IBG attends a December Christmas event for the disadvantaged at the Anoka, MN Armory. It is an interesting mix of refugees and immigrants, families of prisoners and low income people. The toys given away are a hit, but IBG handed out 55 CASES of Bibles this year. 55 CASES – you provisioned that effort! Yes, some people refused a Bible. Many already had one, but many people were eager to accept the gift of God’s Word. Duane Swanson organized the event for IBG this year, and represented all of us there.
The quantity of foreign language Bibles given at this event is amazing. Russian and Spanish Bible are always popular, but we give out MANY languages. Here is one story: A women of Persian decent saw an Arabic Bible, and asked in hesitating English if it was a Koran. Duane replied that it was an Arabic Bible and handed it to her. She opened it and perused it for a moment, and then handed it to her Arab husband, explaining in Arabic what it was. He opened it, read it very briefly and then accepted it. She then scanned the table and was amazed to see a Farsi Bible available. There is far more to this story which I cannot share here, but see Duane if you want the rest of this amazing story.
People are open to spiritual matters and to God’s Word. The Bible is a Holy Book in the Islamic world, and God works in the hearts of ALL people – not just westerners, to recognize the voice of the shepherd. IBG desires to grow our Bible giving to local and national ministries, but we especially desire to increase in areas where God’s Word is scarce. Praise God for the breakthrough in Pakistan! We hope to grow that further in 2019. We also hope to strengthen our Bible giving into the northern 10 states of Nigeria, and to strengthen relationships to increase our effectiveness there.
The IBG Board has finalized our plans to expand Bible Giving in 2019. We spent a bit more on Bibles in 2018 than we received in gifts, but we start the year in the black with all bills paid and enough to buy January’s Bibles. It is an interesting challenge to balance the growing demand for Bibles against a constantly shifting resource base, but our trust is in God for our provision. We are determined to grow our funding base 20% this year. We set the goal, prayed on it and are rolling up our sleeves. Through our efforts, through you, or through His provision which we cannot yet see we will grow our capacity.
You can help us fund more Bibles beyond your personal giving to IBG. Help us arrange for a Bible Sunday in your church. Not only do we come and give Bibles, but most churches will take up an offering for IBG, and it is a source of new IBG members. IBG also accepts gifts of donated assets. We just received a gift of $450 worth of postage! That is $450 we can divert to buying Bibles rather than stamps. If your company matches charitable contributions, ask them to match your giving to IBG. IBG received a $1000 gift from a secular corporation in December – which we will use to buy Bibles. The need is great, and I believe God will honor our joint efforts. Happy New Bible Giving Year!
Give Hope. Give Life. Give Bibles!