In the Tearfund prayer diary recently (an organization that seeks to bring relief to the poor), the focus was on a small, wriggly creature called the ‘Fall Armyworm’. The Fall Armyworm had ravaged maize crops across Africa for many years causing hardship to countless people. The worm eats practically anything and the females lay thousands of eggs in their short lifetime. The moths can fly up to 100km/h.
Alarmingly, the worm is resistant to common pesticides and experts are warning that this tiny creature could cause a massive food crisis across Africa that could also spread to those living in Europe and Asia. Unless a remedy is found to deal with this danger, then there’s a real likelihood of huge numbers of people experiencing terrible hunger – including us.
Some years ago I read a book called ‘God’s Smuggler’. It’s the story of how Brother Andrew smuggled Bibles past armed border guards in order to bring the love of Christ to those living behind the Iron Curtain. Fortunately, the political situation is a bit better now, but in the past, it took a great deal of daring and much prayer in order that Brother Andrew’s mission could be achieved.
People might wonder why Brother Andrew risked his life on so many occasions in order to achieve his goal of placing Bibles into the hands of those living under oppressive regimes. His book answers this question; he was utterly convinced that the Bible is God’s special message to all mankind that encourages and facilitates Christian maturity and growth.
The church designates the 29th October as Bible Sunday and affirms the importance of our need to read God’s word.
Let’s consider a couple of things: are we committed to taking time out to read the Bible regularly – monthly, weekly, daily; do we need some help in order to make this more effective? If the answer to the latter question is ‘yes’, then may I suggest a visit to St Andrew’s Bookshop in Great Missenden. There you can spend a happy time browsing through all sorts of useful Bible notes. These booklets can explain and comment about some of the hard bits of the reading. You might like to look at our bookstall too.
At some time in our lives, we’ve all experienced hunger pains before our next meal appears on the table. At the moment the Fall Armyworm hasn’t affected us – so food is plentiful.
The availability of Bibles is also abundant. ‘Jesus said: “Human beings cannot live on bread alone, but need every word that God speaks”’ (Matt 4:4). The challenge for us then is this: do we actually hunger for this particular kind of food – a rich spiritual nourishment which is absolutely pest free!
With love, Anne Lovegrove