International (MNN) — This weekend in the United States is Memorial Day, a day to honor all who have served, are serving, or have given their lives in the military.
Faith Comes By Hearing (FCBH) has created a great way to honor them, while also thinking of their spiritual well-being.
Several years ago, troops and chaplains were given audio Bibles before they left to travel to Iraq, Afghanistan or another country. Jon Wilke of FCBH said, "These chaplains and troops were taking audio Bibles overseas with them on deployment. They came back from overseas and said, 'You need to make something for us.' So we put our engineers to task, and they came up with the Military BibleStick."
The Military BibleStick is a small, digital audio player that is pre-loaded with the Audio
Drama New Testament. With a matte black finish, matte black ear buds,
and a red-light-only operation, the Military BibleStick has a low-key
design to reduce visibility in low-light situations. At three and a half inches long and a half inch thick, it is about the size of a pack of chewing gum, Wilke said. This Audio Bible
fits easily into uniform pockets and is rugged enough to withstand
Since 2008, FCBH has handed out over 40,000 BibleSticks to some 325 chaplains, since FCBH cannot personally deliver them due to military regulations. The size of the BibleStick is not the only thing that makes them ideal for easy listening: "The young people that are serving in our military today are really an audiovisual generation … because they've just grown up with technology. And so, they listen to music and watch videos at a much higher rate than the older generation, and it's just normal for them. There's also a lack of readership among that same group," Wilke said.
As troops are waiting for transportation from one place to the next, or as they are exhausted from a 14-hour day and do not have enough energy to read, Wilke said many troops will listen to their BibleSticks. Some troops have listened to the New Testament for the first time, when they never would have had the motivation to read all of it.
Since this weekend is Memorial Day, churches across the U.S. are raising funds for more troops to have BibleSticks. "We've worked with the churches to help supply the chaplains with these. So, there's about 400 churches that are going to actually be doing a dedicated offering to show their support for the troops," Wilke said.
To find out if your church will be collecting an offering this weekend or to sign your church up for a fundraising opportunity in the future, visit the FCBH Web site. If you are a chaplain or soldier, you can visit their Web site to get free BibleSticks for your division.