May 2018 - Leo
The Lord called David “a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.” Acts 13:22.
Every now and then, I’ll meet a person with a heart after God. Someone who will do all God’s will, just like David did. A person with a heart so big, it shows in their compassion for others. I’m sure you’ve met them too.
Leo was one of those people and I wanted to tell you his story.
As a B24 bomber pilot in WWII, Leo flew 35 missions over Germany. A lot of planes were shot down, but Leo was able to return from every mission without one crew member ever being lost.
There were many times when it was questionable whether they would have enough fuel to make it back across the English Channel. Sometimes Leo discussed with the crew how they wanted to handle the situation if they didn’t have enough fuel to make it back to their base. By God's grace they never had to ditch their plane and always made it safely back.
The plane Leo flew had no protective shield on the bottom of the plane, and often enemy fire penetrated the bottom of the plane. On one occasion, a piece of shrapnel came through and missed Leo's leg by inches.
Children loved to see the planes land. They would line up by the fence at the air base, and Leo would often go over and give them some sweets or oranges. He especially remembered one 9 year old girl. He made such an impact on her life that she stayed in contact with Leo after the war and later wrote a book and told about how she had received these acts of kindness as a little girl. She sent a copy of the book to Leo.
Leo was a faithful supporter of Aurora Ministries. There were different charitable organizations Leo supported, but he would tell us that this ministry was always number one. Even as his health was declining, and even in his final days on earth, he directed Mickie, his wife, to send monthly contributions to help provide God’s Word to the blind and print disabled. He was a faithful ministry partner to the very end of his life.
As family members gathered around him near the end of his life, he was unable to speak much above a whisper. They realized Leo was talking to someone other than them. The last word they heard him utter was "Jesus." That same night, God took him to heaven.
Since his passing, his wife Mickie rapidly lost her eyesight. It was a joy to send Mickie an Audio Bible so she could continue to "read" the Bible that she and Leo loved so well. Mickie is now able to enjoy the fruit of the ministry she and Leo so faithfully supported for years.
Leo's goal in life was to do God’s will and bring the joy of the Lord to others. He certainly did this through his partnership with Aurora Ministries.
Maybe God is calling upon you, just like He did Leo?
“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38 (NKJV)
Your donation, no matter the amount, will make a giant impact in the life of a person who’s been living without access to the Holy Scriptures. Some might have had a Bible before losing their sight, while others may be experiencing God’s Word for the first time. What greater gift could you give?
Thank you for your support.
- Allen Decker
April 2018 Newsletter | David
“The first thing I’ll see is the face of Jesus.”
As a valued partner of Audio Bibles for the Blind, I want you to be among the first to read the words above.
You see, by God’s grace, you helped make them possible. And you need only to read the story below to realize just how miraculous they are coming from someone like David . . .
. . . someone who once believed he was in hell.
I’m not exaggerating. David was struck by a vehicle while helping a woman whose car had spun out of control and slammed into a guard rail.
David, a young father, was unconscious the first 40 of the 48 days he was in the hospital.
By his side were his distraught wife and three young children.
As he faded in and out of consciousness, his wife explained that he had been in a car accident. Disoriented by pain medication, the memories of others he had seen die in auto collisions came flooding back. Worst of all . . .
. . . when he opened his eyes there was only a veil of black! In his mind, he was dead. David searched for the face of Jesus but found only impenetrable darkness.
“I thought I was in hell,” he says emotionally.
Before the accident, David had been raised in church . . . he knew the Bible stories . . . but he did not know the Lord. Before the car struck him down, he could see, but the eyes of his heart were closed.
“We were going completely down the wrong path as a family,” David explains. “We were not going to church.” The accident left David blind, but his interest in developing a closer relationship with Jesus grew. The Lord led him to Audio Bibles for the Blind and he’s been a radically changed man ever since . . . thanks to the gifts of friends like you.
Totally blind, David listens to his Audio Bible every night. He recognizes that he will sacrifice much here on this earth but has everything to gain in heaven!
“I’m going to miss seeing a lot of things in my kids’ lives,” he says. “My daughter’s face at her wedding . . . my son sliding across home plate. But I will get to see them in heaven . . . AND SEE THE FACE OF JESUS! It’s all worth it. The first thing I’ll see is the face of Jesus!”
Can you imagine . . . a man who is thankful he’s blind because the eyes of his heart are now opened to our Lord’s saving grace?
This is the kind of unrelenting joy you are helping provide through every Audio Bible you help put into the hands of someone like David. You see, God works through the generous hearts of friends like you to help make a life-changing, eternal difference.
I encourage you to pray about what kind of difference He’s leading you to make today.
We receive hundreds of requests from people crying out for God’s Word every single month, and we need your help. Only through your generous support — and that of all our friends — can we continue rushing Audio Bibles FREE OF CHARGE to those who need them most.
I’m praying you won’t hesitate to write a check right now to put God’s Word into the hands — and heart — of someone like David free of charge.
Whatever you can share will help make an eternal difference for people who are blind or print-disabled.
P.S. Never forget: “Always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58, NKJV). Thank you for your labor today as we work together to help make an eternal difference for so many more like David.
- Allen Decker
- Tags: David
March 2018 Newsletter | Daniel
In one of the most beautiful episodes in the New Testament, Jesus encounters a blind man in Mark’s gospel. And when Jesus places His hands on that blind man’s eyes, we read, “Then his eyes were opened . . . his sight was restored . . .and he saw everything clearly!”
Since we began ministry five decades ago, God has enabled us to provide freely more than one million Audio Bibles to blind people around the globe.
And how our hearts wish Jesus would reach down and open the eyes of every single one of the people we’ve served . . . restore everyone’s sight . . . make each one see clearly!!! (Our hearts overflow with love for the folks God has allowed us to help.)
But God doesn’t seem to work quite like that – even in Jesus’ earthly life, He didn’t heal every blind person. And that has been the case with our friend, and Audio Bible recipient, Daniel, who literally does not even have eyes for God to reach down and touch.
Retinoblastoma, a childhood cancer that strikes retinal cells, stole Daniel’s left eye when he was merely eight months old – the cancerous eye had to be removed. When he was two, Daniel’s right eye also had to be removed because of severe burning from intense radiation that doctors had hoped would salvage his lone remaining eye.
Daniel reflects on his growing up as a child in California – without sight and even without eyes. It is easy to see how Daniel could have become bitter in heart and rebellious in attitude toward God. And so he did.
Daniel says his heart was so hardened toward God – he even can recall hurtful conversations he had with people in which he tried to sour their spirits toward God!
For instance, he adamantly told one girl whose relative had just passed away that there was no God – and that her relative was simply gone . . . forever . . . with no God . . . and no hope. (And that death itself was dark . . . hopeless . . . God-less . . . for all of us.)
But that Daniel is not the Daniel you would meet today. Today’s Daniel still lacks his sight – and his eyes. God has never touched and restored them. But God has touched Daniel’s heart and drawn him into relationship. And Daniel loves God’s Word – and his Audio Bible – passionately.
Daniel says his Audio Bible gives him a chance every day to hear God express Himself. And Daniel listens to his Bible every day – often. He says he considers his Audio Bible one of life’s few true necessities – and that his heart and mind would be defenseless without it.
Despite Daniel’s obvious limitations, God has enabled him to excel in so many areas. Fluent not merely in English – but also in German and Spanish – Daniel listens to the Bible in all three languages!
With the background of a music major in college, he plays piano and guitar – and writes music – all for the glory of God. He listens to his Audio Bible, then tries to take the rich truths of God’s Word and build them into musical expressions . . . because this once bitter-hearted, rebel-souled man has now been touched deeply by God - - not yet in his eyes, but in that part of him which will matter most for all of eternity, in Daniel’s heart!
Please consider helping us – we benefit immeasurably from your prayers and financial support. Please help us to reach many Daniels in many languages and in many countries – those Daniels who already know the Lord . . . and those He will tenderly draw to Himself. Thank you so much for caring!
P.S. Thankfully, for Daniel (and for all without sight who know the Lord) God will some day provide FULL healing. For now, we want to do everything we possibly can to get God’s Word in audio form to those who need it most.
- Allen Decker
- Tags: Daniel
February 2018 Newsletter | Susan
“It’s a blessing to ‘read’ the Bible whenever I want now”
When God granted Susan the precious gift of life, God had special plans for her, and she has served Him well.
Susan, born four months premature, entered the world weighing just 2 pounds 2.5 ounces. A tiny preemie, she was immediately placed in an incubator. For fourteen long months, Susan remained in that incubator - fighting desperately for her life. And God kept her alive. She beat the odds and pulled through. Obviously, God had special plans for this tiny little girl!
The incubator oxygen that was so needed during those 14 months of development destroyed the retinas in both her eyes. Susan was left with severely limited vision in her right eye and no vision in her left eye. Despite her vision loss, Susan attended public school for three years before transferring to a sight saving school in fourth grade.
Wherever she went, it was clear that God was helping and working in her life. In grades seven through nine, God gave her a teacher who paid special attention to her and helped her succeed. God also sent people into her life who had “something” in their lives that she knew she was lacking. Susan desperately wanted that “something.”
After high school graduation, Susan settled in Charlottesville where her parents ran a little grocery store. She began attending church and went to work at Virginia Industries for the Blind. There she met a special man named Larry who later began attending church with her. They continued dating and eventually married in that same church.
When the local Blind Services office sent in a qualification form for Susan to receive an Audio Bible, God showed her what that “something” really was. Susan’s Audio Bible helped her see her need for a Savior!
Susan’s mother-in-law, Ruth, was a diabetic and was also unable to read her Bible, so Susan offered to let Ruth borrow hers when she wanted to hear. From then on, Susan and Ruth would share and listen to the Bible every day.
If only we had been alerted to their need, they EACH could have had their OWN Audio Bible!
As Ruth listened again and again, she noted some of her favorite passages and asked that they be read at her memorial service. Ruth loved the book of Job. Susan especially enjoyed the Psalms.
Although Ruth has now passed away, Susan continues to listen to her Audio Bible “all the time.” It was a particular comfort to her during the uncertain days when her husband was undergoing open-heart surgery. She sees her Bible as a “window to the past and to the future.”
Susan’s Audio Bible helps her see how God has worked in her life in the past and assures her that His hand will guide her in the future as well.
In 2001, Susan began taking Bible classes through her church and became the first woman in her church to obtain the two-year Bible degree. She is also actively involved in a printing ministry at her church where they print evangelistic materials and distribute them around the world.
The incubator may have stolen her sight, but not her ability to hear God’s Word clearly. She especially appreciates hearing how Jesus related to people in such a personal way. She loves how He modeled a relationship with the Father and how He showed us how to live our daily lives. Susan says, “without access to the Bible, you feel left out of half of your life!”
And at Audio Bibles for the Blind, we don’t want anyone to miss out on that half of life! But to do that, we need the support of friends like you who care deeply about others and who know the power of God’s Word to change lives. Your gifts make our ministry possible!
Please let me hear from you today, and may God bless you as you bless others through your generous support.
- Allen Decker
- Tags: Susan