An online Mary Jones story from Thailand
This is Nattiyan, 10. She lives in northeast Thailand and is in grade 5.
Just like the 19th Century Mary Jones in Wales, whose desire for her own Bible sparked the Bible Society movement which has spread to nearly every country on earth, Nattiyan saved her own money to purchase a Bible from Thailand Bible Society. But unlike Mary Jones, she didn’t have to walk for miles to purchase a copy. With the Covid-19 lockdown in place, that would have been impossible anyway. Instead, with the help of her pastor, she was able to order it online and get it delivered.
Nattiyan is a member of a Methodist Church. The church runs a dormitory to help parents who have no time to look after their children, and the children board at the church. The church provides them with bedrooms, food, and even pocket money. Every night before bedtime they listen to Bible reading and in the morning they have a group devotion before school. The children also learn responsibility by doing chores.
In March, Nattiyan told her teacher that she had been saving her pocket money since November because she wanted to buy a Bible. She took out her piggy bank, counted her money and found that she had enough for the small Bible she wanted from Thailand Bible Society. The one her teacher uses was too big for her, she said. She wanted a smaller one to read by herself.
She said, “I read the Bible every day but I have never had my own Bible. I want to have my own Bible because the Word of God teaches me to be good and kind to others. Even though there are many difficult words, I still want to read the Bible.”
Pastor Winai from the Methodist Church and his wife Ruangnapa Koysap helped Nattiyan to buy her Bible online from the Bible Society, and she was delighted to unwrap it from its packaging when it arrived. Her joy at receiving and opening her Bible package was captured on video (see below – embed video).
Nattiyan says that her favourite Bible verse is John 3:16 because “it helps me to know that God loves everyone and He loves me.”