How a Homeless Orphan Clung to the Bible for Hope

In Liberia, a young mother encountered God in the pages of Scripture

While awaiting the birth of her child, Sarafina* had nowhere to go. Liberian soldiers had murdered her parents during a violent uprising. And her aunt—who adopted her at a young age—wanted nothing to do with a single, pregnant teenage girl.

So, while searching for a place to call home, Sarafina packed her belongings and headed for central Liberia. She planned to support herself by working on a farm. “I felt like an orphan, without a mother to care for me,” she says.

Eventually, Sarafina found a job tilling crops and selling goods at a local market. But what started as a way to provide for herself—and her child—quickly turned into something much greater.

One day, while managing her station at the market, Sarafina heard a radio telling stories about Jesus. She listened as a voice shared messages of love, hope and acceptance. Sarafina returned the next day and situated herself next to the station with the radio. Again, she listened intently. Day after day, Sarafina sold goods beside the radio—until its owners took notice. They approached Sarafina and invited her to attend a Sunday morning church service. She agreed to join them.

For weeks, Sarafina sat with her new friends and listened to the church’s pastor share stories from Scripture. Because she desperately wanted to take these stories home, she began attending a Bible-reading class in Bassa, the local language in central Liberia. Sarafina prayed that one day, she could take home her own copy of the Bible. She soon got her wish.

Following one Sunday morning church service, members of the Bible Society in Liberia visited Sarafina’s church and distributed free Bibles, a provision from American Bible Society’s generous financial partners. Sarafina cherished the opportunity to read, study and share God’s Word.

“Reading the Bible in my own language was like having God himself talking to me,” Sarafina says. “It has helped me know Christ deeper.”

Immediately after receiving her first Bible, Sarafina took steps to strengthen her relationship with God. She began attending weekly Sunday school services. And she joined a local Bible study, which has helped her understand the intricacies of God’s Word.

Now, when she cracks open her Bible and begins reading, Sarafina feels at peace—a feeling she rarely experienced as a child.

“My life has changed tremendously,” she says, “from a hopeless orphan to someone who has hope in the redeeming grace of Jesus Christ.”  

Thanks to the support of our faithful financial partners, American Bible Society has been engaging people with the life-changing message of God’s Word for more than 200 years.

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