The celebration of Bible Day on May 1 each year across Seventh-day Adventist congregations in Kyrgyzstan has become a sound tradition and a blessing for all church members and guests, local church leaders said. An initiative originally driven by the Sabbath School department of the Kyrgyz Mission of the Adventist Church, the program has now engaged members and guests for a day of reflection, study, and praise.
During the special celebration day in 2021, every activity was focused on highlighting the role and value of the Word of God. Children and adults were happy to recite their favorite passages from the Scriptures by heart, organizers reported. More than 30 copies of the Bible were given away as gifts to guests and members.
“It was very important for us to tell and show how valuable Scripture is,” Ekaterina Kirichenko, leader of one of the communities in Bishkek, shared. “We hosted an exhibition of Bibles with more than 20 copies. The exhibition included an engraved Bible and a copy in old Slavic. Two of them were very rare and valuable copies: a special 1901 edition and an 1850 edition in German.”
In the Bible Day-themed program, a church member named Maria shared her family’s experience with owning and reading the Bible:
“In our family, we loved reading the Word of God. However, in the past, having a Bible in the house meant constantly putting ourselves at risk, as there was a ban by the authorities [at the time],” she told members and visitors. “We had a large family Bible that we read every day in this way: some family members would read while others would look through the window to check if anyone was coming.
“One day, my mother was on duty at the window, and I was reading the Bible aloud when suddenly my mother jumped from her post and commanded me, ‘Go!’ ” Maria continued. “I quickly took our Bible to our kitchen cupboard, where we kept pots, pans, and other household items, placed the Bible in a pot, covered it with the lid, and closed the cupboard door. By the way, the pan was not big enough, and our Bible was sticking out of it, barely covered with a lid.
“Several people entered the house and began to search without saying a single word. One of them went to the kitchen cupboard, opened it, looked directly at the Bible visible under the lid, and closed the cupboard. Finding nothing, they left. It was a miracle! Our Bible had been saved. To this day, we have kept that family Bible as our special inheritance,” Maria said.