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