Reading the Best Book of All

Booklover and partner of American Bible Society shares God's Word with the world.

When she was a little girl, two things happened to Janice Presbrey that would change her life forever. First, Janice lost her mother to cancer when she was 5 years old.

And then she learned to read. In the wake of her mother’s death, Janice read constantly. She would panic if she left the house without a book in tow. The habit became so consuming that her family intervened. Janice explains, “My father forbade me from reading more than one book per week.” Janice obeyed her father’s new rule; she simply swapped out her shorter children’s books for lengthy pieces of classic literature.

It’s no surprise that one of Janice’s most poignant childhood memories occurred in a bookstore. It happened while she was wandering through Westminster Arcade in Providence, Rhode Island—the first indoor shopping mall in the United States. While the historic marketplace made Janice feel like she was in ancient Greece or a Charles Dickens novel, it was a Christian bookshop in the sleepiest corner of the mall that really took her breath away.

“It was dream-like,” Janice reminisces. “I remember going in there and being dazzled by all the Bibles on shelves…all the different languages and colors.”

Two older women who ran the bookshop introduced themselves and told the entranced girl about the work of American Bible Society. They explained how they gave funds for Bibles to be sent to nations around the world. Something clicked for Janice as she heard their story: “Bibles are important, and not just in my church,” she realized. “The Word needs to be in the world.”

Learning about international Bible ministry at the bookshop had a lasting impact on young Janice. “These ladies were an example of what it means to share love,” she says. “It was like they were sitting on a treasure.”

Janice says that she’ll never forget their motherly dispositions towards a motherless little girl, “It’s a very vivid memory for me…an emotional memory.”

The impact of these two women ultimately inspired Janice to partner financially with American Bible Society. Janice remembers how she first started giving to international Bible work, “American Bible Society is something that lives in the world,” she explains. “I wanted to encourage it.”

As a member of the Bible-A-Month club, Janice’s monthly support helps send Bibles to waiting people around the globe. Now Janice, a retired middle school English teacher, enjoys reading books—especially the Bible—to six grandchildren in her New England home. She also shares her faith through homeless shelters, a soup kitchen and an orphanage.

It’s just another way this faithful partner gets God’s Word out into the world.

You can join the Bible-A-Month club too.
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Thanks to the support of our faithful financial partners, American Bible Society has been engaging people with the life-changing message of God’s Word for more than 200 years.

Help us share God's Word where needed most.

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