The librarian

Africa

Religious materials for discipleship and pastoral education can be difficult to come by in parts of Africa. This is particularly true in areas where Christianity is not a major religion. When even owning a page of the Bible is illegal — punishable by prison time — finding a commentary is nearly impossible.

However, one Nazarene, who was a schoolteacher by training, made it his mission to start a Christian library in every city with at least seven underground churches. “The Librarian,” as he has been nicknamed, began the first library in 1995. Because of his passion and commitment, many underground pastors and Bible teachers were able to have materials to study and share with their members.

Unfortunately, as often happens in countries where the Word of Life is not welcomed, in 2011 the Librarian’s secret library was discovered and destroyed. The Librarian, himself, escaped death by fleeing in a vehicle as militants shot at him. Another believer was captured at this same time and eventually martyred for his faith in Jesus Christ.

For most believers this would be the end of the story, but not so with the Librarian. His passion and calling were not stamped out, and in fact, he became all the more enthusiastic to share Christian materials with those who had little access.

In 2014, the Librarian was able to start another library. Today, that library is 100 percent digital with high-speed internet access, 15 laptops, nine tablets, and eight iPods all loaded with valuable published materials in multiple languages. This digital library is only available to church leaders who have been vetted and have proven their faithfulness to Jesus Christ. In the unlikely event this library is discovered by enemies of the Church, they will not be able to access the materials on these laptops, tablets, and iPods because they are highly secured and password protected. If the wrong password is put in these devices three consecutive times, the entire contents saved on the devices will be deleted with no possibility of recovery.

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