Mary Jones's Bible
“My name is Mary Jones, sir. Do you have any Bibles for sale?”
Mary Jones was a sixteen-year-old Welsh farm girl. Her father had died when she was four, and she and her mother had to work hard to survive. When Mary became a Christian at eight, her passion was to read the stories in the Bible for herself.
“Mary, we don’t have money to buy a Bible,” her mother said. But Mary was determined and sold eggs from chickens a neighbor had given her, washed people’s clothes, and took care of children. For six years the young girl saved her pennies to have enough money to buy her very own Welsh Bible. The nearest place to buy one was from Rev. Thomas Charles in Bala, more than twenty-five miles away.
“I know it’s a long ways, but God will go with me,” said Mary, and she walked barefoot so that her shoes would not wear out.
“I’m sorry, but I promised the last Bible I have to someone else a few days ago,” Rev. Charles said. But seeing the tears in Mary’s eyes and hearing her story, he decided that the other person could wait a little longer. He could not send Mary back home empty handed.
But that is not the end of the story. A short time later Rev. Charles was at a meeting of the Religious Tract Society in
London and told Mary’s story in a discussion of the tremendous need for Bibles. The Tract Society did not feel it could meet the demand, and so a new organization was formed to supply Welsh Bibles. “And if for Wales, why not for the Kingdom? Why not for the whole world?" said one of the men at the meeting.
The new organization was The British and Foreign Bible Society, which since 1804 has published more than half a billion Bibles or Scripture portions in 700 languages.