I received an amazing testimony today from the country of Laos in South East Asia. A few months ago I received and email from a brother there to ask permission to translate our healing manual into their native langue. He asked to remain anonymous because of the persecution Christians are suffering there. Here is an excerpt of the testimony he forwarded to me today:
“Testimony: An unofficial translated manual of “Administering the Children’s Bread” was given to a new convert. In 3 months, over 3000 healings/deliverance were performed which resulted in the Chief of the village expelling the convert from the area. Persecution is real and thriving in Laos, but our GOD is fully aware. Please pray that the government will step in and allow the gospel to be shared in Laos”
1 New Convert.
No Bible school.
No church ministry programme.
Just a son on fire.
When I heard this I was (and still am) obviously extremely overjoyed. About an hour later I was walking outside when God asked me a question. He said this: “Son, would you give a new convert a Bible?”
At first my instant response was, “Of course, why wouldn’t I?”
A few seconds later, the same question came, “Son, would you give a new believer a Bible?”
I have learned that when Dad repeats a question to me, my first answer needs to be pondered over. So I started pondering…
Why would giving the Bible to a new believer be a good/bad thing? Can giving the Bible to a new believer be detrimental to their spiritual growth? How did receiving the Bible influence me when I got saved? What would I have wanted to know prior to reading the Bible? Many questions started going through my mind.
I finally came to this. Giving a new believer a Bible can be detrimental. Firstly, there are 66 books, 1189 Chapter, 788258 verses written by 40 authors over a period of about 1600 years. This is a monumental amount of information. Chances are that if you just give the Bible to new believer they will come out very confused on the other side. Information overload.
Why? Because we have had the Bible for almost 2000 years now and there still exists a lot of confusion over it. This one single new convert, who I doubt has read much of the Bible, has managed to accomplish more in 3 months since being saved then what many veteran believers have accomplished through their entire lifetime.
This is not meant to condemn anybody, I am just thinking about how we go about equipping people. This new convert received the good news, believed it and got to work loving people with power and grace.
What is more important than giving a new convert a Bible? Introducing them to the Holy Spirit. The early church grew exponentially without ever having had a Bible. Most of them couldn’t even read, so it wouldn’t have helped them even if they did have one. They had the Spirit though. The Bible is a collection of writings expounding on one awesome story, but knowing the Person the story is about is far better.
This led me to ponder the following question(s), to which I would love to hear your input in the comments please, “If you could write a preface to the Bible, what would you write? How would you the tell the person to whom you give a Bible to read it?”