(based on a true story)
He’d come a long way.
Joe was excited to be in Kenya. But he had a problem. He and his companions were lost!
Joe never got lost–well, almost never. But today, they just couldn’t find their destination.
He’d flown on a big jet all the way from America…with lots of Bibles to give to people who wanted them.
At the airport in the big city, he’d met up with his friend Chuck. They loaded the big crates onto a smaller plane—a Cessna Caravan….. and flew to a town….where lots of people wanted Bibles.
After giving out a good many of them, the travelers found their guide and rented a truck to head deeper into the bush country.
“We’re going to a school.” Chuck told their guide. “They want Bibles in their own language so they can read about God.”
The man shook his head as he sped along the narrow trails. “No school out here,” he said.
“But we were supposed to meet the teachers. They asked us for Bibles.”
“No…I don’t think there’s any school out here.”
They stopped at a village and asked lots of questions.
“Yes! Yes, there’s a school. But what about us? A missionary came to teach us long ago. Our parents and grandparents taught us about God. Some of us have Bibles but we want some more! There’s never enough Bibles. See our little church where we worship and have Bible studies? We all want a Bible so God can speak to us through His Word at home, too. Please can we have some?”
So Joe and Chuck gave them some Bibles.
“But where exactly is the school? Some time ago, they contacted me that they needed Bibles, ” said Chuck. “Joe has brought a new shipment that was just printed.”
“The school is up there. A ways.” The people pointed toward the trail.
They gave the travelers some food and water to take along. Then the people smiled and waved goodbye, clutching their Bibles happily.
“Well, at least we’re going in the right direction,” said Joe.
“Hmmm,” said Chuck. He had lived in Africa for a while and knew what was what. “Their idea of ‘a ways’ may be different than ours.”
On and on and on they went. They passed streams and ponds and presently they turned onto a road that led them through miles of grasslands. They saw elephants and giraffes and some lions. They headed back into the bush and heard lots of monkeys chattering.
They stopped some hunters who were running along the trail with their spears.
“Yes,” they said. “You’re almost to the school.”
So they kept going….
The landscape became very dry with lots of hills and cliffs.
Sure enough. They finally rounded a curve and there it was!
Not one child around. Not one teacher. No noise except birds and monkeys. The buildings were silent and empty—and rather rundown.
Joe and Chuck shook their heads. They wondered what to do. It looked like there had been a bad storm. Dirt and dried mud was everywhere, even inside the school.
Suddenly they saw a little boy watching them from behind the trees. Chuck and the guide spoke to him in his language. Chuck translated for Joe.
“The school is closed down. The families around here decided to move on with their herds. There was a big storm that destroyed their crops and homes…then more bad times with famine.”
Chuck talked to him some more.
“Bibles?” said the boy. “They were heading to a place where there’s lots of Christians. They thought they could get Bibles there.”
Suddenly the boy turned and pointed up to the top of a high hill in the distance. He chattered on in his language.
“Ah…” said Chuck. “There’s another school. He says there are children. There are teachers. Maybe they would like to have Bibles.”
“Are you sure?” asked Joe. “I don’t see anything up there.”
Chuck shrugged. “Might as well check it out.”
The three men hopped back into the truck. They bumped and bounced over the rough road, always heading higher and higher.
“There it is!” shouted Joe, as they reached the top of the hill.
Sure enough! A school! A big one!
As they drove into clearing, there were children playing! They saw some teens in the midst of a soccer game! Others were working, helping to build something.
There was noise—shouts and laughter! A man came forward to see who they were.
“Hello,” he said. “Welcome! I’m the principal. Who are you?”
“We’ve brought Bibles,” said Chuck. “This is Joe. He brought Bibles printed in your language from America.”
“Bibles!” gasped the man.
“Yes…why, what’s the matter?”
He turned and called to the children. He called to the teachers who were sticking their heads out the door to see what was going on. He called to the young people playing soccer.
They came running.
He turned back to the visitors. “I have been praying for Bibles for FOUR years! Many of us know God. We love God. We want His book so we can learn more and have God speak to our hearts through His Word. Those who don’t know Him want His book, too. There are 1,200 students. How many Bibles did you bring?”
“Why, I don’t know how many are left. Let’s find out.” They started to give out Bibles from the crates on the truck. Children and teenagers took the books reverently.
“God’s book!” they murmured.
“God’s letter to us!”
“In our own language!”
“There’s a lot of kids here. What if we don’t have enough?” whispered Chuck.
But they kept handing out Bibles. Finally they came to the last few kids. They were down to the bottom of the last crate.
Joe stared at Chuck. Chuck started to laugh. “Look what God’s done. He had it all planned out! He truly does answer prayer!”
He gave out the last Bible to the last person. “We had exactly….1,200 Bibles left!”
What rejoicing that night as the men ate a meal with their new friends, and stayed overnight before heading back.
“God knew exactly how many Bibles we needed!” cried one little boy.
“I’ve always wanted one of my very own,” said one teenager, as she hugged her new Bible tightly.
As they headed back with their truck empty—they looked back to see all the happy, smiling faces of the young people, waving good bye.
Thank you,” called the principal.
“Thank you!” called everyone.
Joe and Chuck and their guide waved back and headed for home.
By: Carol Bennett
Loosely based on a true event some years ago.
Parents: I have taken some liberties with distances.