Last year, Open Doors’ local partners in Laos embarked on a journey to change the lives of believers with the gospel.
Join us on that trip as Vilay, one of those partners, shares what happened.
It was broad daylight. Pastor Aloun and I loaded his truck with the boxes of Bibles shipped to us from neighbouring Thailand. As we drove on potholed and muddy roads, my feeling of uneasiness started to grow, and many troubling thoughts started to linger in my head. ‘If there is a checkpoint ahead, there will be trouble.’ ‘What if the police stop us and learn that we will be distributing these Bibles? How long will they detain us in jail for? How much are they going to fine us?’ ‘What else could possibly happen to us just by delivering these precious books?’
But all of these worries suddenly flew away when we arrived at the pastor’s church where the believers were waiting for our arrival. I remember their faces. Children and the elderly, mothers and fathers, church members and pastors – their excitement and joy could not be hidden.
Image: Men in Laos.
Men carefully unloaded all the boxes from the truck and placed them on tables. The believers started to form a line. Against the afternoon sun, their eyes glistened, and their smiles were glued to their faces as the Bible touched their hands.
As they were receiving the Bibles, I could not help but think of the day when each Christian in Laos will hold a copy of the Bible, live a life according to His Word, and conquer whatever life throws at them. What a great day that will be – I pray it will come soon!
As people began to leave the church after receiving their Bibles, some remained to speak with our team. One believer’s eyes sparkled when he talked about God, his church, and the Bible he had just received.
“Thank you so much for the Bible,” he said. “I can tell you that this will be a light that will shine in my heart and will guide me to have a good relationship with God.
“The Bible is the Word of God; if there is no Bible, I will not know His will. The Bible is the most important book in the world, and I cannot live without it. I am so grateful to receive it today. I have been praying for this day to come for a long time now.”
Image: Children reading the Bible.
Your support goes a long way. When you provided these Bibles, you didn’t just give these believers a book. You gave them hope and a means to grow deeper in their relationship with the Lord.
Pastor Aloun shared, “Every time we have seminars or gatherings, we always have prayer requests for God to provide us with Bibles. Without the Bible, we are spiritually blind, for it is God’s Word to us— His believers. Through the Bible, we know who God is and who we are in Him.”
Pastor Aloun also takes care of young people who have been abandoned by their families or community because they have become Christians. This includes 17-year-old, Soy, one of the 250 believers who received Bibles. She was very shy when I first met her. I later learned that at the age of 14 she was imprisoned for almost a week while attending a church service in her hometown. Despite the persecution she received from her friends and teachers after her imprisonment, Soy continued to choose Jesus.
A couple of months after the distribution trip, I visited Pastor Aloun’s church again and met with Soy. There, she openly shared with me how the Bible she had received has been making a great impact in her life, even in such a short span of time.
She said, “Thank you so much for the Bible that you provided for me. I am so grateful and feel overwhelmed with joy when I hold it.
Image: Believers praying in Laos.
“This Bible helps me to understand God’s Word. Because of it, I know more about who God is. I never had a chance to own a Bible, it was shared with everyone at the church. Now, I have my own Bible that I can read, learn, and see things I never experienced in the past.
“In the evening, we have a Bible study led by Pastor Aloun, so I learn God’s Word every day. Because I receive God’s Word every day, I now realise that God’s Word can comfort and encourage anyone. I now share and preach His Word which I have never done in the past and I am so thankful to God for this.”
Soy is grateful for this present – and this is her prayer for you!
“I want to thank you for providing me with the Bible. May God give you good health, strength, and success in all that you do. May God richly bless your family with strength to follow Jesus Christ. May your hearts have peace and joy thirtyfold, sixtyfold, and a hundredfold. Thank you again to those who donated the Bible to me. May God bless you.”
*All names changed for security purposes.