This past summer we bumped into a little girl whom we had not seen for quite a while. She had been living out in the boonies on a ranch with her sister and father. We were happy to see Mary* and her sister, but felt a little sad that we didn’t see them more often. We remembered that when they lived in town, we sometimes sat next to Mary at church and had been there for her sister’s baptism.
Infant baptisms, in case you don’t remember yours, involve water and vows. The parents make vows, and the congregation offers whatever support it can give to the child. Since Mary and her sister lived quite far away, we didn’t know how we could support them other than simply mentioning them in our prayers.
Then it came to us: we always have extra story Bibles in our house. Betsey stockpiles The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes, perhaps because our children liked it so much. So we asked Mary’s grandma if Mary had a Bible story book; she said “no.” So we delivered one via Mary’s aunt.
What happened next was quite amazing.
Here’s what Auntie wrote to us.
Mary loved the Bible with all the beautiful pictures although she could not yet read. She asked her dad if she could take the book to school. She carried it to school in her backpack, so she could look at it as she rode the bus to and from her house – an hour each way.
As she was looking through the Bible, an older child offered to read it to her. Mary really enjoyed hearing the stories as did other children. The trend of the older children reading it to her carried on as she brought the Bible to school each day.
Strange. Little did we realize that by giving the six-year-old girl a children’s Bible, we would also be sharing the Bible with other children that we might never meet. Perhaps for some of them, Mary’s willingness and eagerness to share her Bible storybook was an introduction to Jesus Christ.
Mary has never taken a course in evangelism; probably she doesn’t even know the word. But she knows Jesus and where to find stories about God. And she is “not ashamed of the gospel of Christ . . . for it is the power of God for salvation” (Rom. 1:16). This is not exactly a Christmas story, but it’s good news nonetheless!
*Names have been changed.
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