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Mary Jones, a young girl from the country of Wales, loved hearing the Bible read during church. Her biggest dream was to learn to read and have her own Bible. But Bibles were expensive and very hard to get in the late 1700s.
When Mary was nine, a school opened in a town two miles from her house. She walked to school every day so she could learn to read. She believed God had given her the opportunity to learn to read because one day He would provide a Bible for her. For six years Mary worked doing laundry and selling eggs so she could save money for a Bible. Finally, at the age of 16, she had enough money. But where would she find a Bible?
Her pastor told her that he had heard about a few Bibles for sale in Bala, a town 25 miles away. Mary was so excited that she packed up her money, took some food, said goodbye to her family, and started walking. It was not a pleasant walk. Mary was tired, and her bare feet were swollen and sore. But eventually she got to Bala and found the house of Mr. Charles, the man with the Bibles.
Mary eagerly asked Mr. Charles for a Bible, but he had already promised his last Bible to someone else. Mary was very disappointed and started crying, telling Mr. Charles her story of saving money for 6 years and walking 25 miles to get a copy of God’s Word. Mr. Charles decided to give her the Bible and find another copy for the other person. Mary finally had a copy of God’s Word to read for herself!
Mr. Charles was moved by Mary’s story and wondered how many other boys and girls and men and women also wanted a copy of God’s Word. He decided to start the British and Foreign Bible Society to provide copies of God’s Word to everyone who wanted one. By 1906, a little over 100 years later, this organization, renamed Bible Society, had handed out over 200 million copies or portions of the Bible around the world.