Ling left her home in China at the age of 17. She believed that God had called her to share the message of Jesus with people in the villages of China. When she left home, she had no food, very little money, and no Bible.
Few people in the region where she lived had Bibles. Some people borrowed Bibles and copied verses from them by hand or memorized the verses. The few Bibles available had been smuggled into the area at great risk to the smugglers.
Ling walked from village to village telling people about Jesus. Sometimes she met someone who owned a Bible. She memorized verses from their Bible to share in the next village. Ling prayed that God would provide her with a Bible of her own.
One day, Ling heard about a woman four miles away who had some Bibles. The Bibles had been smuggled to China by missionaries. Ling hurried to find the woman. “No!” said the woman when Ling asked her for a Bible. “These Bibles are very valuable. How do I know you are even a Christian?”
Ling pleaded with the woman. Finally the woman said she would give Ling a Bible if Ling could say the Lord’s Prayer without making any mistakes. Ling went to another village to visit a man with a Bible. The man had copied his entire Bible by hand. His hands were bent from the thousands of hours he spent copying the treasured words.
Ling memorized the Lord’s Prayer from the handwritten Bible and returned to the woman’s house. The woman gave Ling a Bible! She told Ling that some Christians had died getting the precious books to Chinese Christians.
To Try: Copy a paragraph from the Bible. How hard would it be to copy the entire Bible?