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AMHARIC BIBLES   PDF  Print  E-mail 

UAE, September 2008: "I have never in my life seen people getting so excited, happy and thankful to God for the miracles he does in their day-to-day lives. I witnessed that many of my fellow brothers and sisters shed tears of joy. We all did. We thanked God for the wonderful gift we received, and we thanked the Bible Society for touching the hearts of many and making the day a success".This is how Yodi expressed her joy and happiness after receiving part of the 3500 Amharic Bibles that was initiated for free distribution in the UAE. Yodi is an elder in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo faith followers in Sharjah. She shared her feeling after the church service on Friday, September 5, in Sharjah, UAE.

The Bible Society in the Gulf is launching this year the distribution of 8000 copies of Amharic Bibles within the various Ethiopian communities throughout the Arabian Gulf. 3500 copies were assigned for the UAE, where, more than 60,000 Ethiopians live. The majority are women working as maids.Their income, needless to say, is very low and they work long hours to make a living. The Bible Society in South Korea endorsed the project and supported the campaign by offering the total number of the Amharic Bibles for free distribution in the Gulf. "We were desperately in need of those Bibles,” said an elder in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. “We tried to get in Bibles into the UAE before, but we did not succeed. We did not have the means to do it. The Bible Society has the legal setup in the country and knows how to bring them in,” he continued. “We are so thankful for your support. This is a historical day for our community in the UAE," he concluded.

The Bible Society delegation attended the church service of the Abu Dhabi Ethiopian Orthodox Church on Friday, September 5. The distribution of the Amharic Bibles was done during the church service, where every parishioner received a copy. With the Ethiopian traditional music and drums in the background, Bibles were handed over to each and every one. The joy and happiness on their faces was overwhelming. It was, indeed, a day of feast. A big number of them was having a copy of the Bible for the first time in their life.

"I want to thank the Bible Society for this great gift. This is a historical day for us, and we don’t know how to express our gratitude to you for this great gift. We had few copies of the Bible in Amharic in our community, and the only way to share it among us all was to cut it into pieces, book by book." This is how the pastor of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church welcomed the Bible Society delegation on Friday, September 5, in Abu Dhabi. The congregation was very happy to receive copies of the Amharic Bible (Evangelical translation). They no longer need to cut the Bible into pieces.

Mr. Eui Hyun Kwon, General Secretary of the Bible Society in South Korea, together with his colleague, Rev. Jae Min Ho, visited UAE from September 3-6. They were personally involved in handing the Amharic Bibles and sharing the joy of the community. "The Korean people are thankful for the Ethiopians," Eui Hyun Kwon said to the Ethiopian community. "The Ethiopian army was part of the UN forces in the 1950s that maintained peace and stability in our country right after the Korean War. The Koreans always remember the Ethiopian army for all their endeavors and good will," He indicated.

His Eminence, Abba Dimetros, the Archbishop of Lebanon and the UAE for the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, said to the Bible Society: "Our people come to this part of the world to earn a living for their physical survival. The Church here stands to help them with their spiritual survival. We were missing the main element for the spiritual nourishment which is the Bible. God touched your hearts so that you can provide these Bibles for the spiritual nourishment of our community. I would like to express my gratitude for your generosity in donating the priceless gift of the Holy Bible to our community."

The Bible brings joy and happiness. This is sotrue. Nevertheless, it is so vital to share the Bible so that people who do not have access to this same joy and happiness can have it. The Bible, indeed, brought joy and happiness to the Ethiopian community in the UAE.

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