Thank you to all who participated in the collection of used Bibles in May! Please pray for the people who receive the Bibles you donated. Here is how that collection came about. An ad in the April issue of The Banner caught my attention: USED ENGLISH BIBLES NEEDED! I had several Bibles that I didn’t read anymore—I hadn’t thrown them away because that just seemed wrong. When I started looking, I found a Revised Standard Version from my 4th grade Sunday school teacher and other Bibles that had been relegated to the basement as I purchased newer translations and study Bibles. So I responded to the ad to ask what would be done with the donated Bibles, and I received a reply almost immediately.
Jess told me she placed the ad on behalf of Project Bible Runners. Because in some countries, there are 300 Christians for every available Bible, PBR is collecting Bibles that are no longer being used (any version or portion in English). They make repairs as needed and then store them in boxes to be part of a large shipment to Nigeria, Kenya, Liberia, or another country where English is widely spoken. They are currently working in 20 countries, where they have trustworthy Runners who receive the shipments and bring the Bibles to churches who have asked for them. Their website (www.ProjectBibleRunners.org) has several compelling and informative videos about their work.
I was intrigued! With the hundreds of Christian churches in Grand Rapids, I could hardly imagine how many dusty Bibles are lying around! I asked Jess how many Bibles they could use, and she replied as many as I could round up–they were currently working on a shipment of 20,000 Bibles for Nigeria.
I contacted our pastors and asked if we could hold a used Bible collection, and they said Yes. Kyle, our facilities manager, set up a long table in our multipurpose room, I wrote a couple of bulletin announcements, and many people brought Bibles for the next two weeks. By the end, we had collected 334 Bibles that were no longer being used. Another PBR representative, Christine, came from South Bend to pick up the Bibles and transport them to Neoga, Illinois, where they were boxed up for a shipment being sent to Kenya this month.
Jess also told me she had been praying for a drop-off site for people in West Michigan responding to The Banner ad. I asked our pastors if LaGrave could be on that site, and they referred me to the Mission Committee, who decided we didn’t have enough staff or space for that. Disappointed, I prayed about it, talked to my husband Karl, and we have volunteered to be the drop-off site and be a contact to help other churches sponsor a Bible collection. After 200 or more Bibles have been collected, a representative like Christine would transport them to the headquarters in Neoga.
There are still many people yearning for a Bible of their own! If you are excited about this opportunity to literally share Scripture, talk to your friends and ask for Bibles they no longer use. I am sure there are many such Bibles in Grand Rapids! I will gladly assist if a church wishes to have a drive similar to LaGrave’s. Just let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org