It was three nights before Christmas in 1943 and Wesley Duewel was in a village twenty-five miles from Allahabad, India. The villagers were sitting around Wesley on the ground under the stars. He and his team had sung several gospel songs in their language. Wesley picked up the large Hindi Bible and began to read from Luke 2 - the beautiful Christmas story of good news for all people.
Among the villagers sitting on the ground cross-legged was an old white-haired man. He interrupted the reading and asked, "How many years is it since God's Son was born?"
Wesley asked him, "Can you read? Have you ever received a letter in the mail? What is the number the government puts on the outside of the letter? Or if you go to the courthouse, what is the number they put on your papers?"
The villagers talked among themselves for a minute and then replied, "1943."
"That is right," Wesley said. "It is about that many years since the Great Day that God's Son was born. It is nearly 2000 years."
"2000 years!" the man replied. Pointing his finger at Wesley, he asked, "Who has been hiding that book all this time? Why have you never told us before?"
"Well," Wesley replied, "I don't think anyone has been trying to hide it. You see, the world is a big world and tonight we have come to your village to tell you."
The man became quiet, and they finished the service. The villagers went back to their homes and the team to their tents. Wesley, however, could not sleep. He kept hearing the old man's question, "Who has been hiding that book all this time." Finally, at two o'clock in the morning, he got his flashlight and wrote a poem that begins:
"You have the words which the Savior gave,
You have the book which millions crave,
You have the Truth which alone can save-Are you hiding the Word of God?"
Dear Lord, help us to be alert to every opportunity You give us to give the Good News.
"You shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life" (Philippians 2:15-16).