As the Rwanda Airways Boeing’s door opened I felt the hot air hitting me in the face. It’s a familiar feel so close to the tropics. I always feel at home arriving in Rwanda – I breath here for many reasons. Mostly because I love the people (ok I love all of Africa’s people) but my connection here is so powerful. We have just planted 28 very successful churches in rural Rwanda in many areas where people are mostly forgotten. As it is in so many cases I was immediately taken away by the Bishop of the church in his interesting Hyundai.
As we spoke it was very clear that parts of Rwanda had a problem. It wasn’t political …. or economical. Bibles have been out of stock in the country for some time and it was impossible to find Bibles in the local language. I was a bit confused and thought it might have just been a logistical problem. I asked Samuel (that is the Bishop …. and we were now personally acquainted and all titles flew out the window) to immediately take me to the Bible Society of Rwanda. After meeting the staff of the Bible Society we were greeted in French. There were nearly no Bibles to purchase – a few English was available, the lady told us with a smile. I refused to give up so quickly and kept pursuing 100 Bibles in the local dialect. After speaking in the local KinyaRwanda dialect we quickly found out that the scarcity in Bibles had a very strange source. Some leading religions in the area were buying up Bibles. My first though was … wow …. that sounds amazing.
DANCING AROUND BURNING BIBLES
“No, no … that is not good news”, the lady was now more serious. The Bibles are bought up by a certain religious group and they are burned during a monthly ceremony. I was shocked. “But why would you sell the Bibles to people who destroys them?”, I asked. Well we need money so we can keep on buying more stock. Well, of course it didn’t make sense at all. As I was trying to get behind the issue a young vibrant man was standing close enough to hear how I was trying to reason. He called me aside. He just introduced himself as Dusana. He confirmed the dilemma in Rwanda where Bibles are being burned in rituals. It is not an unfamiliar occurrence. “I can help you”, he said looking me in the eye. I have heard those words so many times in Africa …. and usually accepting that advice could cost you a lot of money … and even more time. “Come let me tell you my story” he said as he invited us to sit down – far enough from the Bible Society offices so that no one could hear us. He shared his testimony and how God saved him …. but even more interesting was the fact that he felt led by GOD to buy as much Bibles as he could with his limited funding. He would come by the Bible Society offices and buy 4 or 5 Bibles to keep in his personal shop down at the market. “I know the day would come that people would seek God’s Word” he said smiling.
On further investigation several other senior church leaders confirmed that wealthy Muslim leaders were behind the purchases and burnings. I was able to purchase only two boxes of Bibles from someone who buys and sells Bibles – this leaving no Bibles for purchase in the whole of Kigali.
This is the height of hypocrisy. If Christians bought up and burnt the Koran, there would be worldwide uprising and riots; yet here we see the utter hate of God’s Word that comes from those who would make Africa the first Islamic continent.
The question is what will Christians do about this? What will you do about this? In just a few months, God has allowed us to plant 28 new churches through our new project in Rwanda. In the coming years hundreds of churches will be planted. Can we allow a situation where Bibles are burnt and none are available for the discipling of new converts?
We are calling on all believers everywhere to support our “Bibles for Rwanda” project. Help us to acquire thousands of Bibles and to distribute them to new believers and to those who have been praying for years for a copy of God’s Word. No, we will not respond with violence or retaliate in any way. We will do what God tells us: We will go and win the lost in Jesus’ Name and make disciples of the nations.
Others have tried to destroy the Bible and even the faith. Voltaire, the French philosopher and Deist, claimed that he alone would destroy Christianity. His printing press printed tonnes of tracts attacking the Word of God. He claimed that within 100 years of his death there would be no Christianity. He died in 1778. His home in Geneva was bought and used by the Geneva Bible Society and his printing presses were used to print thousands of Bibles. More than 100 years later the church is spreading like never before.
Matt. 24:35 (NIV) says: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
Donate R150 for a Bible or R2,400 for a box of Bibles and help us spread this Word like never before. Take our hand and let us stand together against this evil that would swallow Africa and eventually the World.
FOLLOW US …. as we struggle to find Bibles hidden on the market …..! READ OUR NEXT ARTICLE