(MNN) — So far in the year 2009, Somali pirates have hijacked 25 ships,
according to the BBC. Even though the
navies of various countries and international organizations are patrolling the
Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, the piracy
has only increased.
Soon, a container full of Christian literature will run the
gauntlet of the shipping lanes where the pirates roam. Christian Resources International is sending
a great crate full of 30,000 books to Nairobi, Kenya.
"Primarily it's going to be literature, Christian books, and
Sunday school material, all used and donated from around the United States," said CRI Executive Director
Fred Palmerton. "The literature is much needed at a
Christian school as well with another partner ministry in the Nairobi area, and
then some of that's going to go into the rural parts of Kenya.
Every container that CRI has shipped has made it to its
destination so far. However, piracy is
not the only obstacle that could prevent the delivery of the container.
"If a barge gets in trouble in a big storm out on the ocean,
they will jettison those containers to save the ship," Palmerton
explained. Also, fires can break out and
The container has yet another problem: it lacks funding. "It's underfunded, but we're going to send it
in spite of that and just trust that God will bless the ministry will provide funding to cover the overhead costs," Palmerton said.
Every piece of literature that arrives in Kenya has the
potential to impact many people with the Gospel. A pastor in Africa
once received a Bible from CRI. However,
he only got to use it for a few days every month, because it was shared between
his entire congregation of 35 people!
"When you think that a piece of literature like that gets
passed around to that many people, it's just unfathomable how far that can
reach, how many people it might touch," Palmerton said."
"There's going to be maybe 15,000 books, and another 15,000
pounds of Sunday school and other kinds of literature that's going to be sent. I can imagine this cargo reaching a
quarter million people before it all gets worn out and unusable."
Even if the container doesn't reach Kenya, however, it could still have a tremendous
impact for the Kingdom
of God. Palmerton believes that God's Word is
powerful, and it will not return void.
"We don't want this to be held up and confiscated by
pirates," he said. "But if it is,
they've got a real blessing in store for them…Maybe a pirate will be saved."
Pray for the safe passage of the container, and consider
supporting the shipment.