(Originally taken from an article called How Much is the Bible Worth? by Nancy Leigh DeMoss)
Nancy: Several years ago, I had the privilege of hearing a testimony that illustrated in a powerful way how precious and priceless the Word of God is. Margaret Nikol grew up in Bulgaria under one of the most repressive Communist regimes in history.
As you will hear from her testimony in just a few moments, her father was a pastor as was her brother. She grew up in a time in Bulgaria when Bibles were not accessible to believers. As she was growing up in Bulgaria, Margaret was trained to be a professional violinist. Then when she was in her mid-30s she was exiled to the United States. Since Margaret came to the United States, she has continued to give violin concerts, but most importantly to share her story of how she came to have her first copy of the Word of God. I know you are going to be moved as I have been as you listen now to this testimony from Margaret Nikol.
Margaret Nikol: When I came here [to the United States], I had two most prized possessions: I had my violin, and I had one page from God’s Bible—only one page. Probably you would ask me why didn’t I buy myself a Bible. In our country, we did not have it.
The Communists took power, and they confiscated God’s Word from churches, and hymnals. They went to houses and confiscated the Bibles available in our country. How did I get my page? A lady from our church, she was reading her Bible one night, and she overheard when the police came talking at the door to her husband that they wanted to confiscate her Bible. And she thought, “No, never my Bible,” and she sat on it.
And they looked for hours in her house, everywhere, but not under her skirt; and there was the Bible. Then she came to church and tearing it page, by page, by page, she shared with us her Bible with tears in her eyes. With all respect to God’s Word, Pastor Woodall, I was so happy I didn’t get one from the Numbers. I had a very good page—Genesis 16 and 17. The promise of God to give Abraham and Sarah a son.
And here I was in this country, and it was close to Christmas when I came. The second Sunday when I went to the same very small church, next to me sat an old couple. It turned out they were German immigrants after the first World War. So, we able to communicate in German, and I told them I am ten days in America.
I was so excited when they said, “We would like to give you a Christmas present. What would you like?” Probably they thought I would say, “Let’s go shopping till we drop.” I didn’t. Do you know why? Because I was twelve when I got my page [of the Bible] and for twenty-five years I prayed, “Lord, I so want to have your Word.”
And when they asked me, I said, “If possible, I would like to have a Bible.” They said, “Oh, honey, this is America; Bibles are available. You can have it.” So the next morning they came, and they brought me to the Bible bookstore. And can you picture me—the woman with one page for her entire life—getting into that Bible bookstore and seeing all the shelves—black, blue, green, brown, and red Bibles.
I stood there in the middle of that bookstore and wept and cried. I couldn’t believe that after so many years, prayers God will answer. I got a Bible and hugged it to my chest; and I wept, and I wept. My friends, it was joyful, and then it became sorrow. First I thought of my brother. He was a pastor in Bulgaria, having a fifteen hundred-people church and preached from couple of pages copied by his own hand, and so were the others. No Bibles.
And I said, “But Lord, what about them? What about them? If they could all come here, and You could send Bibles.” That is why I so respect all the missions, Brother Andrew and the others, who smuggled Bibles, but they couldn’t smuggle for all of us. I made the covenant with God that day. And I said, “Father, I am not the man; I am not the preacher; I am not the teacher; I am not the evangelist; I am a musician and a woman on top of that. What can You do with my life? But You have it.”
And I thank God that He never looks for able people. He looks for available people. I thank Him for that. The first three and a half years I was in a quandary. I didn’t know what to do. I was professor of music and gave concerts, and then the call came, and I gave up everything and started traveling to raise funds for Bibles.
In 1993 I was in Bulgaria, back with 10,000 Bibles printed in the country—this very same Bible. The pastors of that country had their first conference in freedom. In that hall when I entered with the Bibles, and with my hand started giving each pastor their first Bible. The joy and the tears and the gratefulness of their hearts, and the prayers which went for you, for the American Christians who send them the Bibles.
And on their behalf, I would like to thank you. I would like to thank you as Christians. At the same token I would like to challenge you. Any time you take your Bible for granted, I pray that the Holy Spirit will remind you of this page, because it represents not only Margaret Nikol. No, millions of your brothers and sisters around the world are still on their knees praying for God to send them His Word.
For me, the most sinful corners in every church I have been in and seen is lost and found. Do you know why? The most lost items are never looked for are the Bibles. That is how much we appreciate them. And I challenge you tonight to cherish your Bible, to thank God in our country we can go to bookstores, anywhere, and in such abundance to get God’s Word.