Welcome back from summer break Bible Givers! It has been a good time of rest but it is time to get back to the work of distributing God’s Word to the many people who need to know their Creator. And we have a busy season of Bible giving in front of us. Did you know we had over 60 requests for Bibles for our August Bible Giving meeting? We were only able to accommodate half that number this month, but we will likely be playing catch up all fall to ensure all of those requests are eventually met.
Financially, we are somewhat improved from the soft start to 2018. We had fairly strong giving during our July rest, so we start August with funds to cover the August Bibles. We are still behind where we would like to be – I really don’t like to turn away any requests for Bibles, but with continued strong giving, we should be able to reduce our backlog of unfunded Bible requests. We just received back our independent financial review in July and our books are in good shape.
To our special funding requests of $9000 for Haiti and Pakistan this summer – which were fully funded – the Haiti Bibles have been all distributed, and the Urdu Bibles on chip for Pakistan have been sent. We are still working to source all of the 300 Urdu Bibles – we have apparently used up all the available inventory in the west and are looking at sources in the far east. Such are the challenges of INTERNATIONAL Bibles Givers! We are now planning a special ask to provide extra Bibles to Nigeria, our third strategic international Bible distribution location.
Focus on Nigeria – IBG has multiple couriers bringing Bibles to Nigeria throughout the year and it is one of three countries IBG has placed a focus on distributing more Bibles to. Nigeria is a West-Africa country of about 190 million people, up from 112 million in 2000 – THAT’s population growth! It is roughly 50% Christian and 45% Muslim, with the predominantly Muslim north controlling most functions of government. Sharia law has been imposed on 12 northern states of Nigeria and persecution of Christians remains a major issue, especially in the north. Despite those challenges, the Christian church in Nigeria is vibrant and growing, and as Christianity continues to grow rapidly in Africa, Nigeria remains one of those strategic countries where the spread of Islam is being checked and rolled back. We want to be part of this eternal work. Watch for special opportunities to give over and above your regular giving as we focus this August and September on Nigeria.
Thanks for being part of this simple ministry which provides Bibles to so many people in need of a relationship with their Creator. Hope to see you at the August Bible Givers Meeting!