Int’l (MNN) — When your life is hard work surrounded by violence, it’s hard to feel any sense of peace. This is the case for many United States Servicemen. Faith Comes By Hearing has been meeting this need for peace for military personnel for the past six years.
Bill Lohr of FCBH says, “We know the spiritual comfort that God’s Word gives us, and that’s why we want to provide that for them.”
The ministry has been in operation for 42 years. They have 780 different languages with a New Testament translation. Over the last six years, FCBH has provided over 400,000 BibleSticks to chaplains and troops.
The ministry got started when troops used FCBH original BibleSticks. They were handy for people on the move, but because of the bright light and the shiny material, they were not appropriate for troops in deployment or on the field. They asked FCBH to help them.
“When folks are out there fighting for you…, they’re putting their lives on the line, you’re going to do what they ask. And we did that,” Lohr explains.
The redesigned device is safer for the troops, following the low-light requirements.
The demand has been nearly overwhelming and encouraging–following a theme that FCBH has seen in many of their ministries: “In all of our work around the world, if we could do a million more devices, people would be using them. And we just found the same thing within our military.”
With the device, the soldiers receive postage-paid post cards to make comments on what they think of the BibleStick.
Lohr shares, “They’re just talking about how God’s Word gives them peace, gives them comfort. Many of them tell us that it helps them sleep at night. We really see the impact that this is having on our troops, and we’ll continue to provide it as long as there’s a demand.”
Chaplains often offer these BibleSticks to unbelievers who are looking for a solution to help them sleep at night. It’s not offered forcefully, but as a suggestion. The results are often astounding: “There’s been a number of soldiers who have then come back and had that discussion with their chaplain and then turned their lives over to Christ.” says Lohr.
Whether they’re renewing, strengthening, or finding their faith for the first time, hearing God’s Word has changed lives for many military men and women.
“It really is something that opens up doors,” Lohr says, “and it just gives chaplains one more thing in their tool belt–if somebody comes in and they’re looking for something–to really help these soldiers out.”
As Easter approaches, FCBH sees an opportunity for people in the States to recognize the sacrifice of our servicemen in a new light.
Lohr explains the general condition of their ministry year-round, and how they anticipate the holiday: “We’ll try to keep the production at the highest level that our funds will allow. We do at time run a back-log where we’re having people, chaplains, ask for these, and they’re having to wait several weeks or a month or so before we can fill those orders.”
Many of the churches that support FCBH use the holidays to push for more awareness about our troops. People are more thoughtful around those times because they get to spend time with their families when many don’t.
For Easter, Lohr says, “You’re talking about Easter where Jesus gave His life for us and He was resurrected on that Easter Sunday. These soldiers, I mean really, are laying their lives on the line for us. And so there is a connection there, and people see that and they come together; they help support this ministry.”
The BibleSticks are donor supported so that they are always free of charge for chaplains and soldiers. With the risks of PTSD and homesickness, and even with the exhaustion of daily toil, there is something important to remember. “Around these certain holidays, [we] get people to understand, ‘Hey, they’re still out their fighting for us; we need to do something for them and we need to provide them God’s Word,'” Lohr says.
The support in years past has been a blessing. Lohr explains, “Over 7,000 churches have come alongside us to help support this–many of those two and three times taking up offerings. So it’s been an amazing support. If there are any churches out there that haven’t had that opportunity to bless our troops, get ahold of us and please come alongside of us.”
If you would like to do so, go here to find more information and awareness material for churches and businesses.
Please be in prayer for the troops: for their safety, their homecoming, and their faith. Pray that FCBH would continue to be able to meet the demand for those hungry to hear the Gospel.