For thirty-five years, I have been recruiting like-minded Believers to help me support national church planters. The blessings that God has showered on those donors and me are incredible as we have followed the light He shined on our paths.
These gallant servants of God, who serve where we cannot and probably would not, live humbly. I sometimes refer to their "houses" and wonder if you know what kind of structure they live in. To be sure, it is a house, but it may be less than 100 square feet (10' x 10') and be made of mud and sticks or bamboo. Yet, they are thankful for their "house" and feel incredibly blessed by God. And they are.
Sometimes they ask for help so they can perform their ministries more effectively. For example, they may need a bicycle ($125) or motorcycle ($1300). Others may request help for a necessary surgery or to help to pay a hospital bill. Others request travel funds to plant a church in a remote village or rescue them from imprisonment because of their faith. We even get requests to help bury a pastor, his wife, child, or a church member who has passed and had no provision for such. Once, we had to bury forty-eight young people who three men shot with machine guns as they were praying in their house church.
Their needs are as vital to them as our needs are to us. As Americans, the difference is that our needs are often our wants, whereas their needs are precisely that, -- they don't even dream of acquiring a want. Yet, through all these years and in every country (the 90+ where we have served them), there is one item they all ask for, and they ask continually. That need is for Bibles.
We expend a lot of time and effort to raise funds for Arabic and Farsi Bibles as we strive to cover North Africa and the Middle East with Bibles; in the last week, we took 25,000 Bibles into just one country in that region. Their response was, "When can we get more?" They are not trying to stack copy upon copy on their bookshelf. They are merely hoping to get enough so each family in their house churches can have one and to have a surplus to give to the new converts. Imagine turning from Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, or Animism, where you have been indoctrinated with the nuances of those faiths all your life. You have rejected them, and perhaps your family has rejected you. Yet, you have no Bible with which to learn about your new Lord and Savior. Therefore, we must provide these converts with a Bible.
In August, we decided to dedicate our efforts to raise funds to purchase Bibles, not for the Middle East but the rest of the world. So I wrote to some of our national directors scattered globally, asking them the prices and number of Bibles they need. The prices range from $3 to $10, and they ask for thousands of copies.
In this effort, we will be ignoring Latin America for the most part, as there are so many missionaries there who can get Bibles donated and shipped to them. So instead, we are going to concentrate on those regions where Bibles are available, but the people cannot afford one. $3 is not much, neither is $10, but when your average monthly income is only $4, you cannot afford to give a month's income to buy one. In addition, you may need six months' income to travel to the closest Bible bookstore.
So, as a Christmas present to our Lord, I ask you to help us raise at least $15,000. You can donate online on this page, or by mailing in a check and designating it to "Christmas Bibles".
We hoped to raise $25,000, but Tabernacle Baptist in Orlando already gave $10,000, so we have already purchased several thousand Bibles for Kenya, Pakistan, and India.
What will we do if you give more than the $15,000? -- We'll buy more Bibles. -- Personally, I hope you will give $50,000 for this project.
When Christ was born, the angels declared that His birth would be good news for all nations. So, let's join with them and do what we can to declare that good news to those who have neither heard it nor had the opportunity to read about it. Imagine the tens of thousands of Believers who will this Christmas, for the first time in their lives, be able to sit and read the story of our Lord's birth in Luke, chapter two. They will be as amazed as the shepherds! Thank you for making that possible for them, and Merry Christmas!