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Rough economic times cause ministry to form Great Commission partnerships

By October 23, 2008

International (MNN) — In today's
marketplace, it is a huge challenge to stay positive with non-profit funding
dropping and shipping costs rapidly increasing. Many ministries have had
difficulty keeping up with the demand for their help.

Bible Pathway Ministries is no
exception. Bible Pathway's Karen Hawkins says
the contracting economy is making Scripture distribution more difficult. Shipping costs forced a re-think on how they
were shipping the heavy materials overseas.

What could have grown into a
crisis instead helped their ministry to work harder and smarter. "There are ministries that
regularly send containers overseas, or have mission teams that are going
overseas," says Hawkins. "We supply the Bibles and Bible Pathways for them either to carry in
their suitcases or put in  their
containers, because, like most ministries, we found that the increased shipping
has really made it difficult." 

Harnessing like-minded groups
together makes the work a little easier on everyone. Hawkins says such partnering increases the
number of lives touched by the Gospel.
"We encourage any other ministry, 'Please contact us.' We will provide Bibles and Bible Pathways to the best of our ability." Statistics indicate that for every Bible
distributed, dozens more are reached.

For example, several U.S.-based ministries contacted Bible
Pathway to ask for their help. One
group from Tennessee, was working with the homeless veterans.  They were putting together hygiene kits that
also included clothing and job assistance. But they also needed a spiritual component.  A call to Bible Pathway yielded 500 Bibles and
Bible Pathways to be added to the package. 

Almost on the heels of that call, Hawkins adds, another request came from a ministry working with the poor in Indiana. The group was desperate for Bibles to give to
the people they were helping, but they could not afford to buy them. Bible
Pathway came through again. 

Even as they're cooperating with
other groups, Bible Pathway needs financial support to keep this kind of work moving
forward. They can provide a Bible Pathway for $10. Donors so far have kept the ministry afloat,
but Hawkins urges people to consider cutting
one or two small luxuries, like a soda pop, or a latte, and use the money to support
the ministry.   

A final thought about working
together: "We are single cells in the body of Christ, and as single
cells, we can't do a whole lot. But if we work together, we can get the job
done. We are called to bring in this final harvest, and we really need to work
together." 

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