A Bible is still a very difficult item to own for more than 3,000,000 willing and able Christians living in Uganda. Majority of these are in refugee settlements, northern Uganda and Karamoja area. The major cause of their inability to access or own a Bible is general lack of basic needs which are usually considered primary. This has been a concern of the Bible Society of Uganda in the past years and even conceived an idea of A Bible in Every Hand (ABIEH) – Home, Hand, Heart, Hotel and Hospital which is still being developed. So far, more than 4,000 Bibles have been distributed for free in the Refugee settlements of Nakivale, Rwamwanja and Orukinga and then Gulu through the Scripture – Trauma – Healing Project.
Whereas this kind of distribution is free, there is no free Bible; it takes a cost to have the Bible in stock. We are grateful to our partners like the American Bible Society, our Bible – A – Month club members and other members of the Bible Society of Uganda who usually support such plans. As we move across the country, various people stop us and humbly explain why it is very important to help them own a Bible. Often, they take it as a promise once you listen to them because they are convinced that the Bible Society should come to their plight. Most of such people still wait patiently even when we explain that there are no free Bibles. They feel that God must be aware of what they are going through and as such should use the Bible Society to deliver His written Word to them. Majority of these people are either widows, refugees, women, children or homeless, who are devoted Church goers.
Whenever there is opportunity, it is such a great joy to see these people in dire need receive a Bible! Usually, they tell us, some of them with tears of joy, how long they have waited to have a Bible, what they have gone through without a Bible and how they think they will use the Bible.
There is a high number of widows and orphans or fatherless amongst the over 700,000 refugees currently living in Uganda, mostly from Congo and South Sudan.
The extent of lack of Bibles in some communities is hard to explain using words! The Scripture – Based – Trauma Healing team of the Bible Society walked to one of the Pentecostal Churches on a Sunday morning, only to find just two Bibles in the whole Church of about 20 people. The most challenging part was the condition of one of the Bibles; too old, with the books of Genesis and Revelation at either ends nearly fully peeled off. The Pastor comment was simple and relaxed: “What do you want us to do?”
It is amazing that some people have over 10 Bibles of different versions and translation while others have none at all. We once came across a man in Kirigime, Kabale who had 13 different types of the Bible. He had just purchased his 14th copy – a study Bible. We honestly believe that together we can do something to reach out to millions of people in Uganda who go to Church, love God, but have no Bible because of the difficult situations they have found themselves into.
These Christians are just part of millions who feel like the starting point to their recovery from immense suffering is to own a copy of a Bible. Pray and believe with us. If we were to reach the smallest fraction of 10,000 people a year for 30 years, we would need (30,000 X 10,000) which is 300,000,000/- (Three hundred million) every year. This is possible only if more people support BSU consistently.