“Where is Phano?” I asked a local man.
“He is still out fishing,” he replied.
I had come to give Phano an antibiotic injection for an infection in his left thumb. A week earlier, he had been out fishing and was handling a small catfish when one of its sharp whiskers pricked his thumb. An infection took hold that was worsening day by day. Now the sore looked like a tiny volcano protruding from his thumb a good quarter inch.
It was about 5:30 p.m. and getting dark as I walked down to the shore of the Great River to see if I could spot Phano’s small boat. I saw a light flickering downriver, so I walked over and called out. It was Phano! He guided his boat to the shore, and I hopped in for the ride back to his makeshift dock, a long piece of bamboo extending out from the shore to a post in the river. After Phano tied up the boat, we climbed the steep embankment to his little house thatched with dried palm fronds.
I took in the moment with a sense of blessing. Only a few months ago, this man had been unable to work. His eyes had corneal damage so severe that he could barely see enough to walk by himself. Through your support, God helped us to help him with a sight-restoring surgery. Now he is fishing! The most exciting thing is that Phano has scarcely missed a Sabbath worship service and is now also joining our second group, which is meeting in a different village.
After I administered Phano’s antibiotic injection, many people started to gather around. After some small talk, one young man with a small child spoke up. “May I have one of those audio Bibles like you gave Phano? I was listening to the story of creation, and it sounded beautiful.” We had recently bought 60 audio players with a portion of the Bible in the local language, and I had given one to Phano. As the conversation continued, six more people asked me if I could get them an audio Bible as well! I happily promised to provide each of them with their own. (When you support our project, you help fund ministries like this. Thank you!)
The audio Bibles continue to go like hotcakes. People who are either illiterate or have poor eyesight are hungry to hear the beautiful Word of God. As God promised in Isaiah, when His Word goes out, it accomplishes His purposes. Please pray that God will continue to water the seed of His truth as it works its way into the heart soil of the Great River People.