International (MNN) — According to Jason Woolford, executive director of Christian Resources International: “122,000 people are being saved every day around the world. The alarming fact is that a majority of those people are attending a church where the pastor doesn’t even own a Bible.”
That’s both encouraging and scary. While it’s exciting that so many people are giving their lives to Christ, a lack of God’s Word makes spiritual growth impossible.
That’s where CRI comes in. Since 1959, CRI has sent over 272 million dollars’ worth of Bibles and Christian books around the world for free. One specific way they work to foster spiritual growth is by empowering native missionaries with necessary resources.
“We have been supporting missionaries from multiple denominations for the last 60 years,” Woolford says. “We have seen radio ministries, orphanages, Bibles colleges, [and] prison ministries receive from our ministry the Word of God.
“It’s pretty exciting, because multiple denominations are getting these Bibles and Christian books and utilizing them to evangelize, to train up pastors, to give orphans the Word of God.”
Many missionaries face persecution and struggle to meet basic, physical needs. It may seem that working to solve these problems should be of primary importance, but still, missionaries remain hungry for the Word of God.
“One of the things that we see as a missions organization is a request for Bibles and Christian books,” Woolford says. “We believe in sending those Bibles and those Christian books to them, because that’s what they’re asking for. If native missionaries are asking for the Word of God, that’s what we should be giving them.
“One missionary told me, ‘You know, we had a well put in, and the Muslims have come and locked it up and we can’t get into it. But we can get into the Word of God, and as we know, God’s Word doesn’t return void.”
It’s not impossible for those who lack Scripture to get saved, but it makes spiritual growth difficult.
“In Ephesians, God talks about putting on the armor,” Woolford says. “In other words, He’s talking to us in that passage about how we will conduct ourselves in conflict. He’s talking about putting on the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, and the Gospel shoes of peace.
“But this is the main point. He says, ‘But above all, take up the shield of faith and the sword, which is the Word of God. And I believe that so many Christians and people around the world might have their eternity set because they’ve called on Jesus, but they don’t have His Word, and so they don’t know what God has to say about the trial or the tribulation that they’re going through.
“What does He say about faith? He says that without faith, it’s impossible to please God. God says that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. It doesn’t come by any other way. And then He says that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen.”
In order to find true hope in Christ, Christians need to know God’s Word. Along with CRI, you too can make that happen. Woolford asks that you donate your gently-use Bibles and Christian books, and consider donating financially. Click here to get started.