Bible Societies undertook to support last year. If all of them had gone ahead, more than 500 million people could have been reached with the Bible. Unfortunately, more than 500 other projects did not go ahead because the money ran out.
Of course, when it comes to Bible work, the opportunities to share God’s word far outweigh the resources we have.
“Right now, there are people who desperately need the joy, hope and comfort of God’s word,” says Greg Clarke, CEO of Bible Society Australia. “More communities long to hear the life-changing message of Scripture. Each of my colleagues here for the Roundtable Exchange has on their heart a family or community which needs the Bible.”
Bible Societies around the world have come to Roundtable to ask for help to bring the word of God to those who desperately need it. In Madagascar, the Bible Society needs help to produce the first Study Bible in Malagasy – it was meant to launch this month but stalled due to lack of financial support. In Sudan, the Bible Society wants to translate the Bible into Otoro, a language spoken by 350,000 people. In China, they want the resources to share the Bible with what is believed to be the fastest-growing population of believers in the world.
Several projects supported by Bible Society Australia will wrap up this year, meaning there will be more scope to broaden our work in the Middle East and Africa, as well as developing current projects in South East Asia.
Over the years, your generosity has meant that men, women and children worldwide have accessed the Bible for the very first time. Will you help us expand our work so we can put the Bible in someone’s hands, and change their life?
- $40 could provide a New Testament to a non-literate woman in Pakistan, and teach her to read it.
- $80 can buy paper to print almost 40 subsidised Bibles for Christians in rural China.
- $198 could give colourful Scripture materials to refugee children in the Holy Lands.
If you would like more details, click the link below.