International (MNN) — Some people recycle because they are passionate about the environment and taking care of the earth. Other people recycle because they are passionate about the Great Commission. The connection might not be straightforward, but we promise you, there is one.
Christian Resources International is continuing their decades-long work of recycling used Bibles and Christian materials by sending them to Christians around the world who have few ways to learn more about Jesus.
Jason Woolford, Executive Director of CRI, explains their ministry began with a man who collected discarded Bibles and didn’t want them to be thrown away. Eventually, he began shipping them overseas.
Woolford says, “Over the last 60 years, we have sent 300 million dollars of donated Bibles and Christian books to over 170 nations, all the while empowering native and foreign missionaries with the Word of God in hopes that they might be able to use those materials for Bible colleges, seminaries, for evangelism, and the list goes on.”
There are many cool recycling projects going on that directly benefit people in need. But CRI’s ministry is different because it addresses needs that cannot be met through food, water, medicine, and other humanitarian aid.
CRI’s motivation is Gospel-fueled to answer the deep, eternal, spiritual needs of every human being.
Woolford says it begins with the idea that God’s Word does not return void (Isaiah 55). Humanitarian aid, while important, is only good as long as it lasts.
A poignant reminder of this was a picture he received from his contact shortly after the 2015 earthquake in Nepal. The picture was heartbreaking — a man had been crushed under his house. Only his feet stuck out, and on them were a brand new pair of shoes. CRI’s contact said he knew the man had never given his life to Christ. While some ministry had given him a gift he needed, his biggest need was never fulfilled.
That is the drive behind ministries like CRI and the individuals who work alongside them.
This simple idea wouldn’t be possible without people like you who generously give books away that you no longer use, or ones that you pick up at garage sales just for this purpose — to give to someone under-resourced.
One thing to remember is this: “When you’re sending a Bible or a Christian book, those are things that are read and shared, whether it be in congregations or in groups in villages — more than one person’s reading.”
In 2016, for instance, about 750,000 people received the Bible or a Christian resource. This number can be multiplied to reflect the number of readers actually impacted by the truth of the Gospel.
Many times people wonder how books in English can help people all around the world who speak a different language. The answer is quite simple — English, as Woolford explains, is a financial language. You can find communities all around the world who speak it.
CRI is also looking for more Spanish materials, as this is not as common in South America.
Perhaps you don’t have extra books to send, but you still want to help with this ministry. One simple way is to contribute to the shipping fees for these containers. Each one averages about $15,000. To do that, click here.