MASERU, Lesotho — Motlohi Maliba was overjoyed when his father sent him into town for food and gave him his first pocket money. Having worked all his life as a shepherd on a remote outpost in the mountains, trips into town were rare and he set off on the long journey with a light heart. After buying the food he began his journey home.
On the way he passed a Bible Society bookshop operated by a lady volunteer.
“When I went into the shop I saw a pile of books and the woman reached for a black one and gave it to me,” said Motlohi. “The woman told me that the book was called the Bible. I gave her the only money I had – the 10 cents my father had given me for pocket money. All the people in the store applauded for me. I began to tremble with fear. On my way back I felt very lonely, as if I had lost a dear friend, and this feeling lasted for at least three months,” said Motlohi.
Motlohi had never attended school and was unable to read or write so he felt sad and frustrated that he could not read his Bible. However, just holding it brought him comfort during the long periods of isolation on the cattle post.
Even his sister who had some schooling was unable to read it to him. Bitterly disappointed, he returned to the cattle post and stared at the pages in desperation.
Then, a miracle happened.
As Motlohi was staring at a verse in the book of Ezekiel he heard a voice say, “‘Ezekiel, son of man, can these bones come back to life?…I, the Lord God, will put breath in you, and once again you will live. I will wrap you with muscles and skin and breathe life into you. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
Motlohi was astounded! Although he couldn’t read, he understood what the words on the page were saying! He took his Bible to a literate friend who confirmed that he actually understood the words.
Today, Motlohi regularly reads his Bible, which continues to bring him great comfort. Amazingly, he still cannot read any other book!