Dear WMF friends,
Todd, Barb and Kirstie Schierkolk
After living together for a number of years and having several children, Leobardo and Aracely were married in April of 2011 at our church in Jerez, Mexico. We gave them a white Bible as a wedding gift. In fact, one of their first arguments after being married had to do with that Bible. Leobardo was reading it in bed with the light on at night while his wife was trying to go to sleep. This was a new book for him and he was coming across some surprising things written in it and when he did he would get his wife’s attention (she was trying to sleep) asking, “Look at this! Did you know this was in here?” He nudged her but she was trying to sleep.
Unfortunately, we had to leave in May that year just shortly after Leobardo and Aracely were married and we would be gone for over a year and a half. As we talked with the two of them about what to do while we were gone I encouraged them to keep reading the Bible together. Well, it appears they did.
We returned to Mexico the beginning of 2013 and picked up the ministry to which God had called us again and began a Bible study in Leobardo and Aracelys’ house. I knew that the couple had continued reading the Bible together but it didn’t occur to me to ask about it in detail until just a couple months ago. “By-the-way,” I asked Leobardo after a Wednesday evening study, “how far did you ever get in your reading?” “We finished,” he said. “You finished the book of Genesis?” “No, all of it,” he replied. “You mean you finished the whole Old Testament?” I was feeling a little surprised at this possibility. “No,” he said, “we finished all of it, the whole Bible.” “You finished the whole Bible?” Now, I was not only surprised, I was shocked! “You mean to tell me you, the two of you, actually finished reading the whole Bible, both the Old Testament and the New Testament?” “Well,” he said, “Aracely finished all of it but I stopped reading in the last part of Revelation because there were some really ugly chapters that I didn’t like.” I encouraged him that the very end was very good and to continue on and finish those last couple of chapters.
I left their house that evening shaking my head in disbelief. Anyone who has read the Bible through completely knows that it takes some persistence. That actually would be surprising enough. Most university students haven’t even read through the whole Bible. But what made it so wonderfully shocking were two things. First, the version of the Bible they read would be sort of like reading the King James Version for English speakers. And then, second, Leobardo isn’t even a very good reader. He only finished 2nd grade in school! His wife just finally completed jr. high in a program for adults. Beyond shocking, that is inspiring! And it is a wonderful testimony to a love for the Word of God that changes lives. And believe me, you can see the difference in theirs!