USA (MNN) – Ephesians 6:10-18 is all about the armor of God.
The passage is a reminder that followers of Christ don’t get a pass in spiritual warfare. You name His name, you’re in the battle. Paul, the writer of Ephesians, shares the reality of this by using the imagery of war and the metaphor of a soldier and his basic equipment.
Aside from armor to protect, a solider needs a weapon for offense and defense when fighting an enemy. In Ephesians 6:17, he writes, “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Yet, there are many believers around the world going into spiritual battle with the armor and a shield, but no sword. To a former U.S. Marine like Jason Woolford, that’s not acceptable. “I can’t imagine not having God’s Word to bring us through, to encourage us, to bless us , to know. That’s exactly what’s happening to people around the world. They’re giving their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ, but the war rages against them and they don’t even have God’s Word.” Woolford is the executive director of Christian Resources International (CRI) which exists to evangelize the world by distributing free Christian literature to spiritually-needy people.
How do they get those materials? People often have unused Bibles, reference books and teaching materials on their shelves. When they hear about CRI’s purpose, they’ll think “‘you know what? I have some extra Bibles or Christian books on my shelves'”, says Woolford, adding that “They send them to us and then come along and support us financially.”
The ministry has a 12-country footprint. Woolford says, “Just for this year, we’ve given six million people the opportunity to read about the only God that can heal them, that can encourage them through life’s roughest times.”
CRI packs the supplies in shipping containers and ships them to partners around the world. Some supplies wind up in lending libraries, while others go to “equipping pastors, evangelists and missionaries.” But this costs money. A single shipping container can cost up to $10,900 to send. Sometimes, you just can’t wait because of what’s at stake. “We just recently sent three containers. Each container has about $400,000 of free Bibles and Christian teaching tools in it and we send those by faith because people need them. They’re not fully sponsored yet.”
Getting the word out about CRI can be tricky. Although the ministry has been around for nearly six decades, there are still a lot of people who don’t know who they are, what they do or how something like used Bibles, books and bucks can make a Kingdom difference.
Enter: Christian singer/songwriter and 14-time Dove award nominee, Mark Schultz. He’s
gearing up for a 7:00 pm concert on Saturday, October 26 in Highland, Michigan at Cornerstone Church.
Why was his help enlisted? He’s a high profile musician who shares CRI’s vision. Woolford explains, “[He] has come alongside with our ministry and he’s doing a concert with us to bring awareness to missions, to the mission of Christian Resources International, CRI. He believes in the importance of us sending God’s Word around the world.”
Schultz’s own recent experiences with the album All Things Possible were pointing him to rediscovering what’s at the heart of his faith and ministry – the unconditional love of God… a love that makes all things new, and well… possible. Helping others who can’t afford it to have access to this seems like it’s a no-brainer. Woolford says they’re hoping to connect with concert goers who’ve never heard about their ministry before. “We’re going to be able to tell approximately a thousand people, and a majority of those never hearing about our mission, about the ministry, and so you would help create awareness to that.”
Can’t make it to Highland, Michigan this weekend? You can still help. Ephesians 6:18 closes out the reminder about armor with this: “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Or you can give-bibles, books and bucks to equip others for what’s to come.
Every part helps. As Schultz noted in an interview with Family Christian Stores, “I found when I join God in doing work He says is important to Him, He will use us to do things we once saw as impossible.”