International (MNN) – If you change the heart of the military, you change the heart of a nation. At least, that’s what Troy Carl of Faith Comes by Hearing believes.
FCBH’s military BibleStick project started out as a goal to get 10,000 audio Bibles to troops in the United States military.
Since the beginning, however, the work has expanded in number and location beyond the United States.
“The U.S. military BibleStick project has been overwhelming,” Carl explains. “We first began after our troops were deployed into Afghanistan. At the request of chaplains, we created this unique device.”
For FCBH, this project was following the actions of the Good Samaritan– answering a need right in front of them instead of ignoring it.
Carl says, “It’s been amazing how the Word of God in that format has been distributed to over 500,000 troops, U.S. troops, in harm’s way in multiple wars in multiple settings.”
With the U.S. military, FCBH works through the chaplains in the armies who give them an estimate for how many BibleSticks they think they’ll need. These estimates amount to an average of 16,000 requests a month. FCBH manufactures the sticks themselves and can’t afford to meet the demand.
Each stick costs about $25. When you sponsor a BibleStick, it not only provides the audio Bible for the soldier but also for the members of his family.
On top of the interest in audio Bibles at a national level, FCBH has begun to receive requests from military around the world.
“In the recent days, we’ve been contacted by chaplains from other foreign military. A lot of people don’t realize this, but there are Christians in leadership all over the world.”
Much of the interaction occurs through FCBH’s work with the Association of Military Christian Fellowships (AMCF).
According to Carl, AMCF was founded over 100 years ago by a British general who hoped to establish peace conversations during time of war by knowing and being connected with Christian leaders on the opposing side.
It now has over 145 countries as members- even some where it is dangerous to be vocal about being a Christian.
Desperate times call for…the Bible
In our world full of violence, there are so many choices to be made, so many possible solutions, so many hurt people. There are some people who know that the answer isn’t going to be a quick-fix. Some know the solution is transformation with an eternal scope. That transformation starts by figuring out who Jesus is through His Word.
“Because of the most recent conflicts, the chaplains that are believers have gotten their hands on audio Scripture in their own local language, and they started reaching out to us directly,” Carl says.
One example is the Ukrainian-Russian conflict. On both sides, chaplains have been requesting BibleSticks from FCBH after the connection was made through AMCF.
When the going gets tough, what–or who–are we supposed to turn to? Carl asks, “What is more important than the Word of God in the midst of conflict, regardless of your political views or regardless of the conflicts that are happening?”
The answer is: nothing.
Carl continues, saying, “Did you know there are about 14 wars going on [in which] over 1,000 to 100,000 people are being killed all the time, every year? They’re going on all over the world. So, as a ministry, our mission is to get God’s word in their own language to every human on earth, and that includes those that are serving in military.”
It’s important to get the Gospel to these people not only to give them hope, but to change the path of their nation. Carl explains the process:
“If you can change the heart of a military person, you can change the heart of the country. When nations fall and governments crumble, it’s the guys with the guns that usually are the ones that are next in line for leadership. They’re the ones that enforce the new leadership. And if you can get the Word of God to transform those people and provide a moral compass for that nation, you can change the world.”
Carl says there are over 50 million active duty men and women serving in military around the world. And FCBH continues to want to meet the needs of each of them.
“Now the program, of course, is expanding beyond the U.S. military, but Christians in other militaries saying, ‘Please, can you help us? Can you give us the Word of God in our time of need?'”
If you would like to answer this need, start by following this link to sponsor a BibleStick.