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Over the years, Lahash has helped pair the passions of our sponsors with the needs of the kids in some very unique ways. So when a sponsor we all know as “Aunt Cindy” first approached us about sharing the gospel with kids by starting a Bible Fund, we said yes! Her desire to give each child the gift of a Bible came from a deep personal understanding that you need a strong anchor to weather life’s biggest storms.

Cindy’s love for scripture began during her troubled childhood. She often found herself drawn to the Bible for the comfort and stability she needed. When she moved away from home in 1985, she felt the Holy Spirit calling her to read more regularly. She developed a habit of reading 20 chapters a day! “I figured out if I read 15 in the Old Testament and 5 in the New Testament, I would finish both at about the same time,” she says. “Then I would start over. I didn’t memorize verses. I didn’t do traditional Bible studies. I just read.”

Scripture was her anchor through a turbulent childhood, but in 1999 she faced her biggest storm yet. She was diagnosed with breast cancer. Exhausting chemotherapy treatments ignited a fever that lasted for six weeks, at times spiking to over 104 degrees. “I was alone, with only my primary doctor calling me every day to make sure I was eating and drinking,” she recalls. “I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. One night, I cried out to God to bring me home.”

God responded to her desperation in an unusual and unforgettable way. When Cindy woke the next morning, the fatigue and fog of the fever were still there, but so was something new. She could clearly hear the song of a single bird. It sounded very close. She opened her blinds and was surprised to see it sitting in the branches of a rose bush directly outside her window. “The bird looked at me, I looked at the bird, and then I went back to bed,” she remembers. “It started singing again while looking at me. I fell asleep, I woke up, I looked, and the bird was still there and started to sing again. That bird stayed there all day, singing to me whenever I woke up.”

The bird flew away once evening fell, and sadness flooded back in. But God’s nearness became evident to Cindy in another way that night. “Scripture verses started popping up in my brain to refute each sad thought. Verses like Hebrews 11:1 and all of Psalm 121. At the time I didn’t have the energy to check my Bible, but I did when I got better. The miracle was that all the verses were word for word even though I had never memorized them.”

Aunt Cindy later became a sponsor through Lahash and learned about the daily struggles and storms that vulnerable kids were facing in East Africa. Knowing how the anchor of scripture had held her through the most painful moments of her life, she wanted the kids to have that same gift. “I knew that Lahash did a great job with multiple layers of support to help the kids succeed. Uniforms, shoes, food, tuition, spreading the love of Jesus through weekly programs, and helping their families as well. I also knew that having their very own Bible would be so important to their spiritual growth in Jesus.”

Initially Cindy’s goal was to provide Bibles to her sponsored children as well as the other kids at their same ministry location in Tanzania. Every month, in addition to her regular sponsorship donations, she started sending another check for the new Bible Fund. She set aside what she could from her job as a city bus driver, but wanted to give more. She also collected and recycled soda cans at 10 cents apiece to increase the Bible Fund more quickly. The fund grew, and Lahash transferred the money to East Africa. Our ministry partners then purchased Swahili Bibles locally and distributed them to the kids!

Aunt Cindy didn’t want to stop there. She set a new goal of getting Bibles to all the Lahash kids at the other ministry locations across East Africa! Check by check and soda can by soda can, the Bible Fund slowly began to increase again. Then in late 2020, Cindy found out that her cancer had returned. This time in her kidneys and lungs. “I became very sad about not being able to give as much,” she says. “I was still going to send the sponsorship money from my savings, but I couldn’t see how to keep the Bible Fund going when I wasn’t able to work.”
While undergoing treatment, Cindy updated her friends and family weekly on how she was doing. She also asked them to step in and help increase the Bible Fund. Some began saving their cans for Cindy and some sent in checks to join her fundraising efforts. Whenever she had the energy, Cindy continued to recycle cans knowing that each one was a small step toward more Bibles. “I would love for every Lahash kid to get a Bible,” she says, “And I want to keep plugging away at it until it’s done!”

This recent battle with cancer has been much more difficult than the first and the recovery process has been slow. “I have a 50/50 chance that it will come back within five years,” she explains. “I take it one day at a time. This time around, I haven’t felt God as much or as strongly. I figure it’s because He knows that I know without a doubt that He is there whether I feel Him or not.”

Being anchored in the truth and power of scripture is still helping Cindy weather life’s storms and still fuels her passion to see the same thing happen for others. “Ultimately it’s about getting Bibles into kids’ hands. It’s not about me,” she says. “With my health issues, I imagine it will be my legacy and the thing I am most proud of.”

The Bible Fund steadily increases as people embrace Aunt Cindy’s vision for each Lahash kid to have their very own Bible. You can join in too! Every donation will help purchase a Bible for a child, giving them the gift of the gospel in their primary language and encouraging them to seek God’s comfort and guidance every day of their life.

Help kids grow in their love and knowledge of God's Word. Click here to donate to the Bible Fund.