February 12, 2018
“We are connected together, and it’s such an incredible thing to have. You’re part of a larger family that is serving churches all over the world, and whatever your job title now, it is so much more than what you think.”
United Bible Societies (UBS) Director General Mr. Michael Perreau expressed his confidence and vigor in the Bible ministry during his speech to the Philippine Bible Society (PBS) staff on February 9, 2018. His visit to the Philippines is on top of his customary trip to personally witness the Bible ministry in the Asia Pacific region. His brief visit in the country was for attending a special family gathering, but he also took the time to visit the Philippine Bible Society headquarters.
Returning ever-passionate and more akin to Filipinos, Mr. Perreau's first agenda was guesting as a plenary speaker for the National Bible Workshop in Cebu City, hosted by the Episcopal Commission on the Biblical Apostolate of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. He then met with the local Bible Society leadership, management, and staff based in the PBS head office in United Nations Avenue, Manila.
“I enjoyed working with our different brothers and sisters. I felt that we have truly been in fellowship when we shared our ministry stories with one another,” commented Mr. Perreau.
He added cheerfully, “The mangoes in Cebu are legendary in the world, so it was a bonus for me. But aside from getting my mango fix, I was honored to meet the natives, who are jovial and naturally tend to see the better things in life. That’s a great thing about Filipinos. This is a wonderful place to bring God’s hope.”
On this occasion he was joined by his wife, Rev. Deborah Perreau, who is visiting the Philippines for the first time. “It’s a wonderful privilege to be here. We have felt so welcomed,” said Rev. Deborah.
UBS as a global family and its local impact
In his speech addressed to the PBS staff and leadership, Mr. Perreau gave a picture of the Bible ministry’s impact on individuals and highlighted the privilege of the global work of UBS as a fellowship. He said, “I met an 82-year-old lady who walked six hours through the countryside just to get a Bible for the first time, because she heard that it was available in her country’s language. That’s how special it is to have the Bible in your own language. But that is one out of many.”
He continued on to say that UBS is currently distributing 34 million full Bibles on average per year, as well as 250 million New Testament copies. In addition, digital download has reached 250 million, and its Facebook page has 10 million followers, which is the largest Bible-related page to date.
“We distribute the most Bibles when we come together. Because together we are stronger. On our own we might feel like a lonely star but together we are a galaxy. And that’s who we are.”
Operating since 1946, UBS is a global fellowship of national Bible Societies in over 240 countries and territories, with the mission to equip churches worldwide by bringing the Bible in the languages and formats needed. In its current mandate to bring the Bible to everyone, UBS is targeting to finish 1,200 translations in the next 20 years.
“There is still so much more to look forward to,” added Mr. Perreau. “Continue to join us in prayer for God’s work. We are giving people God’s Word which is powerful and alive. Our great privilege is that we are not just to distribute or sell a Bible, or give it to someone who really needs it, but we are giving hope.”