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'Have you broken the cake, Pastor?'   PDF  Print  E-mail 

Yemen: “Have you broken the cake, pastor?” Gastchu asked Rev Dennis Gurney. These were words of disappointment and disbelief. When Gastchu heard from Rev Dennis that I was visiting Aden in February 2004, he had asked if I could bring him 2 different types of English Study Bibles. Unfortunately Dennis’s email didn’t arrive in time, so I had come to Aden without the precious books and hence the strange question. When translated it means: ‘Have you gone back on your word?’

Gastchu is an Ethiopian refugee who had reached Aden by swimming ashore after a 3 day crossing of the Red Sea in a small boat. He is no illiterate, subsistence farmer like most refugees, but an educated man, who had worked as a construction supervisor. Since he could also speak English he had landed a job as a caretaker of Christ Church, Aden. Gastchu’s strong desire to read and study the Bible touched me deeply. I was wondering how I could fulfill his wish. Soon after my return to Muscat, I heard that Bishop Paul, of the Abu Dhabi Vicarate was going to Aden in March to consecrate a recently restored Catholic Church. So from the Bible Society Centre in Oman, I arranged to send the Bibles to Abu Dhabi for the Bishop to carry them with him for Gastchu.

A few weeks later I received a letter from Rev Dennis saying that Gastchu was overjoyed to receive his Bible gifts. Thanks to a Scripture Partner who paid for them.

What a privilege it is to provide God’s Word to people like Gastchu. Indeed, “the cake was not broken!!!”. One day Gastchu would like to go to Bible School and then return to his country to teach God’s Word to his own people there.

Babu Ganta, Information & Church Relations Officer, BSG

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