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Dear Prayer Partner,

Welcome to the September Extra Insight!

Sometimes it can be hard looking at our world; so many terrible things dominate our media these days. We hope the stories in our Extra Insight encourage you today.

In our Extra Insight this month we have an update on our Bible-a-Month project in Cambodia, an update from Sri Lanka and prayer points for Afghanistan.

Thank you for joining us as we pray for our brothers and sisters around the world.
Northern Ireland

We have had a fantastic month at Bible Society NI, mainly because we had the opportunity to meet some of you in person at Bangor Worldwide missionary convention! We thank God that we were blessed to be able to have a physical stand at the convention this year. We pray that we will continue to be able to get back to a sense of “normal” and attend more events in person!
We have been doing a lot of preparation for 2022 over the last month. We had several meetings via Zoom with other Bible Societies, having the chance to hear updates on projects and plans for the next 18 months. We have also been busy working on resources and projects for Northern Ireland. We appreciate your prayers as we prepare for 2022 and cannot wait to be able to tell you all about our exciting plans for the next year!

One upcoming resource is our Bible Sunday resource pack. This free resource is packed full of material for your church to host a Bible Sunday, focusing on access to God’s Word around the world. Click the link below to receive the pack when it becomes available.
We are also excited to announce we will be hosting our annual Gathering on Friday 12th November from 7.30-9pm. We will have a variety of guests, including Elaine Duncan, Chair of the United Bible Societies Global Council. Save the date and keep an eye out on our social media and Extra Insight emails for more information. 
Prayer Requests from Bible Society NI:

  • Praise God for the fantastic summer we have had. Give thanks that we were able to attend events like Bangor Worldwide in person, connect with supporters and other mission organisations.

  • Pray for our team as we begin to look to 2022 and plan our year. Ask that God would guide us and open doors for us.

  • Pray for continued safety as we work part time from the office. Pray that we would continue to work well as a team, despite having to work remotely at times.

We meet to pray each month on the last Wednesday of the month at 1pm.

Please join us this month at 1pm on the 29th September via Zoom.

Meeting ID: 844 6321 2276
Passcode: 031188
Literacy Through Listening - Cambodia
It is estimated that over 2.5 million people in Cambodia are illiterate. “Learning Through Listening” is a Scripture-based literacy education programme which teaches participants to read and write Khmer using the Bible. The Bible Society in Cambodia has partnered with local churches to offer classes to both disadvantaged Christians and non-Christians who have never learned to read or write.

The Bible Society in Cambodia offers approximately 500 literacy classes a year, with an average of 7,000 yearly participants. It is important to this project that they work closely with the local church, allowing those who make a profession of faith to continue to grow after they have completed the project.

Participants gather together to study every week, listening to teachers or tapes and following along with workbooks. At the completion of the course the participants are presented with a Khmer New Testament.

Like almost every project we support, this programme was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The project had to be suspended from March – May 2020 but has since restarted with safety precautions in place. Restrictions have meant that the number of participants has had to be reduced slightly to ensure the safety of all participants.

This year a reduced number of 350 classes will be held. As they continue to adapt to the changing situation the Bible Society in Cambodia hope to gradually increase the numbers of people able to attend these classes.
Pray for this Project:

  • Pray that God will use the programme to bring Salvation to students and spiritual growth to believers.

  • Pray for improved literacy levels and opportunities for those now able to read and write as a result of the programme. Pray for the children and young people who will participate in this programme.

  • Pray for protection and strength for staff and volunteers as they implement the programme throughout Cambodia, especially pray for protection from COVID-19.
This project is our Bible-a-Month project for September. By becoming a Bible-a-Month partner you will help to provide Scripture to people all over the world every month. You will receive a free calendar with information about this and 11 other Bible Society projects. Commit to giving just £5 each month and you will ensure that the Word of God is shared across the world. Sign up here.
Sri Lanka
In August we were privileged to have a Zoom meeting with the Bible Society in Sri Lanka. We recently supported two projects in Sri Lanka through an appeal; Braille Bible distribution and the Sri Lankan Sign Language translation.

These project aims to make the Bible accessible to those who are deaf or have a visual impairment.

The Bible Society in Sri Lanka is working closely with Schools for the Blind to distribute the Braille Bible. Additionally, they provide audio Bibles to those with visual impairments, allowing them easy, personal access to the Bible. The Bible Society in Sri Lanka gave us an update on our call, and we are excited to share with you the story of Melanie, a blind woman who has benefited from the Braille Bibles project.

Melanie (pictured) lost her sight at the age of 11. She is now 41 years old, she has found her life as a disabled person in Sri Lanka hard. She has faced many difficulties and discrimination over the years- there is not a lot of awareness or help for those with a disability.

When people ask Melanie why she doesn’t pray for her sight to be restored she simply replies “My God is a great God, nothing is impossible for Him. But I am a symbol. As a blind person, a disabled person, being like this, I praise God. I am a symbol of God; He is using me to show the others”.

However, for a long time, Melanie struggled to access the Bible and engage in the church setting. She did not have a way to access the Bible without her friends and family helping her. She also struggled in church; when passages were read from the front, she could only listen.

Melanie was overjoyed when she first had access to a Braille Bible through a local Blind School. She told us “When I want to read the Word of God- more than just listening through someone else- to read and to touch it for myself. This is the Word of God from my own mouth, this is the most important thing for me.”

She continues to use audio Bibles, but there is something truly special about being able to quietly and independently read the Bible.

Melanie explains, “When I read the Braille Bible, I am praising God; reading the Word of God with my own mouth and feeling it with my own fingers.”

The Bible Society in Sri Lanka is passionate about making God’s Word accessible to people of all abilities. Please join us as we pray for people like Melanie in Sri Lanka.

If you would like to give to the work in Sri Lanka visit our website below.
Pray for Sri Lanka:

  • Pray for all those working hard to make the Bible accessible to those with disabilities. Pray for wisdom and guidance as they make decisions.

  • Pray for those working on the Sri Lankan Sign Language translation, pray that they would be encouraged in their work. Pray that this translation would be completed as quickly as possible so that those who are deaf would have access to God’s Word in their heart language.

  • Pray for the distribution of the Braille Bibles to Blind Schools and individuals. Pray that the Gospel would be shared among all the visually impaired people in Sri Lanka.
As we write about Afghanistan, we know that the last of the American and UK troops have left Kabul after an intense time of evacuating thousands of individuals before the deadline imposed by the Taliban. We cannot imagine the exhaustion those troops and other Foreign Office staff must be feeling right now.

Everyone in Afghanistan faces uncertainty. The future is unclear and unsure as the country adjusts to life under the rule of the Taliban. In the midst of this people are facing food shortages, problems with electricity supply and challenges connected to banking and so much else that we take for granted.

Whilst there isn’t a Bible Society in Afghanistan, we know that they Bible is available in a variety of formats and we pray that those who own copies of the Bible find comfort and strength from the Word of God.

Please join us as we pray for our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan.
Pray for Afghanistan:

  • Pray for peace and stability in Afghanistan and the surrounding countries.

  • Pray for hope to spark amongst Christians in Afghanistan as they continue in these difficult circumstances.

  • Pray for all those who have lost loved ones, homes and livelihoods and for all who are afraid and anxious about the future.
More from Bible Society NI:
27 Howard Street, Belfast, BT1 6NB
028 9032 6577 Charity Reg. No. NIC102557

Header image shows a group learning through the Bible through the Bible-a-Month programme.
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