USA (MNN) — The United States has been in various wars for roughly ten years now. Amid the battle, many soldiers are looking for peace, comfort, and truth.
Two years ago, a handful of military chaplains asked Faith Comes By Hearing if they could provide a device that would allow soldiers to listen to the Bible while overseas. While Faith Comes By Hearing typically focuses on recording the Bible in various languages across the globe, this was a need too great to pass up.
Faith Comes By Hearing came up with the Military BibleStick, an mp3 device about the size of an old five-piece pack of gum, loaded with the New Testament. In the last couple of years, the sticks have gone viral.
"Now we are dealing with over 700 chaplains, and we have shipped to them more than 107,000 Military BibleSticks," says Bill Lohr. "Our backorder is ranging anywhere from 12,000 to 18,000."
Soldiers are requesting Military BibleSticks frequently. Lohr says many soldiers don't read as much as in times past, so the sticks are great for spreading the Gospel in an engaging manner. Some soldiers see that their friends have a stick and request one as well. Whatever intrigues them about the devices, the important thing is that soldiers are hearing the Word of God, and many are being transformed.
People across the States are donating funds to reach soldiers with comfort and Truth. "The actual cost is about $25, but that doesn't just include the stick," explains Lohr. Soldiers receive a Military BibleStick, but also an mp3 disc so they can share the Word with others who might not have a stick but are interested. They receive a postcard to indicate whether or not they would like their families to receive sticks as well.
The family aspect really holds the potential to keep an entire military family-soldier, spouse and kids-connected despite distance. "What we're trying to do is get that in the hands of not only the soldier, but their family. So they're really all listening to the same thing," says Lohr.
Recently, one group in particular has been responding to the need to bring the Gospel to soldiers and their families.
"Christian radio stations are just coming and seeing the need for this. They're a natural fit for us, and they're reaching out to their listeners to let them know. As soon as the listeners hear, their generosity just pours out, and they really want to support the military."
Two Mission Network News affiliates helped raise support for their work. America Family Radio listeners recently raised about $120,000 to provide about 4,800 Bible sticks for chaplains. Grand Rapids-based radio station 91.3 WCSG recently helped, too. "WCSG, a part of Cornerstone [University], just did their Sharathon. [They] promoted the Military BibleStick and were able to raise funds for over 300 more BibleSticks," notes Lohr.
Encourage your local radio station to get on board for this. The need is immense, and many soldiers are coming to the Lord or recommitting their lives as a result of listening to God's self-authenticating Word. You can get involved personally by calling 1-800-800-2555 or visiting www.militarybiblesticks.com.