By Dr Matthew Elliott, President, Oasis International

Pastor Luke holding his worn-out New Testament Bible which has seen him preach the Lord’s Word gracefully in the streets of Blantyre, Malawi for years. He also holds his new Africa Study Bible!

“What?” you may be asking yourself, “giving a Bible may hurt an African?” Oasis is passionate about the power of God’s Word to change lives.  In fact, our motto is “Satisfying Africa’s Thirst for God’s Word.” But did you know there are at least 200 million Christians in Africa without a Bible? Our calculations show it may be over 300 million of our brothers and sisters in Christ who do not have a Bible. If we supplied each one with a standard copy of a durable Bible that would cost us about $4 each or almost 1 Billion dollars!  But there is another problem. A Bible that costs $4 wears out in five years or less. So we would need to raise 1 billion dollars every five years to supply every African Christian in Africa with a Bible for their lifetime.Who has that kind of money?

Introducing the Africa Study Bible to a small book vendor in Lilongwe, Malawi

When you give a Bible away in Africa, you often hurt the Africans who are making their living selling Bibles in their own countries. Their business suffers, and even close down, in the face of the latest charity give away Bible project. These small businesses, Oasis’ partners, are the only ones that actually have the power to, in the long run, supply Bibles to over 600 million African Christians … and supply another one when that $4 Bible wears out. Every Oasis Bible is distributed with the help of a local bookseller or bookstore owner who sells Christian books and Bibles within their own communities.When you “give” a Bible you are helping a Christian have a Bible through building an African based business. Every Bible, even if it goes out at a very low price to help a needful pastor, helps build the distribution network Africa needs to meet its own need for Christian books and Bibles. That is our promise to you and to our African partners.

Moffat Bible College students in Kenya receiving training on how to effectively use the Africa Study Bible.

Through our Gods Word for Africa program Bibles do go out at subsidized prices to leaders and pastors that cannot afford one – especially the full Africa Study Bible. First, these special projects are evaluated carefully to ensure a valid need with a sponsoring church or organization. Second, the participants, most often, contribute to the cost of the Bible and training. Finally, local businesspeople do the distribution and warehousing, being paid for their services. So, even as these Bibles go out to those in most need, infrastructure is being built, and local jobs are being created!  In supporting God’s Word for Africa is not passing out Bibles – you are sponsoring projects that promote training and discipleship. 

There is a famine for Bibles and discipleship materials in the world’s largest Christian continent. Right now, in just one example, we are working with teachers organizations and discipleship ministries that run Bible clubs and Bible studies for millions of students across Africa. Our partners are not asking for a handout, just the chance to sell a Bible to their students for $5. The family might have to save a few weeks to afford it, but if they can afford a cell phone, they can certainly afford a $5 Bible. We can do that, we know how, we can print just the Bibles that Africa needs! Check out But to start, we need the funding to print and ship the hundreds of thousands of student Bibles our partners are ready to buy a few Bibles at a time.

When you give to Oasis you are empowering and capitalizing an interconnecting system of entrepreneurship and sustainability that has the power to solve Africa’s Bible crisis.

The Africa Study Bible was envisioned, created, and birthed under Dr Elliott’s leadership. With notes originally written in five languages by 350 authors from fifty countries, it is the most ethnically diverse, single-volume biblical resource ever developed. This revolutionary book is changing how pastors and leaders across Africa apply the Bible to life in their own culture and context. Click here to learn more about Dr Elliott.

Want to share your thoughts on this subject? We’d love to hear from you! Send us your name and message below. Be sure to copy the title of this blog, “Give a Bible through Oasis and you won’t hurt an African”.

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