“I count the day I received my own New Testament as one of the most significant days of my life,” says Chea Thida, who helps to run the Bible Society in Cambodia’s Scripture distribution centre in Siem Reap City, in north-west Cambodia.
Mrs Chea became a Christian in 1989 when she was 20. “At that time Christians lived in fear, and it was very hard to get a Bible,” she says.
“There were fifty people in my church and we only had one Bible. Then the church acquired two more. Soon they were falling apart!
“A couple of years later Scriptures began to be brought into the country. My friend had a New Testament, which I used to borrow. I desperately wanted my own copy, but I couldn’t afford one. At that time, Bibles cost around $3.50 which was a huge amount of money.
“Then my friend managed to buy her own Bible and she gave me her New Testament. I treasured it so much.
“Since the Bible Society in Cambodia reopened in 1993, it has been working hard to make the Bible available to everyone. But it’s a huge task and there are still so many people who cannot afford to buy a Bible or who cannot read it,” says Mrs Chea.
This article is from The Word at Work – Summer 2011.
Seventy year old Jin can’t stop smiling or singing. She’s walked for three hours in sub-zero temperatures to get to church.
The reason? Today, free Bibles are being given out to the congregation. And she’s got one.