Philippine Bible Society

Light to the Home Bible distribution Families own Bible for the first time

NORZAGARAY, Bulacan, Philippines – Residents of North Hills Village in Norzagaray, Bulacan will remember May 24, 2003 for quite some time. For this is the day they received their very first copy of the Bible. North Hills Village is one of several relocation sites of urban poor families who were slum dwellers or squatters.

It was a hot day but some 200 residents of North Hills Village in Norzagaray, Bulacan eagerly trooped to the small multi-purpose hall to witness the dedication of the Ilaw sa Tahanan (Light to the Home) Bibles. The Bibles, distributed by the Philippine Bible Society, were the first copies of the complete Scriptures received by majority of the settlers in the village. All of the 4,500 families in North Hills received a Bible.

The distribution program was jointly initiated with the 12 churches ministering in the area, in partnership with the local Department of Public Works and Highways. These churches belonging to different denomination, one of these was a Catholic Charismatic group, spearheaded the house-to-house distribution activity right after the program.

A Bible of their own, for the first time “Some of our church-goers only have a copy of the New Testament,” said Pastor Elvira Darjuan of King of Resurrection Church who has been ministering in North Hills since 1994. Their church is one of the 12 who spearheaded the event.

“We always encourage our members to read the Scriptures because this is their way of knowing God’s will in their lives. But how can they read God’s Word if they don’t have a copy of the Bible, or if they don’t have the complete Scriptures?” she asked, citing one of their dilemmas in establishing a ministry in North Hills. Because of the event, they were grateful to the Bible Society for allotting copies of the complete Bible in the area.

Some who do have a copy experience difficulty understanding what they read as these are published in translations not easily understood. The Ilaw sa Tahanan Bible uses the Magandang Balita Biblia (Tagalog Popular Version) for easier comprehension of recipients, even those who have not acquired proper secondary education. This specially designed Bible for families also contains articles addressing family and community issues to help families build a godly home and community.

Most, if not all of these families, are living below the poverty line and have been living in slum areas within Metro Manila prior to their relocation in North Hills. Some families have already established their own small business, but a number still work in Metro Manila, some two hours travel away from the resettlement area. They live in a day-to-day existence, unable to provide for their daily needs, let alone a copy of the Bible, the cheapest of which costs P150/copy (US$3).

An appropriate response

In a short message during the program, PBS General Secretary Medarlo Rivera enthusiastically explained that the Ilaw sa Tahanan project emerged as PBS’ response to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA). In her SONA delivered two years ago, President Arroyo disclosed her program to provide 150,000 housing units to poor families over a period of three years. As its part in helping build a godly nation, PBS promised to provide each beneficiary family of this program with a copy of the Bible.

Local support

Residents received encouragement in reading the Scriptures through local government officers who graced the occasion. Atty. Tony Ligon, one of the Board Members of the province of Bulacan shared about the importance of God’s Word in his life as a local politician.
“When I was studying law, our professor told us that few people are aware that the laws governing our land are actually based on the Scriptures,” he said. For this matter, he admitted that he finds time to read the Scriptures for guidance and encouraged each of the families to do the same. To promote Bible reading in the area, he further announced that his office would endeavor to raise funds for a Bible contest after six months.
To date, PBS has already distributed about 8,000 copies of Ilaw sa Tahanan Bibles in two resettlement areas after the project launch in December 2002.

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I am a Bible Ambassador because I believe that the Bible can help people a lot. And knowing the Bible, people come in touch with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, D.D.
Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, D.D.Apostolic Administrator, Achdiocese of Manila

Gusto kong makipag-fellowship sa kanila, masaya sa Philippine Bible Society kapag may mga (membership) meetings.  Gusto ko rin madagdagan knowledge ko... yung opportunity makapag.distribute ng Biblia sa maraming tao at magamit ako ng Panginoon. Pangatlo ay yung ma.bless din ako and be a blessing to many people.

Ptra. Dolores “Loy” Fulgencio
Ptra. Dolores "Loy" FulgencioAnnual PBS Member

It's an honor and a privilege for me to support the Philippine Bible Society - to reach out to the unreachable people by giving Bibles not only in the Philippines but the whole world.

Ptra. Nina Vergara
Ptra. Nina VergaraAnnual PBS Member

“It is a blessing to be able to support our local churches in need of Bibles and Bible study programs. It is our hope that they not only grow in terms of membership but also have the heart to extend spiritual help to others, just like how they have received help.”

Ptr. Callum TabadaUCCP Cosmopolitan Administrative Pastor (AACP benefactor)

“We are thankful since each individual now has a Bible. Our members will no longer have a hard time reading. Thank you also for the discipleship materials for these will help all in getting to know Jesus and to know how to be a better Christian.”

Ptr. Eric BulanteChurch Pastor, Shepherd's Church in Hills of Zion, Talim Island (AACP beneficiary)

“Philippine Bible Society organizes trainings that really respond to the needs of people who are suffering.
It has well-equipped leaders who facilitate trainings and workshops.
Its mission to reach out to Filipinos using God’s Word is fulfilled through its works.”

Miriam del RosarioExecutive director at The Birthright Educators Foundation

“I praise and thank our Almighty God that, through PBS, I now own a Poimen version of MBB (Magandang Balita Biblia) in the national language of the Philippines – Tagalog.
Knowing Matthew 10:32-33, I read and study the Bible so that I will not be dismayed when the Lord Jesus Christ comes. Life is too short compared with the promise of eternal life in God’s Kingdom.”

Jorge BianesLocal Church Elder at LJOR Unified Commonwealth

I think this is very helpful to every readers. The word of the Lord are the food of our soul which we always need every minute of our life. I dont often read the Bible but everytime i open it, God was always like in front of me and speaking as what is something i'm just needing to hear. He speaks to me and i can feel it. A million thanks to You my Lord.

CrisTin Bocar AtregenioHousewife, Stay-at-home parent

I love the ministry of the Philippine Bible Society in sharing the Word to the world. God bless PBS!

Ganni BanzueloScripture Marketing Officer at Philippine Bible Society