Readers Turned Healers

God led this husband and wife on an unforgettable journey of healing—and it all started when they read a simple magazine article like this one

God led this husband and wife on an unforgettable journey of healing—and it all started when they read a simple magazine article like this one.

  • Names: Victoria and Steve Sanford
  • Location: Southern California
  • Children: 2 adult sons, 1 daughter-in-law
  • Vocation: Retired after lengthy careers at Chevron
  • Her Hobbies: Reading, gardening, and running
  • His Hobbies: Rock climbing, skiing, and reading

What if the magazine in your hands could change your life?

What if God spoke to you through the stories in these pages, calling you to do something new and bold for His Kingdom?

For our partners Steve and Victoria Sanford in Southern California, God didn’t just use a magazine from American Bible Society to change their life. He did it twice.

It started back in 2004 when Steve and Victoria first received a newsletter from American Bible Society. They were new believers at the time and were shocked to learn that millions of people are still waiting for access to the Scriptures.

“The Bible has meant everything to me. It is our life!” Victoria says. “So when I read a story about people not having Bibles—and we have a lot of Bibles in our home—it just broke my heart!”

Steve and Victoria knew that they couldn’t stand idly by while so many people were waiting to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ.

“We were able to help out in a small way by giving to American Bible Society—and it blessed us!” Victoria recalls. “I remember praying for the person who would receive the Bible from us. We prayed that they would get God’s Word into their heart.”

Just like that, two young Christians became active participants in the Great Commission, using their prayers and gifts to share the knowledge of God’s love with people all around the world.

But God wasn’t done with Steve and Victoria. More than a decade later, another magazine from American Bible Society summoned the Sanfords into a new mission field—the mission field of the human heart.

“I remember reading an article in 2017 about this thing called Bible-based trauma healing,” Victoria says. The article introduced her to a ministry that helps people heal from traumatic life events by studying and applying Scripture. “I just said to God, ‘I want to do this! Lord, how can I do this?’”

God answered Victoria’s prayer when American Bible Society’s partner support team helped the Sanfords identify a trauma healing training to attend near their home.

“It changed our life,” Victoria says. For three days, she and Steve learned the principles of Bible-based trauma healing.

“What the Bible says about suffering, lamenting, and grieving is very consistent with what modern mental health practices say,” Steve explains. “All truth is God’s truth!”

The Sanfords brought the ministry of trauma healing back to their home church. They started leading small healing groups where participants learn what the Bible says about suffering, share their stories with one another, and bring their sorrow to Jesus for healing.

The impact has blown them away.

“We’ve seen instant results.” Victoria says. “The Holy Spirit is moving in hearts like we’ve never seen before!” She remembers one woman who shared a traumatic experience that she had never told another living soul.

“The whole class was able to cry with her and embrace her,” Victoria says.

Although the Sanfords faithfully followed God’s call into this mission field of human trauma, they’ll be the first to tell you that God alone is the real hero of their story.

“We’re not that smart or wise,” Steve laughs. “We just point people to what the Bible says about who God is and the healing that’s available in Jesus.”

Whether they’re sending Bibles to remote people groups across the world or weeping with brokenhearted people in their own church, Steve and Victoria Sanford are using their lives to proclaim the Good News of God’s love to all people.

As Victoria puts it: “Jesus is real. He is alive. And He wants to heal our hearts.”

What about you? Has God ever called you out of your comfort zone to help others meet Jesus?

As Steve and Victoria Sanford can attest, a divine invitation into the mission field can appear in the unlikeliest of places—even in the pages of this magazine!

Support Bible-based trauma healing alongside the Sanfords! Learn more at

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.

Help us share God's Word where needed most.

Give Now

Sign up to stay in touch with how God is changing lives with his Word!


Subscribe Now

Sign up to stay in touch with how God is changing lives with his Word!