Short and Sweet
It took us most of the day to get to the school. The building suddenly appeared after several hours of dirt roads. Upon entering the all girls’ school we found ourselves sitting with 164 girls ages 13-20. These girls listen to the Bible each week. The teachers had gathered the students so we could hear first-hand the impact of our gift to the girls, God’s Word in audio format. The girls were shy, but slowly, one by one, they began to stand and speak words of gratitude.
Before hearing audio recordings of Scriptures, the girls shared, they would try to read the Bible, but they could not understand what they were reading. Now, however, when the girls listen, they feel as if they are in the story, and Jesus is speaking directly to them.
As I listened to the testimonies, two girls stood out to me. Perhaps they stood out because I couldn’t fully comprehend what these two girls were saying.
The first told me the Scripture that had made the greatest impact on her was Matthew 5:4 where Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.”
“I know now that no matter how long I mourn, Jesus will eventually comfort me,” the girl testified. I had to wonder what one so young could have to mourn.
The other girl stood shyly with her head down and stated, “The Scripture that had the greatest impact on me was where it says Jesus wept.” Immediately her comment made me smile. Young people in the USA do the same thing. They choose John 11:35 to memorize because it is the shortest verse in the Bible.
But this young girl went on to say, “In the night when I weep, I know that Jesus weeps with me.” Again, I wondered why was she crying, alone, at night.
Then the teacher, two seats down, leaned over and whispered the truth to me. Both of these girls had lost their parents to AIDS. As I heard this, I was cut to the heart. My smile at this young girl, for quoting the shortest Scripture in the Bible, turned into sorrow for her loss. Satan had stolen from me one of the most powerful Scriptures in the Bible. I had come to think of this verse only as the shortest. Now I see it had a deeper meaning all along.
Jesus shares in our sorrow and weeps with us when we mourn. In that instant, this Scripture was real to me again. Jesus wept. He weeps with the AIDS orphans and will comfort those who mourn.
Then one of the girls began to pray. As she prayed, we were all shaken because she was praying for the nation of Kenya and for its people. She was asking God to send revival to her nation and was claiming with confidence that the girls of this school would be a key part of that revival. Faith to reach their nation had come from hearing God’s Word.
"Jesus Weeps With Me" was contributed by Morgan Jackson, International Director of Faith Comes by Hearing. Although Wycliffe’s literacy programs are teaching thousands of people to read, many language communities remain oral. To reach those communities, Wycliffe has entered into a partnership with Hosanna's program, Faith Comes by Hearing.
Listen to Morgan talk about Wycliffe and FCBH's partnership.
FCBH produces audio recordings of all the New Testament translations Wycliffe completes, distributing them for use in listening groups. These audio Scripture recordings have had a powerful impact on the lives of men, women and children.