Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Copying the Bible in Botswana!

We recently happened an exciting testimony about a missionary in Botswana who was encouraging people to copy the Bible.

 Our family has been copying the Bible for several years, but we heard about it from others who had been copying the Bible.  However, Kelly Carruthers actually got it from the Bible!

Kelly just realized that his time was limited, he was spread pretty thin among many places, so to encourage the believers to press on in their growth in the Lord, he just gave them notebooks and told them to copy the Bible. He believes that the Word of God is living and active, and that the Holy Spirit uses it to help us grow. Where did Kelly come up with this idea? He had seen God's instructions for the kings of Israel in Deuteronomy 17:18-20

And it shall be, 
when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, 
that he shall write him 
a copy of this law in a book 
out of that which is before the priests the Levites: 
And it shall be with him, 
and he shall read therein all the days of his life: 
that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, 
to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: 
That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, 
and that he turn not aside from the commandment, 
to the right hand, or to the left:
 to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, 
he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.

Of course, the results of the believers copying the Bible was amazing.  No wonder, huh?

We recently wrote to Kelly, and he gave us permission to share his response with our readers.
Dear Dave & Debbie 
Here is my story and I think you will identify with many things. 
Seven years ago, many of the missionaries in Southern Africa underwent training on creating dependency among our African Christian brothers. We even considered the idea that giving a Bible to someone might be dependency. I contemplated this aloud with some volunteer Americans and they were deeply offended. In my prayer time the next day the Lord spoke loudly, "You don't know what you are talking about it, you should get a notebook and try it." So I did. Not believing it was really possible I started in Philippians and was amazed at how the Bible was actually programmed to teach itself. Then I began to discover more inner clues to the amazing power of the Word of God as it stands on his own. 
After copying for myself for about 1 and 1/2 years, I started to hand out notebooks to my African brothers and sisters. They began to see what I had been seeing and even more things. I was so amazed at their insights and discoveries. I have been using this method without knowing there was actually anything in print like what you have as resources. I have finished the Bible 3 times and have given copies to my children. I am walking through it for the fourth time and believe it conditions my heart to stay in tune with the one who called me here...

The other thing I have noticed is the maturity of those who are writing.  Their theology is well-balanced because they treat all the verses equally.  They also stay focused on Matthew 6:33.  
Just two weeks ago one of the main guys in Zimbabwe was contemplating going back to school and or attending a trade school.  I believe in helping people better themselves so I was willing to help if he wanted.  He went back home to Zim and prayed about it.  Changed his mind and told me why.  Matt 6:33.  He wants to seek the kingdom first and then Matthew 28, he wants to make disciples and doing the schooling thing would only take him away from that focus.  He believed God will provide for his needs if he does these two things.  
I noticed on your web site that you thought it a shame that the television was advancing certain ideologies ahead of the gospel.  I couldn't agree more.  Capitalism is not Christianity, but obedience to the word of God is what we are after...

May the word of God continue to bless you and show you his amazing promises.  He will not share his glory with anyone else, not even the church, if it doesn't put him first.  "No one can receive anything unless it is given to him from heaven."  John the Baptist has impressed me most recently, he delighted in hearing the voice of the bridegroom.  I love to hear it second handed from other disciples who also hear his voice.  
Be blessed, Kelly 
Isn't that such a wonderful testimony?

Kelly also gave us permission to share this article he has written on Bible copy for believers back in the States.

Copying the Bible! 
I bring you greetings from Botswana, Africa. Many of you have heard my wife and I speaking about a new/very old discipleship method. This method involves a notebook, pen and your favorite translation of the Bible. We recommend you start in Matthew and begin writing down every word and every verse. Why? The end goal of this method is prayer. As we compare ourselves to the words we are writing and whether or not they truly describe us, it will give us something to talk about with God. It may end up in praise to him concerning the changes we have seen, or a need which He has pointed out, or a word to share with someone else. Jesus saved us to be in a relationship with him, not just learn about him. It is the voice of Christ which brings healing, faith, strength, and conviction.
Some people have asked some questions and I thought it would be good to write them down. Maybe you have had the same question and did not have a chance to ask us personally. 
1. Can I summarize what I have read? 
No! Summarizing will only include what you remember from reading. We want to allow the Spirit of Christ to use any phrase in the verses we are copying he chooses. Summaries leave out too many things. 
2. How much a day should I copy?
 As much as you want. To keep us from becoming Pharisees we do not want to set any type of limit. I do recommend “daily”. Yesterday’s spiritual meal will not suffice for today’s spiritual battle. Try to write out complete sections, whether that is a chapter or an individual story.
3. What version may I use? 
Any. Just be sure it is a translation and not a paraphrase. 
4. What am I looking for? 
Surprises. Repetitions. Yourself. Copying the scriptures will help you to know how “Christ-like” you are in your daily living. Oh, I almost forgot. You are also looking for God’s heart. Nothing he did nor what Jesus did was by accident and the way the writer of the gospel presents it is not by accident. 
5. What should I do after I finish Matthew? 
Keep right on going. It is very important to finish all of the gospels before proceeding to the rest of the New Testament. Then on to Genesis. Even if it takes you years, the journey will be worth it. 
6. What if I don’t understand something I am writing? 
No problem. Write it out, reread it aloud when you finish that section, but whatever you do, don’t stop. We are only responsible for what we do understand. Sometimes God might even hinder us momentarily until later when we can handle that particular section of scripture. 
Please feel free to email me any question you may have. My email is kaknnc@gmail.com But most important, email your testimonies. We remember 10% of what we hear, 30% of what we see, 70% of what we write down, and 90% of what we talk about with others. Share what you have discovered, and continue to walk by child-like faith.

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