Martha Skaggs and I were walking in the town of Llama one afternoon and we stopped to talk with a man who was walking with his burro. Not an uncommon sight here! Demostranos is 82 years old and walks 3 hours each way from his home in one of the pueblos surrounding Llama. He comes into the “city” to sell his firewood and buy staples for he and his wife Rosa, also 82 years old.
It’s a tough hike for most and yet this man does it with ease. Martha was talking to him about his faith and he told her that he loved reading the bible but that his eyesight wasn’t what it used to be and he has trouble reading the one he has at home. What he needed was a bible with large print.
Martha promised to buy him one in Chiclayo and send it back with me the next time I came to Llama. For the next 3 weeks he asked the pastor at church if I was back yet. “No, not yet” was the response.
The pastor headed out to visit the pueblo one day and told Demostranos that I would be in town the following Sunday. So…he walked 3 hours into town, attended church and I had the privilege to give him his new large print bible. “How much did I owe” was his question after he looked at the bible inside and out.
“Nothing” I replied. The smile that shone back at me was priceless. And his eyes….I think they were a little “watery!” And off he went with Bible in hand, his donkey by is side on his “stroll” back home.
An 82 year old man was willing to make a 6 hour roundtrip hike out of the mountains on a Sunday….all for the love of a bible and the word contained within.
People here love the Word – they read it, memorize it and I believe some actually, in every sense of the word – cherish it. I remember a couple of years ago handing out bibles to kids in a “slum area” outside of Lima. This little boy clung to the bible and never put it down. It made a lasting impression on me.
Cherishing His Word In His Mighty Grip,