I see my grandparents in India and Brazil, and many other places they never were.
I see my grandparents in many faces and places, not because my Kentucky ancestors were ever in any of these locations, but because of a shared faith story—a grandparent reaching for the Bible and the daily devotional, praying, singing, and teaching younger generations to seek God.
Grandparents sharing the daily devotional guide with others is a common story, one we hear from around the globe. Some say things like, “When I was a child, my grandfather had me read the prayer at the end of each meditation.” Or, “My grandmother kept The Upper Room on her kitchen table.”
Ruth Bloss, in Indianapolis, reads the braille edition of The Upper Room every day and buys gift subscriptions of the print edition for her grandchildren. Bernie Rodrigues, near Johannesburg, South Africa, reads the daily devotion with her granddaughters and gives the guide to friends and family. A grandmother in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire encourages friends and family to listen to the French language broadcast of the daily meditation on FM 101.6, alongside an estimated two million West Africans.
Sarala Prabhakar, editor of Medagadi, the Telugu language edition of The Upper Room, shared the story of 97-year-old Mariamma Batula whose daily practice is to recite Psalms, read the devotional, study the Bible, and share her faith with anyone who visits her.
Recently, The Upper Room International Ministries team heard that Haiman Paula Ribeiro, 92, in San Paulo, Brazil, is the oldest subscriber of No Cenaculo, the Portuguese edition of The Upper Room. He celebrates, “I have read No Cenaculo for 74 years every day!”
Repeatedly, when I hear such stories from readers, I am reminded that the ministry of The Upper Room, which began as a simple request by a women’s prayer group in San Antonio, Texas in 1935, does more than connect people across geographical borders; it also helps people across generations meet to pray.
Today, I am one of an estimated four million people who uses The Upper Room every day. Across generations and across borders, people are reading, listening, and praying together in 35 languages, in 100 countries. Old and young, they hold the print magazine, download the devotional app to their tablets, listen to the radio, or receive the daily devotional via email.
Gifts to The Upper Room help subsidize distribution of The Upper Room for Telugu speakers in India, help translate the devotions for the radio broadcast in Cote d’Ivoire, help provide for the printing of the braille edition, and more. Consider a gift today and support a vital and evolving ministry that will inspire many generations to come.