by friend of African Leadership, John Murphy

Join John Murphy at the Spread the Word Bible Banquet March 27, 2015, to get Bibles in the hands of pastors.  Register here.

At first, it was kind of all about me.  I had just recommitted my life to Christ, and had raised some money to buy Bibles after hearing a missionary speak at my church.  When the chance came to go to Africa, hand out the Bibles I had bought, I thought, “Sure!  I’ll go, feel good about myself, see Africa, and be done.”

I was so wrong.

I am now convinced of this: handing out a Bible is not just about equipping a pastor or seeing more people have the Word in their own hands.  Though, of course, that’s amazing to see.  

It really is about the difference that the love of Christ – active in a community – makes in the life of a child.  

In the Malawian villages that we visited, I could not believe what I saw.  Children who hardly had a thread of clothing to their name, didn’t go to school, and ate a “meal” that we might consider a snack.  But they jumped up and down with joy. 

And the more we traveled, the more I put two and two together:  wherever I saw a church or evidence of the Word at work, the children were better off.  Where there was a church, there was usually a school.  Where pastors worked together in the community, the children usually got a meal.  I can’t prove it.  But I can’t deny what I saw with my own eyes.  

There was one little baby who I met.  She was the age of my grandson at the time.  And I remember thinking to myself, “There’s no difference between this child and my grandson, except for who their parents are and where they were born. They each deserve a chance at life.”

So as I anticipate going back to Malawi this September, I am eager to see that little girl again.  To see how she’s grown.  And I am eager to meet more children in the communities where we’ll hand out more Bibles, because I know that wherever they are now, their lives are about to change because of the Holy Spirit at work through that Bible being in their community.  

Spread the Word.  It’s about so much more than a feeling of accomplishment in myself.  Or more than giving a pastor a Bible who may have never had one in his own language of Chichewa.  It’s about a child whose life will transform because someone shared the Good News.  It makes me think, I’d rather buy Bibles than give Christmas presents!

John Murphy is a local real estate agent and volunteer with African Leadership who spearheads the twice-annual Spread the Word Events, a Bible banquet on March 27 and a golf tournament in the Fall.  


The opinions expressed  in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of African Leadership.