My name is Crystal* and I am currently incarcerated at the *Women’s Correctional Centre. I’m 29 years old and have five beautiful children. I grew up in a world of abuse, drugs, alcohol, and crime. Pain and fear were my only companions, and feeling worthless was a normal emotion for me.
Because this type of lifestyle was the only one I knew, I taught my children some of this as well. My youngest is 5 months old, and my oldest is 8 years old. I had no idea what I was doing to my children. I had heard about God and Jesus but figured it was a fairy-tale used to make people’s lives seem worthwhile. My whole life I had always felt like there was supposed to be more to life than hurt, pain and suffering, but every time I felt an ounce of hope, it was crushed and gone as fast as it had come.
How far would you go for a copy of the Bible?
On June 16, the Bible Society of Kenya hosted the momentous launch of the Kiembu-Kimbeer Bible. All those in attendance could feel a sense of excitement and weightiness to the event. This great anticipation was an acknowledgement of the long road taken to make this Bible possible. But there was one person there for whom that was especially true – and her name was Hannah.
Hrishi had attended countless prayer and devotional gatherings in preparation for his priesthood ceremony. He had spent many hours memorizing ancient scriptures that others were forbidden to even speak. For the first two years as a Brahmin, he fulfilled his priestly duties, but he remembers having so much anger inside. As he watched his parents struggle financially in their new country, Canada, he decided that the power to change a life was not rooted in religion. Power was money and it didnt matter how he earned it.
By the age of 15, Hrishi had a lucrative business providing pagers for his friends, and he dabbled in drugs and abused alcohol. He says, “I smoked like I was on fire and drank like I was trying to put it out. I was the epitome of selfishness and I argued with my family, wore gangster clothes, talked slang and was a very in-your-face confrontational guy.”
Mrs Bala, a member of Chourkhuli (Anglican) Church of Bangladesh at Kotalipara, in Gopalgonj District, in South West Bangladesh, is now 75.
As a little girl, she was keen on learning to read and write, but owing to her familys poverty and some other problems she never got opportunity.
And once she had married her husband, she dedicated herself to domestic chores, taking care of the animals and, in due course, of their children.
The astonished and exultant cry “God speaks my language!” is familiar from countless launches of a Scripture in a ‘new’ language. But for the man in the following story, the realisation went significantly further: not only did God speak his language, he wanted to say something to him straightaway.
In all my many years as a Translation Consultant, one of the most rewarding and touching experiences I have had occurred when I was holding a checking session with the translation team working on the Tzotzil: Chenaloa translation project in Chiapas, Mexico.
Experiences and testimonies of this kind have been witnessed by me and, I am sure, by many of my colleagues. In almost every instance, they happen when men and women are confronted by the Word of God in their own language, the language of their heart, the one they learned at their mothers bosom.
I grew up in a Christian home and we attended church regularly – a very ritualistic church. But after 3 ½ years in the British Navy I had all that knocked out of me.
When I came to Vancouver after the war, I had become completely separated from God. One day my landlady said to me, “Why don’t you go to one of the churches near here and make friends with some nice young people?” For a long time, I ignored her advice, but she kept after me and I finally did.
The Church had a swimming pool and a gymnasium and we had a lot of fun – nothing serious. But one fellow wanted to make it serious by starting a Bible study group. I remember telling him, “I won’t be joining your study group because I haven’t got a Bible.” I thought that settled it, but he said, “You could easily get one, you know. They only cost about $2.00.”
Several weeks ago my father suffered cardiac arrest, and was without oxygen for several minutes. Even so, the paramedics managed to resuscitate him and get him to hospital where he lay in a coma for 7 days. We, his children, were about to pull him off the ventilator but that 7th day he opened his eyes and seemed to be looking around. The doctors told us it was reflex action which it may well have been, but not being familiar with this state of consciousness, we decided to keep him on ventilation just in case this was the first sign of his return.
As a family, we limped from one decision to another sometimes with angry words and perhaps we should have let him "go." After 2 weeks, the medical staff managed to wean him off ventilation (he was by now with a traech), and within 3 weeks he was in a ward room. We decided against a private room, because we felt that the presence of others would be good for him. For 2 weeks his roommate was Arnold, a 90 year old former boxer and truck driver, who had been through tough times. Every day, I'd ask Arnold if it was ok with him to read the Bible to dad, and he said oh yes, enthusiastically and when I'd stop, he asked me to continue. There were even times when Arnold appeared to be deep in thought, or praying.
I have always known God because I grew up with Christian relatives. Even though I knew God I was not a good and faithful servant. I got into all kinds of trouble even with the strict discipline that I would receive from my family (if you come from the Caribbean, you know what I mean).
When I was seventeen and living on my own, I came across some hard times and did things that I was not proud of to survive. Whenever I thought about doing bad things, my inner voice would speak to me because I knew it wasn’t right and I would live to regret these bad choices. Sometimes I did not listen to that voice and I always felt disgusted and disappointed in myself whenever I got into trouble. When I depended on myself to survive it always just seemed like my life was getting worse.
A cancer patient in her senior years is sitting in the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre in St. John's, waiting to see her doctor and struggling to swallow a drop of water.
Spying her, Enid Barrett of Bishop's Cove encircles her with her arms and asks, "What's wrong, my darling?" The woman replies, "Nobody cares." Enid says, "I care. I have an Angel of Hope for you."
The simple handmade object changes the woman's life.