International (MNN) — At the end of the quarter, there are
hundreds of churches who throw away used Sunday School curriculum and clear out
back closets filled with old Christian books.
Love Packages founder Steve Schmidt says they want those
materials because they know people who are in desperate need of them. "We try to set up distribution points
in various places of the world with people who are already on the
ground and already doing it. We'll break
a record this year. We'll ship over a
thousand tons of literature this year. To kind of give you an idea of what
that's like, that's enough literature for about 50 million people to read first
How does it get to where it's going? Most of it is sent in banded boxes or mail
sacks via the U.S. Mail. Some is shipped to port cities in ocean-going containers that weigh approximately 20 tons. In
addition, Love Packages also partners with others using ships or planes who can
fill part of their cargo hold with the resources.
That's one way to ship it, but funds are a major part of
resourcing the global church. Schmidt says they're supported by free-will
offerings from churches and individuals who are concerned about wasting
materials that teach the Word of God. It's really an issue of sharing the vision and letting others see how
they can make a difference.
So that begs the question that if Love Packages is
collecting used Christian resources from North America,
aren't they primarily in English? Will
those English-only materials be helpful in a global situation?
The answer is "yes." Love Packages services nations like Nigeria
which have taught English in their schools for the past 35 years. In India, roughly
a quarter of their one billion population speaks and reads English.
Schmidt says the materials also help train new leaders for
ministry. "We take any and all Christian paperbacks. We take Bibles, in
any kind of condition. There are people
all over the world that have none. We take your daily devotionals,
concordances, commentaries, Bible dictionaries, regular dictionaries, all those
items, you'd be surprised. There are Bible colleges all over the world that
have none of those books."