Yep, that’s me, professional Bible stealer. See, I just had some training in another country that took me WAY out of my comfort zone. That day, I had to tell a story about a man, Phillip, who sensed from God to go out and stand near a certain road. When he got there, he saw a government official from Ethiopia going past reading a holy book. Phillip ran up to the Ethiopian and asked him if he understood what he was reading. That opened the door for Phillip to tell this man God’s story, and the man chose to become a part of it that day.
Ok, telling a story, I can handle that. But then the trainer sent us out to do what Phillip did-find someone doing something religious and ask them about it. I figured I would go and interpret for the newbie that was with me, since she doesn’t speak much French, and neither of us spoke the local language, Bambara. No way was I going to start a conversation. I don’t do that kind of thing.
So, off we go. I see a man wearing a shirt with Bible verses on it and drawings of when Jesus was born. We go up to him and ask him what his shirt means. The only thing is, he doesn’t speak much French, and we speak zero Bambara. So, I read one of the verses on his shirt to him. Nope, he doesn’t understand, it’s in French. So then I try to read the Bambara. Hysterical. Especially since I run into a seam while I’m reading. So, the poor guy starts to explain to us who Jesus is. I try to get him to understand that we know that already, but only manage to convince him that I do. So, he goes inside, and comes back with a gospel of Luke. To give me. So that I can explain to the newbie about Jesus. We try to refuse the gift, but he tells us that since the book isn’t in his language he can’t understand it. There was absolutely no way to get around taking this man’s Bible from him.
So, the newbie carrying the book, we keep walking down the street. I am bothered, to say the least. Yep, that’s why I came here, to TAKE Bibles from people.
We run into some people that I had met the day before, with some new ones around too. One of the new ones, Charles, glances at the book the newbie is holding down at her side and says "Jesus of Nazareth!!" Then he tells us that he is a Christian but has a lot of questions, especially about prayer. I tell a story about a time Jesus prayed, we pray with him, and then we gave him the book of Luke. He didn’t want to take it, but he did when I said to him, "God gave us this Bible to give to you."