Bible mission impacts in 2020

The stories and messages that follow are from those who work in the mission or whose lives have been changed and impacted by receiving a Bible, through our supporters’ generosity in 2020.


Bible for the NZ Police launch

From left to right: Ants Hawes (Police Co-ordinating Chaplain), Detective Jon McKenzie, Police CommissIoner Andy Coster and Inspector Frank Grant with a box of Bibles at the launch.

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, we asked our supporters to fund Bibles for the New Zealand Police and you responded with passion! Their support and aroha for the Police is deeply appreciated and has enabled us to print 7,500 special-edition Bibles for them! The Bible for the Police was officially launched at the Police Christian Support Network’s (PCSN) annual conference at the Police College in Porirua on the 17th October 2020.

The event was attended by Police Commissioner, Andrew Coster, Senior Sergeant Claire Bibby, a driving force behind the project, along with members of the PCSN and Bible Society.

The Bibles were prayed over by those present and distribution is now well underway to ensure they reach every Police Station in New Zealand.

Here are a few words of thanks for you from Jonathan McKenzie, Co Chairperson of the PCSN.

“Dear Friends,

Being offered a Bible for my colleagues by the Bible Society was an unbelievably amazing opportunity. In 31 years of policing, I have seen so much brokenness and decay.

“When the opportunity was presented to the PCSN to partner with Bible Society to get our very own personalised Bible, it was literally almost too good to be true! To have journeyed with such a selfless organisation focussed on giving and investing in my colleagues was deeply, deeply humbling.

“To be served in this way by Bible Society has indeed been overwhelming. And to be so abundantly and generously supported by Bible Society’s partners in donating so generously to this cause has been very impacting and genuinely touching.

“So, what does it mean to me to have our own Bible? It means my colleagues who deal with all of the darkness and pain that most of the world wants to ignore, will now have access to the only true light, to light their path, and guide them on their journey.

“There is a hunger for truth in a dark and lost world, and this beautiful Bible will be unique in its ability to draw Police staff in to find the answers and direction that we all need.

“So, from me, on behalf of my colleagues and the Police Christian Support Network, thank you from the bottom of my heart to Bible Society and all of your beautiful supporters for believing in us, serving us and blessing us in this way. Your support is humbling and touching beyond words.”

Jon McKenzie
(Co-chair – PCSN).


In West Auckland, the VisionWest Community Trust was responding to the practical and spiritual needs of people who were struggling during that the Covid-19 lockdown.

With the help of our supporters, they gave away: over 150 Gospels, 300 Easter storybooks, and 200 Tārore storybooks. Every family placed into their emergency housing facility in Avondale was gifted a Gospel. One recipient was so excited to receive his Gospel he asked if he could read more and he was thrilled to be given a Bible.



Bible mission update Gulf States“We help migrant workers rediscover themselves as children of God,” says Bible Society in the Gulf (BSG) General Secretary, Hrayr Jebejian. “Through the faith and hope of scripture, the migrant workers gain the strength to navigate their many challenges,” he says.

And there has never been a more challenging time than this!

Living in cramped conditions, migrant workers are considered among the most vulnerable when it comes to contracting coronavirus. As well, many
have lost their jobs or had their already-low salaries reduced due to the economic shutdown.

With your support, Bible Society has published a new booklet entitled, ‘Corona & God’s Karuna. In Telugu, Karuna means mercy’. It’s circulating the booklet as a PDF through WhatsApp. So far, they have distributed
24,000 copies in English, Telugu, Nepali and Japanese. There’s also an audio version for the 40% of Teluguspeakers in the Gulf who are illiterate.

“While we were in quarantine, I received a soft copy of Corona & God’s Karuna. I listened to it without taking a break. I found the section on ‘Coping with lockdown and stories of Paul in prison and Jonah in the belly of the fish’ very inspiring. It is like medicine to my soul,” said Spandana, a recipient.


Bible mission update MoroccoIn Morocco, a 99% Muslim country, our supporters helped the Bible Society communicate the Bible on social media and touch many lives by providing digital Bibles. Although names cannot be used for safety reasons, this note was written for you by their Executive Director.

“Dear New Zealand Bible Society donors,

I hope you are doing well and keeping safe with the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ!

“I would like to thank you very much for standing with us and supporting our Digital Bible outreach.

“What a great joy to have sisters and brothers in Christ from New Zealand stand with their fellow Christians in Morocco to help them reach out to millions of Moroccans who have not yet heard about the Good News of salvation!

“With God’s grace and your support, we have been able, so far, to reach 267,000 Moroccan people, to engage with 21,000 among them, and to be in close communication with 1,100 of them – some of whom are now connected with local communities of believers in Morocco.

“As well, about 2,700 Moroccans downloaded the Moroccan New Testament, and about 50,000 Moroccans watched our Bible reading videos, or listened to our audio Moroccan Bible online.

“All of these great things mean even more in a country like Morocco where Moroccan Christians are not recognised by the authorities and where preaching or confessing Jesus could lead to persecution. This is why digital outreach stands out not only as an effective way to reach the Moroccan people, but also as the best way to proclaim the Bible message with less risk for the Bible Society and its Moroccan workers and partners.

“Once again, thank you and may God bless you and continue to use you to bring more people to Him from every nation, tribe and language!


Bible mission update TurkeyIn Turkey, another 99% Muslim country, our mission partners’ support was critical in order to keep the Bible Society of Turkey operational.

“Churches and Christians are not able to support Bible Society, on the contrary, they need our help.

Thank you for your support from almost the other side of the world that makes a difference in the life of many people in Turkey,” said their General Secretary.

During lockdown when the Bible bookshop in Istanbul was closed, Bible Society was able to continue selling Bibles through its three online stores. This year, they’ve distributed 20,000 New Testaments and Scriptures to individuals and churches.


Bible mission update ChinaOnce again, many kiwis generously helped bring Bibles to poor, rural Christians in China. Christians like Ai Mingling who didn’t used to read the Bible, but after attending a Bible reading class she is now increasingly letting the Word of God guide her daily life.

Unfortunately, Covid-19 interrupted the printing of Bibles at the Amity Press earlier this year.

However, in the second quarter 29,800 Bibles were distributed in Shanxi Province, Shandong Province and Inner Mongolia. In the midst of the pandemic many Chinese Christians were turning increasingly to God’s Word. “Before the crisis we were often too busy to spend time with God. Now we are taking more time to read the Bible, do more self-reflection and pray to God,” one believer said.


Bible mission update GuatemalaIn Guatemala, you brought the light of Jesus Christ into the lives of people living with domestic violence in slum zones, an issue which became more serious during the pandemic.

Bible Society carried out five violence prevention workshops for parents using digital platforms. They trained Sunday School teachers, so they could replicate the material in churches. Altogether, 154 family Bibles, 308 portions and 402 books on violence prevention were distributed to families and children.

You also helped visually impaired adults and children have hope during the pandemic through Bible Society’s Braille Reading Club. During lockdown, members of the group studied the Book of Job via 51 conference calls. Three Braille portions of the Book of Job were distributed to members along with 42 Bibles in audio format.


Bible mission update TranslationThis year, you helped to progress translation projects in Thailand, Vietnam, the South Pacific and New Zealand. BSNZ Translations Director, Dr Stephen Pattemore, supports projects in Thailand remotely from New Zealand.

One of these is the translation of the Old Testament into Urak Lawoi. Translator, Ethim Pramongkit, who was left a paraplegic from a diving accident 35 years ago, has been working on this translation single-handedly for many years. Unfortunately, Ethim has spent a lot of time in hospital this year due to infections but is now back home.

Together, they aim to have the full Bible published in digital format by the end of 2022.

“Thank you so much to all those who continue to support this vital ministry to a minority community in Thailand,” said Dr Pattemore.

When you support Bible translation projects like this one, you become part of a global mission that aims to reach many people groups with the Bible in their mother tongue. Over the next 20 years, UBS is aiming to complete 1,200 translations making God’s Word accessible to 600 million more people worldwide!

In August 2020, a significant milestone was reached: 700 of the world’s 7,000 languages now have the full Bible! This means that over 5.7 billion people (around 80% of the world’s population) have access to the Bible in their heart language!

Nearly three quarters of the world’s full Bible translations have been provided by UBS. Supporter investment from donors like you from around the world is one of the key reasons why such significant strides have been taken towards making the Bible available to everyone, so thank you for the part you play in this area of the mission.


Bible mission update South AfricaIn South Africa, you helped bring 4,915 Bibles to prisoners in 27 correctional facilities. For many inmates, the Bible is a source of strength and a beacon of hope leading them to a better future.

Between May and September, after lockdown had ended, you provided 45,888 sets of Books 1 & 2 of the My Bible, Do and Learn literacy books to younger learners.

Another 17,742 sets of My 3rd Do and Learn Bible were provided to children at the next reading level. You also enabled 38,000 Bibles in South Africa’s eleven official languages to be distributed to Grade 7 learners.

“We, the Bible Society of South Africa are extremely grateful to Bible Society of New Zealand and your donors for your financial support during the year. Know one thing, you have been a blessing to numerous people, Christians, learners and their families. You have indeed sowed into the Kingdom of God,” said Dr Francois Sieberhagen, Mission Programmes Manager.


Bible mission update Costa RicaIn the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic many of you responded generously to our appeal to assist struggling Bible Societies around the world, so that the work of translating, publishing and distributing the Bible can continue.

Your support has already reached the team in Costa Rica, where people have suffered enormously from the disappearance of tourism, their main industry.

“When news of the solidarity fund came, it renewed our strength, it’s good to know in the midst of so much uncertainty, the Bible cause will continue,” said their General Secretary.